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Messages - CyrusL

 :)  The new 4-disc special edition of the classic "Gone with the Wind" includes the documentary of the troubled making of the film, made in 1989 on its 50th anniversary. One of the most interesting sequences is the screen tests for Scarlett. Footage from Joan Bennett's test for Scarlett O'Hara is included, with several others from the very good (Paulette Goddard) to the "what were they thinking" (Jean Arthur). Joan is on the better half of the tryouts, although Vivian Leigh is clearly the best. You can see some other tests for Ashely (a terrible turn by Melvyn Douglas)  and Melanie. Many of you may have seen this documentary before on TBS as well.

         Your Cousin from Virginia

Calendar Events / Announcements '04 II / Re: Bored...jaded
« on: November 22, 2004, 07:43:25 PM »
   I take Shadows breaks too. I used to pace myself by the SciFi channel, and now that I have a full set of the tapes, I just haven't been as urgently motivated to follow up DVD sets, although I know I will in the long run. I will probaly pick up on them again when the holiday gift season is over, as I don't ususally plop $50 on myself very often until I have all my gifts out of the way. But, as I said earlier, when the show is runnig on air, its a great way of pacing yourself and to feel part of the DS community as many of us would be more or less watching together. I think the fact that many of the early DVD releases recycled old interviews those of us who had the "Blue Series" tapes had led to a little disappointment on the DVD releases as well. Likewise, Best Buy here who had better prices initially, the $40-$50 range, went up on them and phased out some volumes I had missed, so the rhythm go thrown off for me.
     I would imagine most Shadows fans take breaks, gives us chance to follow other series for a while. The wife and I are for instance big fans of Smallville right now, and were's going through those season 1-3 box set. I would suspect with next year's 40th anniversary, many of us will go back to more regular viewing with an enthusiasm as it grows closer.

               Your Cousin from Virginia

Calendar Events / Announcements '04 II / Re: ShadowGram Update #124
« on: November 22, 2004, 07:28:48 PM »
 :D  Well, I for one am one happy Collinwoodie. I started going to the shows in '97 and never had a previous opportunity to meet Jerry Lacey, who to me played Barnabas's true arch enemies, the Trasks. When you think about it, they were more truly evil to our Barn than Angelique, the woman scorned. I think several years ago there was a fan poll on the Trasks, and Gregory was voted the most evil. In some ways, the first Trask although he was so pigheaded and self righteous, was on the right track.  There really WAS a witch behind the tribulations of the Collin's, he was just too damned stubborn to admit he had been outwiited by the witch and lead around to dreadfully wrong conclusions with deadly consequences. Gregory on the other hand, had no redeeming qualities, except a small daub of slimy charm. He was not even as admirable in his way as was Petofi. Lacey was wonderful playing each incarnation, even the few scenes he was given in parallel time. And of course, one wonders if Shadows was the first professional role he had that played off  his uncanny Bogart, as they did with Tony Peterson.
      As far as Geoffrey Scott, we have to welcome anyone who has never attended. Like many of us, I hope there are still a few surprises in store, so they may yet add Kate Jackson, Kathy Cody, Robert Rodan or even David Hennessey if not this year, then for 2006's 40TH Anniversary.
      I can't wait!

          Your Cousin from Virginia

       Bob, Nancy et al
           Its been great reading your reminesces on Dean. I remember meeting Dean at several shows and bought some items from him as recent as the 2003 show including an original "pink card series" gum card wrapper. I remember asking Bobubas where he was this year in Tarrytown. Dean's passing at the young years of 40 reminds us that at no age can we ever take our health for granted, and even so, things can happen. I remember how Dean helped me snag an extra Nancy Barrett autograph for one of my friends, because, fans understand each other that way. If there's a hall of fame for Dark Shadows fans, I know Dean is a full fledged member.  I bet he's having a brandy with Louis Edmonds somewhere tonight.

