BRIDES OF HORROR – Scream Queens of the 1960s! 🎃 Part 2

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JANE ASHER

British born red head Jane Asher started out as a child actress who worked extensively in television and film. Her contribution to the horror genre is that of her character, Francesca the unflinching heroine peasant girl who out of six is the only one to survive the plague and begs Prospero to spare her father and brother. She is thrust into the hedonistic Danse Macabre of the castle, as Prospero’s unwilling mistress, in Edgar Allan Poes story directed by Roger Corman THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH 1964.

From Roger Corman’s How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime –

“Masque was the most lavish of the Poe films…(part of what made the film so visually stunning with it’s vibrant color scheme is the work of cinematographer by Nicholas Roeg)

Masque was a surreal, philosophical tale set in medieval Italy with Vincent Price playing Prince Prospero, a sadistic debauched Satan worshipper who retreats into his castle and hosts a lavishly decadent ball as his land is ravaged by the Red Death…{…} I had started going out with my Masque leading lady, Jane Asher, and we were having coffee on a Friday. But Jane showed up with a young companion. “Roger”, she said, “I’d like you to meet a friend of mine from Liverpool, Paul McCartney. Paul’s never been on a movie set and he’d like to see what’s happening.” … Jane had been dating Paul but because he was constantly away on tour, she was seeing me in London.” -Roger Corman

She was Paul McCartney’s muse for much of the 1960s; “Here, There And Everywhere” and many other songs were written with Jane in mind. They were engaged for seven months until finally separating in July 1968. -IMDb tidbit

She appeared the television series – Journey to the Unknown 1968 episode Somewhere in the Crowd. And went on to star in the psychological thriller Deep End 1970, The Buttercup Chain 1970 and the television movie, The Stone Tape 1972. Most notable is her performance in the major motion picture Alfie 1966 co-starring with Michael Caine. IMDb tidbit-By the time she was fifteen, she had appeared in 8 films, made 9 television appearances, over 100 radio appearances and was in five plays-

Personal quote – “Of all the things I do, acting is the thing that grabs most, but there’s another level on which it strikes me as being a little silly. In the end you’re dressing up and deciding to be somebody.”

Maxine Audley

British actress noted for her perfect diction and for her excellent acting range in classical plays on stage, in television and on radio. Her contribution to the 60s horror genre is her marvelous performance as Mrs. Stephens in Michael Powell’s subversive Peeping Tom, who can see Mark Lewis’ psychopathic personality clearly though she is blind. She has the instincts to feel that she and her daughter are in terrible danger.

Peeping Tom 1960, The Brain 1962, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 1969

Michiyo Aratama

Beautifully shot, suffuse the landscape with haunting and uncanny stories that are chilling in Masaki Kobyashi’s- Kwaidan 1964.

Ursula Andress

Junoesque European goddess of sensuality, famous for her James bond character Honey Ryder in Dr. No 1962 playing opposite Sean Connery, as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royal 1967, and naturally Aphrodite in Clash of the Titans 1981.

Based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard, Andress plays Ayesha, (She who must be obeyed) an enigmatic Queen who holds the key to immortality! Co-stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

An Edwardian archaeologist and two companions stumble upon a lost city in East Africa, run by a beautiful queen whose love holds the promise of immortality.

SHE 1965, as Luana in Boris Karloff’s Thriller 1962 episode La Strega directed by Ida Lupino

Nike Arrighi

Arrighi plays the mysterious Tanith in The Devil Rides out 1968 . She went on to appear in Countess Dracula 1971.

Directed by Terence Fisher with a screenplay by Richard Matheson, the film stars Christopher Lee as Duc de Richleau who must fight for Tanith’s soul when she is threatened to become converted by satanist Charles Gray, shown here sacrificing a nubile beauty.

Rosita Arenas

Arenas in Neutron vs the Maniac 1964

Curse of the Crying Woman 1963, The Witch’s Mirror 1962, Face of the Screaming Werewolf 1964, Attack of the Mayan Mummy 1964, Los Autómatas de le Muerta 1962, Neutrón contra el Doctor Caronte 1964

Susy Andersen

Black Sabbath 1963 segment ‘I Wurdalak’ and War of the Zombies 1964.

