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Messages - Gothick

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976
Current Talk '17 I / Re: "Filthy" DS Topic
« on: March 17, 2017, 09:41:23 PM »
I enjoyed Crawford in her films, but she would have been disastrous casting as Liz.  In the original film MOMMIE DEAREST in which Legendary Faye Dunaway portrayed the no-holds-barred diva, they re-staged the time Joan decided to substitute for daughter Christina when the latter was hospitalized while appearing on a soap opera at some point in the mid to late 1960s.  It's a hilarious sequence.

Subsequently, an audio tape of Joan doing one of these scenes was uploaded to Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG-DkuB1V28

I've known a number of people who criticized Joan Bennett's acting on DS.  I thought Joan B was superb.  She had the grit and the professionalism to carry off a scene even when she was unable to get the script down.  And when she was on... she was ON.  Joan C could also be excellent but not all actors can do the kind of act-on-your-feet work required in something like DS.

G.

977
That's a sweet memory, MB. 

G.

978
Fans,

A friend of mine bought a CD of rare recordings by Claudine Longet.  I think some (possibly all) of the material came from TV broadcasts.  He mentioned that there's a track where Claudine covers "Shadows of the Night."

For those who have no idea who I am talking about, Claudine became a celebrity back in the Sixties mainly in her role as the wife of Andy Williams, who would now be described as an "adult contemporary" lounge singer.  Andy had a hugely popular "family friendly" TV series from sometime in the 60s through to the 1970s.  I think Andy Williams is largely forgotten and that is even more the case for Claudine.  Claudine did appear in a 1967 film starring Peter Sellers, THE PARTY.

Claudine did a really spooky cover of the theme song from Rosemary's baby, a kind of Satanic lullaby.  And Claudine later made international headlines due to an unfortunate "accident" involving a ski star named Spider who was her extramarital lover.

I didn't find Claudine's recording of "Shadows of the Night" but I did find this one with husband Andy Williams.  It sounds like the kind of thing you'd have heard in a bus station coffee shop back around 1974 (yes, this is a little in-joke for those of us who are card-carrying members of Halloholics Anon).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RvC4jiKD_g

G.

979
I'm much more excited by the news that hit last month that Eva has been cast as Virginia Woolf, opposite Gemma Arterton (if I'm remembering that second name correctly) as Vita Sackville-West, in a new film about the love affair between these two celebrated authors.  The focal point is the period when Virginia was writing ORLANDO:  it was written as a love letter to Vita, and in Virginia's mind, Vita WAS Orlando.

G.

980
KMR, that sounds excellent.  I'm already thinking of some imagery but we're not allowed to post even fic snippets here so I will forebear...

My guess is that Seth and Todd had a "history."

Best, G.

981
Fans, this announcement was made on Herbie J. Pilato's Facebook page a few hours ago:

Look for Lara Parker, along with Kathryn Leigh Scott and David Selby, for a special tribute to "Dark Shadows" on a future episode of "Then Again with Herbie J Pilato" - coming soon to Decades TV.


Mr. Pilato appears to be some kind of retro celebrity--the name is vaguely familiar.  I don't know anything about the series.  Perhaps a more specific announcement about the broadcast date will come via Shadowgram at some point.

Best,

G.

982
Hmmm. Clearly, Todd was in the mood for cake that evening.  No wonder he was so anxious to get Miss Stoddard safely stowed away with Mother at home.

MB, many thanks for printing extracts here of the "Marilyn" Ross novelization.  They brought back the feeling of bafflement as to just what was going on when characters, incidents and dialogue showed up in the book I had no memory of seeing either in the film, or in the profuse coverage of it we enjoyed in our monster mags back in '70.

Best,

G.