RIP Dean


         Your Cousin from Virginia

Calendar Events / Announcements '04 II / Re: Don Briscoe Passes Away
« on: November 06, 2004, 06:35:03 AM »
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
      My first opportunity to hit the board in a few weeks and such sad news for the DS world, with both Don and Dean passing. The last interview with Don I am aware of was in the Helen Samaras edited volume called "Fangs for the Memories" which I highly recommend to all DS fans. It was done in the early 90's I believe.
      I think Don like the late Joel Crothers is sometimes one of the more "unsung" cast members who added so much to the show. In many ways, Don's character of Chris Jennings was inspired by the Lon Chaney Jr. character of Larry Talbot the Wolfman who appreaed in no less than five films from the old Universal classics. Like Larry, Chris was a victim of fate and always the most sympathetic of the classic monster characters. Like his great grandfather Quentin, all Chris really wanted was to be free of his curse and live quietly with the woman he loved. Don like Chaney was often better than he has been given credit for and you can see his range especially when you compare the Jennings brothers to Tim Shaw. During his
DS era Don was often in the teen hearthrob magazines like 16 and Flip, but I have for some reason never forgotten Don's soap commercial, although I in my dim recollection thought it was for Dial, and for some reason I can hear Don saying the old adline, "Aren't you glad you use Dial. Don't you wish...everbody did?"

  The imdb also lists an appearence on "I Dream of Jeannie" so Don will be on TV Land for years to come as well. (One other note of film history, the moonflower subplot on DS was derived from the earlier "Werewolf of London" fim of 1932 with Henry Hull, included on the recent Wolfman legeacy DVD set.)
      I would echo the comments of many who have put it so well that Don has gone on the the next world where no shows are ever canceled and he knows just how many fans he always had.

       RIP Don, we miss you already

              Your cousin from Virginia

Current Talk '04 II / Re: Voice Over at Beginning of DS eps
« on: September 29, 2004, 09:09:38 PM »
   One thing to ponder is that once Dan went to having an actor who was in that episode do the voice over, that it may be a small spoiler in a way. Before they released the episode guide, I used to count the actors who would be in the show, knowing it was usually 4-5. (Its a rare episode with 6 until 1897 when budgets apparently got bigger, but still very rare to have more than 6 speaking parts except on pivotal episodes.) Sometimes, from the voice over I could tell someone who would show up later, sometimes the appearence might otherwise be a surprise.
   By the way, the current episode guide has a few errors on the voice overs. I think Grayson was the second person other than Alexandra to do one. I marked it in my copy a while back. Nancy B and KLS did some early voice overs as well. While it could be noted Jonathan did very few opening voice overs, again notice they were not often done by the person in the first scene, such as Jonathan usually was.


Your Cousin from Virginia

 ;)    Speaking of being dead, the liner notes for the DVD of "Ruby", a possesion type of horror film with Piper Laurie and Stuart Whitman lists our boy Roger Davis as having died in 1980. That's never stopped him from attending any shows.

Okay, whoever did the notes appears to have gotten him confused with a silent film star of the same name.
I agree the comment of the KLS books that while they should be issued to everyone before they attend a convention, they do have a few small typos and curious omissions. For example, one of my favorite DS writers Violet Welles who has passed away is never listed on the "those gone on" lists, and several times is omitted from the production crew lists although all the other writers, Russell, Marmorstein, Caldwell etc always are there. Personally, I loved her dialogue. She wrote some of the best scenes in 1897 for Julia and Angelique especially.
    The reason I say these books should be required reading is that at each show we have the very same questions at Q&A, "Does anyone know where David is? Is Jonathan Frid still alive? Why did they fire Barney Rubble who was the first Willie Loomis ? " etc, most of which are well gone over in the books.  Love them anyway.


 ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
      Quick question, I had heard that Anthony George had passed away, but the IMDB does not show that. I hope that means he is still around. Likewise, we should put Jim Pierson on his trail. From what I see, Mr. George was a TV soap staple for years after DS. appeared on Wonder Woman and was in the "cast of thousands" for The Ten Commandments. Anyone ever spotted him? Kathy Garver of Family Affair also played a child in that.


 :D  Bob!
        Thanks so much for the Elizabeth Eis photo. I wasn't sure if she had been. 1994 was a little before I stated attending. I know my ex-roomate will be so happy to see it, he had a crush on Buffy. You know who we have forgotten to speculate on? Your close, personal friend Donna McKechnie. When are we getting her in person? I know like Lisa Richards she is still very busy on the stage but put in a good word for her converntion wise.


Your Cousin from Virginia

      Well, I am definitely looking forward to this show. Here's my speculations...
1.) Remember, Conrad Bain, Mitch Ryan,  and Humbert have all attended shows in the past, as did Jerry Lacey. However, I would be very very happy to have any of them return.

2.) My guesses as to who new would be:
Kate Jackson because as stated, she has begun doing a few fan shows lately, and seemed very happy with her association with Dark Shadows as the Dan Curtis Day at the Director's Guild.

Dan himself. Isn't about time HE came?