Black Sabbath is one of the most enthralling horror films of the 1960. Maestro Italian director Mario Bava offers a trio of terrifying tales hosted by Boris Karloff. Il Telefono concerns a call girl stalked by a menacing voice on the telephone. I Wurdalak is a thoroughly atmospheric and bone-chilling story about a the mythology of the Russian vampire and A Drop of Water tells the story of a nurse who steals a ring from an a clairvoyant who was killed by the spirits of the dead shed talked to, with gruesome consequences. All three stories based on the works of Anton Chekhov, Aleksei Tolstoy and Guy de Maupassant.

LIDIA ALFONSI

The Italian actress Lydia Alfonsi, born Lidia Alfonsi, in an animated pose with a magazine in hand. Italy, 1960.. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Black Sabbath 1963 as Mary in segment ‘Il Telefono’

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CLAIRE BLOOM

THE HAUNTING 1963

Claire Bloom is the sophisticated, seasoned raven-haired actress of stage screen and television. This refined lady with hair as black as obsidian, debuted on BBC radio, and began her career on stage with the Oxford Repertory Theatre in 1946, garnering praise from her immersion in Shakespearean theatre – cast as ingénues in “King John”, “The Winter’s Tale” and her outstanding performance as the tragic Ophelia in “Hamlet” at the age of 17. Charles Chaplin picked Bloom as his leading lady in Limelight 1952, the poignant story of a suicidal ballerina Tereza Ambrose, rescued by an aging music-hall clown.

The film position her to be recognized as a celebrated actress, co-starring with prominent leading men in Hollywood. She was married to Rod Steiger for a tumultuous ten years, and eventually married writer Phillip Roth. Though she had reached a level of stardom, she continued her career on stage, with what seems to have been her worldly calling in Shakespearean theatre during the 1950s. Oddly infrequent in her performance in film, Claire Bloom still sketched out unmistakable roles, Richard III (1955),Alexander the Great (1956), Look Back in Anger (1959), The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), and as a contribution to my endeavors here, three converging roles in The Illustrated Man (1969). Also not surprising she was cast as the Goddess Hera in Clash of the Titans (1981). Claire Bloom still appears in film and television to date at the age of 89!

As an iconic figure in classical horror, Bloom made her standout performance as the telepathic sapphic, mod – Mary Quant – hand on hip – velvet clad – Theo, in Robert Wise’s supernatural masterpiece The Haunting 1963 where she vamps around attempting to seduce the tweed wearing, repressed Eleanor Lance in the midst of the supernatural onslaught at Hill House.

A house born bad, an anthrologist passionate about parapsychology, invites a collection of participants to uncover the root of supposed supernatural events at Hill House, a character of the film in its own right. Yet another strongly woman-centric films, The Haunting features two absolutely unforgettable characters in the 1960s horror genre.

One of the chosen, Theodora purported to possess ESP, is not predatory, a deviant or a dangerous sapphic, looking to undermine the men or seduce Eleanor, whom she obviously feels affection for. Theo, is one of central figures of the plot, she is a powerful telepathic and her character is not merely a side line, shoved into the haunted shadows of Hill House. Theo is not even at the cold deadly root of the menacing house, even though she is a coded lesbian. She is the least objectionable of sapphic stereotypes (White) — Theo is sophisticated, elegant and her clothes designed by Mary Quant and vogue hair style are outre chic. But aside from her unmistakable style, Theodora is an intensely serious soul that uses sarcasm to hide her wounds and take measure of the off kilter tone of the happenings surrounding the haunting.

To clearly look at The Haunting both female leads, Theo and Eleanor Lance are ‘touched by the supernatural.’ As implied deviant women, they are summoned to observe and contribute their special knowledge of the power that exists in the alternative reality of an old New England estate.

Claire Bloom’s keen performance as Theodora brings a strong presence to The Haunting and secures her place as one of the most recognizable leading ladies of classical horror of the 1960s

The Illustrated Man is a 1969 American dark science fiction drama set in the carnival era of the 1930s, based on the master writer Ray Bradbury, and directed by Jack Smight. The film stars Rod Steiger as Carl, who relates his morality tales to a psychotic drifter (underrated Robert Drivas), offering warnings from his elaborate tattoos (“They’re not tattoos, they’re skin illustrations! Don’t you ever call them tattoos!!” ), that cover his entire body, which symbolize disturbing visions if things to come. Steiger recalls a series of macabre vignettes that come to life, imbued with the soul of the paintings themselves, dark librettos of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Bloom appears in all three stories as Felicia in – The Veldt, The Long Rain and The Last Night of the World. Her character is introducted as part of the prelude to the story and how Carl became this living artwork after encountering a beguiling woman he sometimes refers to as the Witch.

