Certain to remain one of the greatest haunted-house movies ever made, Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963) is antithetical to all the gory horror films of subsequent decades, because its considerable frights remain implicitly rooted in the viewer's sensitivity to abject fear. A classic spook-fest based on Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House (which also inspired the 1999 remake directed by Jan de Bont), the film begins with a prologue that concisely establishes the dark history of Hill House, a massive New England mansion (actually filmed in England) that will play host to four daring guests determined to investigate--and hopefully debunk--the legacy of death and ghostly possession that has given the mansion its terrifying reputation. Consumed by guilt and grief over her mother's recent death and driven to adventure by her belief in the supernatural, Eleanor Vance (Julie Harris) is the most unstable--and therefore the most vulnerable--visitor to Hill House. She's invited there by anthropologist Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson), along with the bohemian lesbian Theodora (Claire Bloom), who has acute extra-sensory abilities, and glib playboy Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblyn, from Wise's West Side Story), who will gladly inherit Hill House if it proves to be hospitable. Of course, the shadowy mansion is anything but welcoming to its unwanted intruders. Strange noises, from muffled wails to deafening pounding, set the stage for even scarier occurrences, including a door that appears to breathe (with a slowly turning doorknob that's almost unbearably suspenseful), unexplained writing on walls, and a delicate spiral staircase that seems to have a life of its own. The genius of The Haunting lies in the restraint of Wise and screenwriter Nelson Gidding, who elicit almost all of the film's mounting terror from the psychology of its characters--particularly Eleanor, whose grip on sanity grows increasingly tenuous. The presence of lurking spirits relies heavily on the power of suggestion (likewise the cautious handling of Theodora's attraction to Eleanor) and the film's use of sound is more terrifying than anything Wise could have shown with his camera. Like Jack Clayton's 1961 chiller, The Innocents, The Haunting knows the value of planting the seeds of terror in the mind, as opposed to letting them blossom graphically on the screen. What you don't see is infinitely more frightening than what you do, and with nary a severed head or bloody corpse in sight, The Haunting is guaranteed to chill you to the bone. --Jeff Shannon
It was an evil house form the beginning , a house that was born bad. The place is the 90-year-old mansion called Hill House. No one lives in there. Or so it seems. But come in. Because even if you don't believe in ghosts, there's no denying the terror of The Haunting. Robert Wise, returned to psychological horror for this much admired, first screen adaptation of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Four people (Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn) come to the house to study its supernatural phenomena. Or has the house drawn at least one of them to it? The answer will unnerve you in this elegantly sinister scare movie. It's good fun (Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies).
Intergalactic adventure with an interplanetary resistance group battling for survival against a totalitarian super-power. Roaming a universe of boundless space and restrictive discipline freedom-fighter Blake with the crew of spaceship Liberator is locked in combat with the all-powerful forces of the Federation. Episodes comprise: 1. Aftermath 2. Powerplay 3. Volcano 4. Dawn Of The Gods 5. The Harvest Of Kairos 6. City At The Edge Of The World 7. Children Of Auron 8. Rumou
IN WHITEWOOD, TIME STANDS STILL Christopher Lee was already a horror icon when he started filming The City of the Dead in 1959. Having played Frankenstein's Monster, Count Dracula and The Mummy for Hammer, this new picture would allow him to extend his range to the American Gothic and witchcraft in a small New England village Lee plays Professor Driscoll, an authority on the occult who persuades one of his students (Venetia Stevenson) to research his hometown, Whitewood, once the site of witch burnings in the 17th century. Booking herself into the Raven's Inn, she soon learns that devil worship among the locals hasn't been consigned to the past. Produced by future Amicus founders Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg, and beautifully shot by Desmond Dickinson (whose credits ranged from Laurence Olivier's Hamlet to Horrors of the Black Museum), The City of the Dead is a wonderfully atmospheric and still shocking slice of horror that stands firmly alongside with its Hammer contemporaries. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS: New 4K digital restoration by the Cohen Film Collection and the BFI High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of two versions of the film: The City of the Dead and the alternative US cut, Horror Hotel Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Audio commentary by film critic Jonathan Rigby, author of English Gothic: Classic Horror Cinema 1897-2015 and Christopher Lee: An Authorised Screen History, recorded exclusively for this release Trailer Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED! FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Vic Pratt
William Topaz McGonagall (Milligan) is an unemployed Scottish weaver who decides to devote his life to poetry. Falling in love with Queen Victoria (here played by Peter Sellers) he donates his major poetic works to her and despite many rejections dreams of one day becoming Poet Laureate...
This award-winning series was a gripping and authentic portrayal of the war waged by one group of Belgian resistance fighters against the German occupation during the Second World War....