Alexandra Moltke (and everyone is on notice to be nice and talk about DS! No Jeremy Irons stuff, okay. We want her to come back!)

David Hennessy Which would be just too cool. As I've said before, such as at the Curtis day, David's s character was so imprtant for us little boys of 1966 to "project" ourselves into the storyline. He was someone I could relate to.

Other possibilites

Lela Swift  Not sure on early convention history, but as someone who probably worked on more episodes directly than anyone else, she should be there every year.

Sam Hall   As head writer, I bet he has great stories...
We need to get Matthew Hall tt

3.) I second the idea of having a few "day players" or short term characters/performers. I would like to have Elizabeth Eis (Buffy),  Susan Sullivan (why not, and she and David Selby have a working relationship), Michael Hadge (Buzz), Michael Maitland (Michael) and especially Diana Davilla  :P (Julianka)

4.) Please also bring back Robert Rodan, Chris Pennock and Roger Davis!

Can I pack now?

 Your Cousin from Virginia

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Happy big birthday to one of the greatest "guys" on the board, and in the fans of Dark Shadows. May you have lots of creaky doors, bat wings and blue candles for your special day!

Cyrus aka Michael

Your Cousin from Virginia

 :) ;) :D ;D ;D
        Happy birthday VAM. By the way, you share your birthday with a writer who influenced DS, H P Lovecraft. Pretty cool  I'd say.
        Hope you rock out Levaithan style!

         Your cousin from Virginia


I spotted CyrusL a few times but he always seemed to be dashing somewhere. 
      I apologize for not properly introducing myself to the other board members, but I wasn't sure who was who in many cases. I did get to meet Darren who really does know the films inside out, and clarified some pretty obscure points on the film for me.I'm a big supporter of restoring the film and his efforts. Now, next year, since I've seen people's fest pics, I should be able to identify some of you more easily. Bobubas is probably the person I know best since we were roomies back at the '98 Fest in Las Vegas. That was the year I met my permanent roomie, now my wife, who attends each fest with me since.   ;D
      I had a great time this year, especially since Diane and I got to sit at KLS's table for the dinner. I also appreciated the autograph lines going much smoother, and overall, the program running better. The Collinsport Players are always a highlight. The actors seemed to be in good spirits too. (Some years a few of them have looked a little tired, but this year most were practically chipper!) The film clip compilation was very good, except they might have noted some material was perhaps suggested for mature audiences, some people do bring their kids.  (Especially the hilarious Robert Rodan trailer for "The Minx.")Smaller is better sometimes, but I missed some of the other "regulars", Chris Pennock especially.
I was also surprised MPI didn't give any discounts on the DS DVDs. I planned to get some but decided I could get them cheaper elsewhere.
     By the way, Diane and I went to Boston/Salem after the fest ( were are still there actually, as of this post, leaving tomorrow), and I want to say what a great time we had in Salem too! Every DS fan needs to go there at least once, but like us, you'll want to go again! Maybe DS could hold future festival weekends at Boston or Newport, both have nice Marriotts. I would even say the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem would be a great spot. I also submit Portland, why not have a DS festival weekend in Maine? And I know a lot of people who would enjoy a show in New Orleans! The only drawbacks would be that with the possible exception of Portland, the weather. But then again, this summer has been exceptionally rainy and humid on the east coast line. (Salem was great in spite of feeling like a lobster in a steam kettle yesterday.)
    Too late to write any more, I have a long drive home.

Dreaming of next year,
                Your Cousin from Virginia

Calendar Events / Announcements '04 II / Re: Off to the Fest
« on: August 12, 2004, 02:08:44 PM »
   I don't know about pictures, but we are leaving in 5 minutes, from Maryland, where we stayed overnight at the wife's folks to get a head start. Now its on to Sleepy Hollow. Might I reccomend the Horseman Diner to other fest attendees. We've always had a good meal there. Its right on the right on the way to the cemetary.
       Should take us 4-5 hours depending on the weather (more rain!  :'( ) and the NJ turnpike.
        Quick question, Diane and I use the fest as a start for the rest of our vacation. We've been to NYCV, Essex CT, Newport RI, and this year will go to Boston & Salem after the show. Any other fest people travel to sites, DS related or otherwise after the show? Works for us.
       See you all in Tarrytown
       Your Cousin from Virginia

 :D :D :D :D :D
     Happy Birthday CJ!
          Hope this next year brings even greater happiness!
May your road to and from the fest be safe and easy.

Your servant,
               A Cousin from Virginia