Felicia: “Each person who tries to see beyond his own time must face questions to which there cannot yet be absolute answers”

Carroll Baker

Carroll Baker worked as a dancer to pay her tuituition to acting school, and how delicious is it that she worked as a magician’s assistant and wound up studying at The Actor’s Studio. She married director Jack Garfein (The Strange One 1957, Something Wild 1961). Baker should have won an Oscar for her startling performance.

Warner Bros. saw another Marilyn Monroe in Baker and cast her in Giant 1956, with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. She is mostly known for director Elia Kazan’s controversial Baby Doll 1956.

What probably precipitated Carroll Baker’s deep dive into the colofully bizzare sub genre of European horror films, was her refusal to take certain roles for Warner Brothers, which lead her to missing out on films like The Three Faces of Eve 1957, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958. Eventually she become the mistress of Giallo in the 1960s. The sex symbol starred in Romolo Girolami’s The Sweet Body of Deborah in 1968 and as Umberto Lenzi’s muse in his first and following thrillers Paranoia 1969 and So Sweet… So Perverse 1969. These films cemented her as a prominent giallo superstar.

Giallo began in the 1960s, with Mario Bava’s The Evil Eye aka The Girl Who Knew Too Much 1963, considered the first of the genre, a popular genre which thrived all the way through the 1970s. It’s framework is it’s highly stylized and outre creative violent crime narratives seen through the lens of vivid colors, dramatic post-modern scores, and a concentration on fetishes.

It’s foundation originates from the Italian pulp-crime novels published in the 1930s with it’s themes of whodunits and red herrings wrapped within it’s bright yellow covers. It can be considered the genesis of the American slasher film which is why their is such an allegiance to horror films.

Sex and violence are an essential part of the pageantry of Giallo which one could say is inspired by film noir and it’s femme fatales at the core of the dramatic Neo-Realism playing out in the film. Yet this is not intellectually crucial to the story. What is similar is the dangerous female who evokes desire in men, seeks to destroy them and in the end causes her own destruction. It forms the mythology of Giallo.

From Mira Liehm’s book Passion and Defiance the concept of the figure of desire or as she refers to it the ‘movie star’ there is a sense of doomed beauty.

In Paranoia 1969 aka Orgasmo Baker plays Kathryn, a chic American widow who travels to Italy only a few weeks after her wealthy husband dies. In an isolated villa she begins to live a solitary life, until she meets a gorgeos younger man, Peter who just shows up at the gates, looking for help when his sports car breaks down. The two begin an affair until his sister Eva (Colette Descombes) moves in. But all is not what it seems. In So Sweet… So Perverse 1969, Jean-Louis Trintignant becomes involved in a dangerous relationship with Nicole (Baker) who is trapped in an abusive relationship with Klaus. The film co-stars 60s scream queen Erika Blanc.

The Sweet Body of Deborah 1968, So Sweet… So Perverse 1969, and Paranoia 1969. This did not stop as she moved right along

Baker carried her mystique with European exploitation/cult horror films into the 70s with Lenzi’s A Quiet Place to Kill, and Knife of ice in 1972. The year before she starred in Osvaldo Civirani’s The Devil Has Seven Faces and The Fourth Victim. And in 1973 appeared in The Flower with the Petals of Steel.

And the odd, surreal horror film that plays like a salacious fairty tale, as she portrays a mysterious siren who seduces a young photographer in Corrado Farina’s Baba Yaga 1973.

personal quote “Life seems to be a never-ending series of survivals, doesn’t it?”

Tallulah Bankhead

Star of stage and screen, Bankhead was raised in a prominent political dynasty from Alabama but broke ties with her family to advocate for the civil rights movement, railing against white supremacy and Jim Crow laws, the informal local practices that were racist. Primarily a stage actress, she is known for Lifeboat 1944, her award winning role in Alfred Hitchcock’s taut drama that plays out like a stage production. Tallullah Bankhead has a very distinctly smart and sandy voice that sizzles like burning coal.