The suspense of Miss Marple: The Body in the Library isn't the edge-of-your-seat variety; it's simply a perplexing puzzle that keeps niggling at the back of your mind. Just as one piece of the puzzle falls into place, another gap opens up, thanks to one of Agatha Christie's most intricate plots. Considering what a long film this is (150 minutes, lengthier than most Christie adaptations), it's impressive how tightly the mystery grips the viewer's attention. And not a second of Joan Hickson's marvellous performance as Miss Marple should be missed (the other performances, alas, fall short, except for Gwen Watford as Dolly Bantry, in whose library the body is found). To people meeting her for the first time, Jane Marple appears to be a sweet old dear, whose comments on the murder investigation are more likely to involve an obscure recollection of a frog jumping out of someone's coat than to have any direct bearing on the case. But as Christie fans know, beneath that dithery exterior lies one of the shrewdest minds in England. Hickson's understated portrayal reveals the humour in her character without ever making a mockery of Miss Marple and the results are delightful to watch. --Larisa Lomacky Moore, Amazon.com
Two masterpieces of British cinema are paired here--Powell and Pressburger's first Technicolor triumph, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and their even more ambitious A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Both pictures are transcendent examples of the filmmakers' craft, and remain models of great cinema long after their original wartime propaganda brief has expired. Based on a famously satirical cartoon strip that mocked outmoded attitudes of fair play at a time of "total war", Blimp subsequently became notorious as the film Churchill tried to have banned. Because the War Office objected to the screenplay, they refused to allow P&P's first choice for the role, Laurence Olivier, and the duo cast unknown stage actor Roger Livesey in his place. It is Livesey's sympathetic performance that transforms Clive "Sugar" Candy from an object of satire to one of warm affection, effectively reversing the film's intended message about old-fashioned decency versus wartime pragmatism. Anton Walbrook is a profound presence in a role that mirrored the actor's own plight as a German in Britain, while Deborah Kerr is a living leitmotif in the film, playing no fewer than three distinct but deliberately related roles. Briefed by the Ministry of Information to make a film that would foster Anglo-American relations in the post-war period, the duo, known as "the Archers", came up with A Matter of Life and Death, an extravagant and extraordinary fantasy in which David Niven's downed pilot must justify his continuing existence to a heavenly panel because he has made the mistake of falling in love with an American girl (Kim Hunter) when he really should have been dead. National stereotypes are lampooned as the angelic judges squabble over his fate. In a neat reversal of expectations, the heaven sequences are black and white, while earth is seen in Technicolor. Daring cinematography mixes monochrome and colour, incorporates time-lapse images, and even toys with background "time freezes" 50 years before The Matrix. Roger Livesey and Raymond Massey lead the fine supporting cast. On the DVD: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and A Matter of Life and Death are presented in reasonably sharp 4:3 ratio with good mono sound. Blimp comes with a 25-minute documentary feature that tells us nothing revelatory about making the film, but has good new interviews with cinematographer Jack Cardiff (then an apprentice) and eloquent admirer Stephen Fry. Text biographies and stills are also included. Life and Death has no extras. --Mark Walker
Classic BBC TV series about the struggles of the Low Countries population during their occupation by the Nazi's during World War II. Episodes comprise: Lisa - Code Name Yvette Sergeant on the Run Radishes with Butter Child's Play Second Chance Growing Up Lost Sheep Guilt Too Near Home Identity in Doubt A Question of Loyalty Hymn to Freedom Bait Good Friday Suspicions Be the First Kid in Your Block To Rule the World.
The Case of Charles Peace a 1949 John Argyle Production made at Merton Park Studios released by Monarch. This film is based on a true story nicely directed by Norman Lee and it is a minor gem not because it won awards had a great cast or a huge budget but because it's a small British production that entertains. Lead Michael Martin Harvey a relative unknown and as a mixture of Robin Hood and the devil is oddly hypnotic in the role. The film very cleverly recounts the exploits through the trial of Charles Peace. The film has been restored to a good quality.
The film was based on the 1941 novel of the same name by John Creasey. The sixth in the series featuring upper-class sleuth Richard Rollison also known as 'The Toff'. This film and another Toff adaptation Hammer the Toff was shot back-to-back at Nettlefold Studios in the summer of 1951. They were released to cinemas in January and May 1952 respectively. Worried when her boss goes missing secretary Fay (Carol Marsh) seeks the help of society sleuth 'The Toff' (John Bentley). The Toff finds a dead body and is attacked in a hotel during his search for missing boss Draycott (Tony Britton). Aided throughout by Inspector Grice (Valentine Dyall) and The Toffs wonderfully camp butler (Roddy Hughes). Long thought lost the film has been restored to a good standard.
Intergalactic adventure with an interplanetary resistance group battling for survival against a totalitarian super-power. Roaming a universe of boundless space and restrictive discipline freedom-fighter Blake with the crew of spaceship Liberator is locked in combat with the all-powerful forces of the Federation. Episodes comprise: 1. Aftermath 2. Powerplay 3. Volcano 4. Dawn of the Gods 5. The Harvest of Kairos 6. City at the Edge of the World 7. Children of Auron 8. Rumou
He's a poet... But no-one would know it! William Topaz McGonagall (Milligan) is an unemployed Scottish weaver who decides to devote his life to poetry. Falling in love with Queen Victoria (here played by Peter Sellers) he donates his major poetic works to her and despite many rejections dreams of one day becoming Poet Laureate...
Join the popular Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and the beautiful Romana on a 26-episode intergalactic treasure hunt for the six segments of the all-powerful Key to Time. Includes all six stories from the popular series: The Ribos Operation The Pirate Planet The Stones of Blood The Androids of Tara The Power of Kroll and The Armageddon Factor.
The complete classic BBC TV series about the struggles of the Low Countries population during their occupation by the Nazi's during World War II.
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