983
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:47:32 PM »
Jonathan mentions the Gramercy Park hotel a couple of times, so I presume that it was a popular place for Thayer to visit, and he may indeed have gathered there with other DS cast members from time to time.  It sounds as if Grayson and Sam would have loved it, as well as Louis and Joan and others.  I found this note on Wikipedia about it:

"In 1958 Herbert Weissberg, a prominent New York hotel owner, bought the hotel. He added a gift shop, doubled the size of the bar and gave tenure to Pinky, the beloved hotel bellhop. Guests were drawn to its bohemian character, low prices and locale. The hotel's reputation for discretion attracted such musicians as Bob Marley and Bob Dylan in the 1970s. The Canadian and Chicago part of the first cast of Saturday Night Live stayed in the hotel during the show's premiere and Paul Shaffer, the show's original bandleader, continued to live in the annex for another 16 years. Other former residents include character actress Margaret Hamilton, actor Matt Dillon, and playwright David Mamet. Other notable guests include the Clash, Madonna, Debbie Harry, and David Bowie."

About ten years ago someone made a documentary about this hotel, I think mainly focused on its cultural significance. 

G.

984
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:40:48 PM »
I think I posted this one back in October 2015, but in case anyone didn't see it then, here's nephew Jonathan Vincent commenting upon Thayer David's love of doing DS:

He did really love Dark Shadows. It only took a few hours a day-- an hour or so for rehearsal, an hour for makeup and wardrobe, and an hour for shooting. He was very fond of his colleagues. He was a reserved person, but he really thought the show was a gift to try out different personalities as an actor. He savored the gothic, so it was a great fit for him. He'd go over to a club on Fridays with the adventurous actors and crew for the weekly wrap party-- maybe the Gramercy Hotel bar? He was quite shy, but with his friends I think he was very entertaining. There are rumors that he had lung cancer before he died. If he did, he kept it close. He was having diabetic induced health issues-- he lost a toe. But he was happy. He was planning a re-marriage to (former wife) Valerie French. She was around a lot, and she was so interesting. With Valerie back and Nero Wolfe-- he was at a high-point. I apologize if I've mentioned this before. I often lament we didn't intersect more. He died only a few years before I could have really interacted with him as a peer. He was almost what I'd call agoraphobic. Only the stage could pull him into the world.... All those folks on Dark Shadows were really wonderful. My uncle was a mad spokesman. He'd hypnotize you with history, science, politics. I just wish he lived longer. Much I'd love to chat with him about, now. He was very much like Stokes... But maybe more accessible and funnier. Stokes was a little more uptight. David was super smart. A Harvard boy. He was Stokes with some whimsy."

Best,  G.

985
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:36:14 PM »
Here's a reminiscence Thayer David's nephew, Jonathan Vincent, posted a couple of years ago of Valerie French, Thayer's wife.  (Note: Jonathan calls Thayer "David" because that was actually his given name--David Thayer Hersey.)

Jonathan (Vincent) recalls Thayer's wife, Valerie French:
"She was a B movie vixen. English. Lovely. We spoke the same language.
She died around 1991 of leukemia. She was blonde and busty. Really pretty, but also classy. I loved chatting with her. She'd keep me up all night. Val wore a blonde wig when I knew her. I don't know what her real hair color was. She also wore a corset and a stylized bra. Despite the fact that she was English, she was very easy going and not overly proper. She was funny and sassy. I really liked her. She was more outgoing than David. She liked to entertain and do tea with me. I'm half British so of course I like people who do tea time. We did tea a lot in the sun parlor. Very lovely person, Val."

Best, G.

986
Interesting. I've always wanted to see this film Dennis did with Agnes Moorehead in the early 1970s.  I think it was called DEAR DEAD DELILAH.  I did find some clips on youtube but the last I heard, the movie had only ever been released on VHS (if that--might have been grey market VHS).

G.

987
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 08, 2017, 12:21:56 AM »
I think the occasion was Thayer's marriage to Valerie French, which happened in 1969.

G.

988
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 07, 2017, 10:40:12 PM »
Thayer David was interviewed for one of the soap mags.  I think it was late 1969 or 1970.  I do have the article in my collection.

MB, message me privately if you want me to mail you a photocopy, or I guess I could attempt to scan.  I'm still incredibly obtuse when it comes to scanning anything.

Best,  G.