DIE! DIE! MY DARLING! 1965  the U.S. release and Fanatic it’s original title boasts a screenplay by the prolific Richard Matheson. This British horror film is directed by Silvio Narizzano for Hammer Films. Bankhead stars as the fanatical Mrs. Trefoile who seeks revenge on Stephanie Powers, blaming her for her son’s death.

Die! Die! My Darling!’s screenplay was written by Richard Matheson and based on the novel ‘Nightmare’ by Anne Blaisdell. Bankhead plays the viciously religious fanatic Mrs. Trefoile (The symbolism of three (Trefoil) fits with Christian imagery associated with the Holy Trinity), whose over zealous love for her son Stephen and resentment toward the young woman who was to marry him, her fiancé, drives her to torture Patricia, in order to purify her soul.

Tallulah Bankhead holding teddy bear in a scene from the film ‘Die! Die! My Darling!’, 1965. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)
DIE DIE MY DARLING, aka FANATIC, Yootha Joyce, Tallulah Bankhead, 1965 Courtesy Everett Collection PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xCourtesyxEverettxCollectionx MBDDIDI EC006

Wiki-

Based on a real event, Looped takes place in the summer of 1965, when an inebriated Tallulah Bankhead needed eight hours to redub – or loop – one line of dialogue for her last movie, Die! Die! My Darling! 1965, “And so Patricia, as I was telling you, that deluded rector has in literal effect closed the church to me.” Though Bankhead’s outsized personality dominates the play, the sub-story involves her battle of wills with a film editor named Danny Miller, who has been selected to work that particular sound editing session. Valerie Harper Looped is a play by Matthew Lombardo about an event surrounding actress Tallulah Bankhead. It had a Broadway run in 2010, after two previous productions in 2008 and 2009, all three of them featuring Valerie Harper. The first performance of Looped was as a January 8 2007 New World Stages reading, with Elizabeth Ashley as Tallulah Bankhead and Neal Huff as Danny Miller.

Stephanie Powers is credited as playing Tipsy Tallulah in Looped Tour Feb. 26 2013.

Patricia Breslin

Homicidal (1961) Directed by William Castle Shown: Patricia (Pat) Breslin
William Shatner as Don Carter and Patricia Breslin as Pat Carter in “Nick of Time”, season 2, episode 7 of CBS’ science fiction television series, ‘The Twilight Zone’, August 17, 1960. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Breslin also co-starred in William Castle’s I Saw What you Did 1965. The story of two teenage girls who prank phone call strangers and whisper, “I Saw What You Did, And I Know Who You Are!” But they call a psychopath (John Ireland), who has just murdered his wife.

Patricia Breslin and Glenn Corbett talking in detective’s office in a scene from the film ‘Homicidal’, 1961. (Photo by Columbia/Getty Images)

Breslin had a very versatile role appearing in popular television drama’s, including Peyton Place, but here at The Last Drive in, she earns kudos for 1960s scream queen status – I Saw What you Did 1965,  Homicidal 1961, Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode ‘Apex’, 1962, ‘O Youth and Beauty’ 1960 plus The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, ‘Anyone for Murder?’ and Night of the Owl.’ Boris Karloff’s Thriller episode ‘Kill My Love’ 1962, and one of the best of Rod Serling’s series The Twilight Zone episode ‘Nick of Time’ 1960.

Diane Baker

I love Diane Baker, she possesses a ‘natural’ brand of stunning and has had a full career in film and television, directing and teaching. Baker moved to New York at eighteen to study with Charles Conrad and moved back to Los Angeles to further studying acting, joining the Estelle Harman Workshopm becoming an alumni of the Stella Adler Studio of acting. She was eventually signed to Twentieth Century Fox. Her first picture was directed by the great George Stevens (A Place in the Sun) co-starring in The Diary of Anne Frank 1959, then co-starred in The Best of Everything 1959 with Joan Crawford. Baker then appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Marnie 1964.

She gave an outstanding performance as Joan Crawford’s daughter Carol Cutler in William Castle’s psychological horror thriller Strait-Jacket 1964, a role she was cast essentially at Crawford’s request.

