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Messages - Gothick

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3766
Current Talk '09 I / Deadbeat Madness and Cigarette Voice
« on: April 23, 2009, 03:32:14 PM »
Fans,

I don't know whether it is appropriate to quote this here, but I know the Grayson fans will appreciate it.  It is a review of RJ Jamison's book by one of the Amazon Top 100 Reviewers, Kevin Killian, and was posted to Amazon in January of this year.  Killian's review reads in part:

I didn't like NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, and as for DARK SHADOWS, I haven't seen many episodes, only the two films. I went into this book not knowing much about Grayson Hall except that all of my friends love her. As the story continued, I realized it was one I had read about already, to other actresses and women who grew up in a certain time. In fact, a lot of what happened to Grayson Hall (or Shirley Grossman) already had happened to Jacqueline Susann, the same sorts of trials and sorrows, especially in a theatrical world in which a certain kind of beauty was celebrated and those who lacked it had to use other sorts of skills to get ahead.

R. J. Jamison's research is pretty amazing, even though some of the gaps remain startling. Years go by without Jamison being able to account for what Grayson Hall was doing. But at a certain point in the late 1950s, we see all the disparate parts of her character come together and a star is born, sort of; she was a late bloomer and paid the price late bloomers do, all of a sudden producers look at you and you're playing Madwoman of Chaillot roles. It came to me that I had seen Grayson Hall on stage in the early 1970s, when I was just a boy, and I attended the legendary premiers of Genet's play THE SCREENS in an experimental production at the Chelsea Theater Center at the BAM. It was a scary show, and I didn't understand a word of it, and it seemed there were more people up on the stage than there were in the audience, but Grayson Hall made an impression on me; she frightened me with her deadbeat madness and her cigarette voice, like a man in drag. She was not on the side of the revolution--or was she? A committed actress, she didn't seek identification or sympathy from her audiences. Jamison's biography makes me want to seek out more of her work, even the SATAN IN HIGH HEELS Hall denied she'd ever made. <snip>

I'm envious of Killian's having seen her in that play!  This is the one where she spent much of the time on stage wearing bared fake breasts made of styrofoam into which knitting needles had been inserted.  Her makeup and wig for the role came out of some bizarre acid-laced space that takes up where kabuki leaves off...

G.


3767
I think Forry did a DVD (or maybe it was a CD-Rom) of the Ackermansion tour a few years ago.  I saw an ad for it and recall thinking it would be a fascinating thing to own.  But alas I never did buy it.

I met Forry at a Famous Monsters convention in NYC in the mid 1970s that I think has become part of classic horror movie history.  Peter Cushing (a true gentleman, and genuinely courtly), Ingrid Pitt, and Michael Carreras also attended.  I have vague memories of meeting all three of the celebrities (and all three were very kind--I remember Michael patiently listening while I tried to explain to him why Sax Rohmer's Brood of the Witch Queen would make a fabulous Hammer horror film--unaware that just a couple of years previously, Michael himself had had to finish Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, based on Bram Stoker's Jewel of the 7 Stars, a story very similar to that in the Rohmer novel which was written just a few years later).  But one of the most vivid memories is of Forry allowing me to ogle, and take photograph after photograph, of his hands while wearing the Lugosi Dracula ring and, even more legendary in my eyes, the ring worn by Karloff in the role of Im-Ho-Tep in the original 1932 film of The Mummy--my forever favorite of all the Universal classics because of its pervading atmosphere of mysticism and the ancient occult.

Forry was a gem.  We miss him!

G.

3768
Current Talk '09 I / Quentin Collins, SUPERSTUD
« on: April 20, 2009, 11:16:48 PM »
I heard a shockingly loud noise just a few moments ago and felt the Earth quaking beneath my feet--came over here and realized it was the sound of women and men all over America hitting the ground with a volcanic THUD as their senses left them from the onslaught of sheer, manly, unbridled, unexcelled, unexampled hardcore seven-oils-and-seasonings STUDLINESS that IS Quentin Collins in today's Photo.  Mercy Miss Percy!

This is the kind of thing that, in days of old, used to have "Weredoggie" writing long, passionate screeds about "chew-toys" and loud, forceful baying at the moon--and no wonder.

I am fanning myself as best I am able in the suddenly TORRID atmosphere in here--it's HOT! and so is he.

G.

3769
Two thoughts that occur to me from skimming this fascinating article--one is the fact that everyone on the show knew "long before the final date was announced" that the cancellation was approaching adds grist to my theory that DC was the one who pulled the plug--and no one else.  I always thought it was just way too "convenient" that DS went off the air right in time for the start of the NoDS filming schedule.

It's ironic that the two main projects JF went on to do in the next couple of years were occult themed.  In that 1973 interview in a monster movie magazine he spoke of wanting to do a film with Jeanne Moreau.  That would have been fascinating to see.

G.


3770
Current Talk '09 I / Re: Quote & Capture / Minerva's cure-all
« on: April 17, 2009, 02:01:15 PM »
The expression on her face!  Priceless indeed.

Custards, eh?  NOT tapioca.  That would be somebody else's bailiwick.

