Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Salon: My Kind of Halloween Movies

A fun/scary movie even my daughter approved of way back when we watched it though she doesn't quite understand my continued and undying devotion. She grew up. I didn't. (P.S.Willie Best practically steals the movie out from under Bob Hope's famous nose.)

For me, this is the best of the haunted house movies especially since the director understood that less is very definitely more when it comes to ghostly apparitions. The movie's undercurrents of illicit love and strange obsessions works well too. Cornelia Otis Skinner makes for an elegantly demented villain.

My favorite of the Frankenstein movies though there are two more on my list which I love to watch when the mood strikes which is usually around this time of year. In this film, Lionel Atwill and the set designer/decorator are the scene stealers. And again I ask, as I always do, why would the child of an English couple have an American southern accent? This continues to be one of the great movie imponderables.

How Dracula, Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman all wind up in America and get to attend a masquerade party. Still creepily hilarious and, in my book, a classic.

Eeky, slimy Dr. Praetorius and his wierdly off-putting 'tiny' people - need I say anymore?. And I also like the bride's two tone hairdo. James Whale's brilliant direction, the sinister sets and gorgeous photography, make for a truly atmospheric monster fest.

The first and still the scariest of the mummy franchise primarily because of Boris Karloff's eerie persona and compelling mummy presence. You can almost smell the fetid odor of decaying flesh and rancid linen.

The second of the 'scary' Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard pairings. While not as good as THE GHOST BREAKERS, it does have Gale Sondergaard and George Zucco and lots of spooky atmosphere as the characters are stranded overnight in an isolated Bayou mansion.

A fabulous Frank Capra film with just about the worst movie posters of all time. Can't find a single one that has any hint of what the movie is about. At any rate, this is a classic movie with a fabulous cast and one of the best beginnings - a raucous fight on the field during a game at Ebbits Field where the  Brooklyn Dodgers played once upon a time. Everyone in the film is a hilarious scene stealer and all work together to lunatic perfection. Cary Grant should have been nominated for an Oscar for his manic performance - here was a handsome man not afraid to make himself ridiculous on a grand scale.

 A movie saved from banality (well it stars Kent Smith and Jane Randolph) by the captivating presence of Simone Simon whose feline features and foreign accent seem perfectly in tune with the whole idea of cursed exotic females in distress. And Tom Conway all but steals the movie with his portrayal of a really sleazy psychiatrist. Another entry in the 'less is plenty more' sweepstakes of film making in which most of what you think you see isn't really there but in your imagination.

I was going to include Lon Chaney Jr.'s werewolf movie which is the better known, but that one always makes me sad. I don't like being sad on Halloween. So here is Henry Hull's werewolf movie which has a dark and shadowy beginning in a foreign land and Warner Oland NOT playing Charlie Chan. And if the wolfie make-up isn't up to modern day standards, so what - it still works for me.

These are the films I love to watch when the spooks and goblins are abroad in the land. No blood and guts for me, thank you very much. Just creepy crawlies, a few scary moments and the occasional mindless joviality.

16 comments:

  1. great memories... tx for the post... i really miss Tim Conway - he was the funniest, imho...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Mudpuddle. Did you mean Tom Conway? Tim Conway wasn't in movies much that I remember. But yeah, he was a very funny guy especially on the Carol Burnett Show. :)

      Delete
    2. mea culpa: a couple of brain cells got mixed up there... tx for the illumination...

      Delete
  2. Some really great ones here. I remember a number of times leaving the theater with a few friends after dark and being very aware of the dark alleys and shrubbery along the way home.

    I think I will check out Netflix and the library to see what's still available.

    Great posting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check youtube first, Fred. Occasionally one or another of these shows up there. Also Amazon has a few on pay for play unless you're a Prime member. Lots of ways to chase these down. I have the DVDs on the two Bob Hopes, so that helps too.

      Delete
    2. Yvette--thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep them in mind when the spirit (sorry about that) moves me.

      Delete
    3. Spirits are moving all around the place this time of year. :)

      Delete
  3. I was disappointed in THE CAT AND CANARY (especially after first seeing THE GHOSTBREAKERS) and Karloff's MUMMY is just too slow for my tastes. But I LOVE all your choices!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, RIck, but there are a few creepy moments in THE CAT AND THE CANARY and I always enjoy Bob Hope in this sort of thing. THE MUMMY is slow-paced, but jeez, I Boris Karloff is frightening.

      Delete
  4. Now you make me want to rewatch all the Frankenstein movies. Arsenic and Old Lace is a favorite too. Thanks for the reminders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Tracy. I love all these movies. AND the posters. :)

      Delete
  5. I love pretty much all of those and own all of them on DVD or Blu-ray (or both) - you have great taste Yvette - have a lovely spooky time chum :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sergio. :) I will definitely have a spooky time. Ha.

      Delete
  6. What a great clutch of movies! I've seen them all and love them all! Happy Halloween!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joan! We have the same taste in movies. :)

      Delete

Your comment will appear after I take a look.