989
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:17:54 PM »
Fans, last Saturday was Thayer David's birthday, and his nephew Jonathan posted these memories on the Thayer David fan club Facebook page.  I thought those who don't do Facebook might enjoy reading this because it is such a vivid portrait of an actor many of us just adore.

Best, G.

From Jonathan Vincent on Thayer David:

I think of all his roles, he liked playing Professor Stokes the most. It was the character that was closest to his real personality (he was my uncle). The mid-Atlantic/British accent was real and he didn't stray from it. A product of the time, and the theater. He also liked playing the villains. It's too bad he died before Nero Wolfe got past the pilot stage. It was picked up... by ABC if I recall. He was really happy about it, and he was going to remarry his ex wife, Valerie French. As it is now, so was it in the 60s and 70s that even many famous actors used to have to work very hard to piece a life together. Most of his time outside of DS, he was from play to play or character parts in films. It took a toll on him. He was a big guy, and liked rich savory things, like a pipe, red wine, and hearty food. He died peacefully in his NYC apartment in an armchair, while reading a book. His home was museum-like. Mostly Victorian portraits, canes, and gothic furniture. I've enjoyed hearing his fans express satisfaction that he really was very much like his screen persona. In fact, he often ad libbed or rewrote his dialog on DS for accuracy, and because those were a lot of lines to memorize over night. He liked to talk, but was often lost in thought, as well. When he was at our family home in Massachusetts, he liked to unwind in relative solitude in his room. It was usually after he came off a project, and he was tired. After a few days, he'd emerge for Sunday dinner and fascinate all of us with his stories. Like many of his DS cast mates, he was shy and social all at once. After wrapping on Fridays, the cast would go to a club, maybe the Gramercy Park, I can't remember. I think people would go there to see the cast, often still in costume. They used to be famous for being stuck in their roles, drinking Manhattans and talking in those mid-Atlantic accents. It is a somewhat sobering experience for me to realize I'm barely any younger than he was when he passed away. He always seemed timeless to me. I suppose in a way he is, on film and video, and in my mind. I'd sell my right hand to have an hour long conversation with him, now.

990
Current Talk '17 I / Re: Laura: Out of Time...or TOO Much??
« on: March 05, 2017, 08:40:51 PM »
William Mann, who was once a DS fanfic writer and went on to become a professional author of books about film actors of the past, wrote a Laura backstory tale that I think was published in Dale Clark's INSIDE THE OLD HOUSE sometime in the 1990s. 

Mann's speculation, which cleverly attempts to make sense of the confused material presented in Laura's two storylines, posits that Laura at one time--in her original mortal life--made a pact with the ancient Egypt sun-god Ra.  (Laura might have had a father who was involved, a Dr. Murdoch maybe?  I can't recall now and I have no idea where my copy of that zine is.)  Laura's pact was that she would die by fire and be allowed to live again and go on, lifetime after lifetime, but her part of the bargain was that she had to offer up her own child or children in the flames of her own second hecatomb.

The Laura and David painting in 1967 does imply that David would have become immortal as well had Laura's plan succeeded.  But the spirit of David Collins who speaks at Dr Guthrie's 1967 seance fairly conclusively--and horribly--refutes that idea.

Both the 1967 and 1897 storylines pretty much revolve around the premise that Laura's return has a time expiration date.  It's possible that she expects to rise yet again from her own ashes once she has been successful in coaxing her own progeny into the flames.  In the 1967 scenario, her life energy is supported by what must have been a sacred fire that was kept burning in the fireplace in the cottage.  In 1897, they revisit this idea in a different and interesting form.  In 1897, they particularly wrote it so that Laura's lifeforce began to wane once her "time" approached.   The whole thing about Ra wasn't part of the original 1967 story at all, as far as I could see.  But you could say it is implied by Laura's "soliloquy" (which Actress Diana Millay felt should be memorized and recited by every schoolchild--I really don't understand why, but she seems to have felt it was the most beautiful piece of writing she ever had the fortunate to communicate).

The original 1966-67 Laura storyline is perhaps the most chilling DS ever filmed.  Really exceptional work on the part of everyone involved.

G.

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