G.

3771
Excellent news!  Many thanks for the alert.  I recently looked at the forthcoming release list on DVD Talk but don't recall having seen this title.

G.

3772
Three cheers for tapioca!  *imagines debate on whether tapioca is best creamy and slightly runny, or thick and chunky; decides not to go there*

cackling provocatively,

G.  (with extra huzzahs once more for a most Mysterious Day!)

3773
Interesting interview.  Sam sounds more like Truman Capote than ever.  I get that he did not like D. C., but from my one afternoon I spent with him, I recall that Sam used the words "madness" and "madman" in a way that denoted a kind of curious respect.

The one other thing I'll say about this is that if you survive to be very old, you get to say what you think as bluntly as possible and to hell with the consequences.  It may not be pretty or respectable, but I see it as one of the perquisites of the very old.  Just my personal two drachmae.

I spoke with David Selby a couple of times about Grayson, and he always spoke of her very fondly.  I had no idea about the situation to which Sam alludes in his interview.

One of the people with whom Grayson, at least, remained friendly after the series went off the air was Joan Bennett.  I remember Grayson's housekeeper telling me about the time Joan came to visit in Rhinebeck.  Grayson was a guest at Joan's 65th birthday party in '73.  I just love to think of these two ladies, each elegant in her own special way, talking over martinis and cigarettes.

G.

3774
Hooray and Happy Day to El Misterioso Fabuloso!

May you have all that your heart desires on your special day and throughout the coming year... oh, and of course, an endless supply of tapioca pudding! 

cheers,

G.

3775
Current Talk '09 I / Re: i ran into marie...
« on: April 08, 2009, 04:14:33 PM »
Funny to find this thread here since last night I watched the Jay Nass interview on one of the DVDs and he was talking about Marie and how even back in the old days she always had extra minutes to spare for the fans!

She's a wonderful, generous woman, and I'll never forget how electric she was onstage when she did a one-act set in a bar up on stage one year at a Festival.  Sheer brilliance.

G.

3776
Current Talk '09 I / Re: Episode 463 Pull the Blinds, Barnabas!
« on: April 05, 2009, 10:00:42 PM »
I agree re Tony Peterson--another lost opportunity. 

I wish I could recall when we last catch sight of him, but I don't.   I presume that Jerry Lacy, as was the case with so many actors on the series, worked without a contract.

G.

3777
Happy Birthday to Humbert Allen Astredo, a true gentleman and an artist I  have admired since the day back in '68 when I turned on my favorite new show, Dark Shadows, and found a mysterious individual named Nicholas Blair who claimed to be Cassandra's brother at the door of the Great House.  I find the nuances of Humbert's performances on DS to be endlessly fascinating, textured, and authentic.  It's mindblowing to see  how much care and artistry he put into something that was meant to be "simply for the moment."  But then, the same could be said for several other artists who worked on our beloved show.

I don't recall Linda's posts here, but perhaps she is the fan who drew our attention to the recent posts on Humbert's page on the IMDB which provided some recent news about him, including the hearbreaking story about his daughter's death.

G.

3778
I saw an article in the local paper, The Baltimore Sun, stating that it was going off the air.  I think there was an item about the cancellation in those typewriter-printed looking yellow pages that used to be at the beginning and end of TV Guide--the "New York Report" and the "Hollywood Report"--DS news would have been in the New York pages, of course.

I would try to describe how the news made me feel, but it would all sound absurdly melodramatic.  I do remember turning on the following Monday half hoping that it would show up as usual, only to have PASSWORD thrown in my face--a show I had actually enjoyed.  Until that moment.

G.

3779
Current Talk '09 I / That Collins Beauty--Chris Collins
« on: April 02, 2009, 07:37:01 PM »
Many thanks to our justly-feted El Misterioso for the captivating cameo portrait of handsome, attractive Chris Collins (portrayed by the late, much-lamented Don Briscoe).

In our time, Julia had learned [spoiler] that Chris Jennings actually was a descendent of Quentin Collins, and thus a Collins in his own right.  It was cool that Chris' Parallel Time counterpart actually bore the name of Collins.[/spoiler]

Too bad that Don had to leave the series very abruptly soon after this episode was taped due to health concerns.

G.

3780
Current Talk '09 I / Re: The Original Ended 38 Years Ago Today!
« on: April 02, 2009, 02:30:13 PM »
I remember well this sad, sad day.  It seems very odd but I recall tuning in every day for those final months expecting that at any moment, they would return to 1971 and show us what Barnabas, Julia, and Prof. Stokes were up to!  I kept wondering what was happening at the REAL Collinwood during that time.

At the same time, I did get involved in the new PT 1841 story.  I remember how my heart went out to Melanie in particular, and how fascinating the new costumes were, and the mystery around the locked room (very Horace Walpole/Ann Radcliffe-ish!).

For the final weeks, one of the ABC affiliates in Washington started showing the episodes in the evenings, in an 11:30 pm slot, I think.  For many years, these wound up being the only DS episodes that I had gotten to see TWICE.

G.

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