In keeping with the horror genre, she gave a moving performance along side William Windom in Rod Serling’s Night Gallery episode They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar 1971, and to those of us who make Columbo a relision, it’s always a feather in the cap to work on an episode of the brilliant series, she co-starred as the perpetually stewed Joanna Clay In Columbo: Last Salute to the Commodore, where I suspect everyone including Peter Falk was stoned most of the shoot. In 1991 co-starred along side Sally Kirland in the made for tv movie The Haunted based on a true story , that has become a Halloween tradition in our house. Baker plays demonologist, ghost hunter-Lorraine Warren.

The very charming and sophisticated Diane Baker, continues to make appearances with her most eloquent personality reminsicing  about her expeireinced in Hollywood, as an actress, director and producer-she is now heading the acting program at the San Francisco Academy of Art, teaching acting courses at the School of Motion Pictures, Television, and Acting at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Fun Fact:

At the start of her career, she was judged by a panel consisting of Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino and Irene Dunne.

Personal Quotes (8)

[on working with Joan Crawford on The Best of Everything (1959)] She had just lost Alfred Steele and there were moments when she was having a very difficult time. I saw that she was very vulnerable and that she was just about holding it together. I saw her several times, sitting by herself before a take and crying her eyes out. I brought her a box of tissue and gave her a sign that indicated, “You’re going to be fine!” and that meant a lot to her.

[on Joan Crawford I just don’t understand how she allowed that strong outward personality, allowed the fragility, the vulnerability, the fear to overcome her near the end. It seems to me that even when we were doing Strait-Jacket (1964) that she was also having her drinks before everyone went home. That can cause you to do a lot of things. You don’t handle things well. It is ironic that at the last part of her life that she allowed herself to not be her best. We mustn’t forget that there’s a dark side to every great person. We have to remember that we cannot expect everybody to be perfect.

She was Joan Crawford the star and that’s how she wanted everybody to see her. One of the things she constantly said to me was you never go to the market even unless you’re dressed the best you can possibly dress. She wanted to be the lady and she was wanting to be royalty with almost a tiara type look with the jewels. I’m sure that she felt she owed all this to her public. You got the idea that the public wanted to see you as a movie star. And once you were there you owed it to those people out there to be your best.

[on David Janssen It was always a joy to work with an instinctive actor, and that’s what David was.

Inspiration comes most when you’re free to use your imagination. It’s the daydreamer, it’s looking out of the window – but you have to be free to look out of the window.
[on the power of individual voice] The more you know, the more you have to know. Be a positive influence on your own generation and the generations to come. Tell stories that mean something. Some of it may impact someone else’s life and it may even impact your own.
If you get good people around you, they inspire you. I’ve been lucky to have that.
Prolific writer Robert Bloch, wrote the screenplay for Strait-Jacket 1964. Baker and Crawford also appeared as mother and daughter that same year in Della.

Baker was cast in the role, playing Carol Cutler, Joan Crawford’s daughter who must adjust to her mother coming home after spending years in a mental hospital for the axe murders of her husband and his lover she catches in her bed. Soon, more heads begin to roll. Crawford was familiar with Baker’s work after appearing together in the film The Best of Everything (1959) and Crawford had numerous issues with the original actress Anne Helm. Crawford insisted that Baker play Carol, replacing Anne Helm, whom Crawford took a dislike to. When Diane Baker was offered the role she had to begin shooting her scenes the next day.

In 1991, she was cast as the desperate Senator Ruth Martin whose daughter has been kidnapped by serial killer Buffalo Bill in the disturbing horror thriller Silence of the Lambs.

Diane Baker on the set with Hitchcock for Marnie 1964. She co-starred in Marnie – considered one of the most complex, and controversial of Hitchcock’s obsessive melodramas. (Whitty)

JILL BANNER

Banner plays Virginia who lives to play spider trapping victims in her web. One of the Merrye siblings who suffering from the regressive strain of madness.

Brigit Bardot

Famous for portraying sexually emancipated personae with hedonistic lifestyles, she was one of the best known sex symbols of the late 1950s and 1960s. Although she withdrew from the entertainment industry in 1973, she remains a major popular culture icon. (wikipedia)

She makes an appearance in Spirits of the Dead 1968 as Giuseppina in segment directed by Louis Malle- ‘William Wilson’ stars Alain Delon (heart be still) a sadistic Austrian student with daunted by his doppleganger. The film is an anthology of ghost stories based on Edgar Allan Poe, eat sequence directed by European auteurs, Louis Malle, Roger Vadim and Federico Fellini.

Marjorie Bennett

Wonderful character actor, Marjorie Bennett was born in 1896, in Western Australia, during the time of the gold rush of the 19th century. Bennett started appearing regularly in minor film roles in the late 1940s, and the horror parady Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949). By the 1950s she had established herself as a respected character actor in both film and television. Appearing as Mrs. Alsop in Chaplin’s Limelight 1952, In 1961 she lent her voice to One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Known for her minor performances in Kiss Me Deadly 1955, Home Before Dark 1958, Charles Chaplin’s black comedy Monsieur Verdoux 1947, in Coogan’s Bluff 1968, and Mrs Taft in Charlie Varrick 1973, (one of my favortie 70s heist movies). Bennett seemed to being very fluent in the the art of showing up in tales of the macabre and the fantastic. She just seem to have a predilection or knack for horror and the absurd. It’s that inner craft that allows an actor to be both believable while at the same time making a caricature of themselves within a small part that still comes across as big.

IMDb–Bulky, latterly white-haired Australian-born actress, in American films from 1916. A former bathing beauty, she acted in a few silent films and re-emerged after a break of nearly three decades in character parts, noted particularly as Charlie Chaplin’s abrasive landlady in “Limelight” (1952). She had numerous supporting roles on the small screen from the mid-50’s, often as pompous, easily deflatable comic foil, or as gruff housekeepers or snooty socialites.

She was marvelous as Victor Buono’s batty mother in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 1962, William Castle’s The Night Walker 1964, Curtis Harrington’s Games 1967, Billy the Kid vs Dracula 1966 starring John Carradine.

Bennett aslo appeared in a slew of mystery/horror/fantasy television shows. She played Mercedes (Murder on the Rocks segment) of Boris Karloff’s Thriller episode The Lethal Ladies 1962. – Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode ‘First Class Honeymoon’, and ‘Maria’ 1962. The Twilight Zone ‘No Time Like the Past’ 1963, ‘Kick the Can ‘ 1962, ‘The Chaser’ 1960. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “The Gentleman Caller’ 1964 and in the macabre The Night Walker 1964 directed by William Castle. In the 1972 she appeared as Mrs. Woods in Night Gallery episode Deliveries in the Rear.

Marjorie in the Twilight Zone episode Kick the Can which aired on Feb. 9 1962 on CBS.

Erika Blanc

“I was stopped in the street one day and asked if I wanted to be an actress. That’s how I got a contract with De Laurentis.”

Dr. Eswai is summoned by Inspector Kruger to perform an autopsy on a woman who died under mysterious circumstances. At the core of the murders is the ghost of a little girl who thrives on her mother’s venom and uses her daughter to seek revenge. Blanc plays Monica the local nurse who must contend with the malignant Villa Graps and the grieving Baroness Graps.

Within a landscape of signature Bava colors and camera angles and the ghostly girl with the white ball, Blanc plays the Monica Shuftan in Kill, Baby… Kill 1966, So sweet… So Perverse 1969, she stars in 1971’s The Night Evelyn Came Out of Her Grave 1971, and Blanc plays a creepy gaunt cheeked succubus with robust cleavage in The Devil’s Nightmare 1971.

from The Devil’s Nightmare 1971

So Sweet… So Perverse 1969

JANET BLAIR

Burn, Witch Burn is directed by Sidney Hayers with cinematography by Reginald Wyer whose lighting is photographic and understated. Based on a screenplay by Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont and George Baxt, adapted from Fritz Leiber’s novel Conjure Wife. As one of the more compelling horror films, it has sadly languished with other obscure chillers. Writers Beaumont, Matheson and Baxt imbue the film with equal compelling drama as with supernatural shivers. And I can’t fail to mention the formidable work by the sound department who underscore the atmosphere with effective reverberations and deliberate silences as with plot devices like Norman’s reel-to-reel player used in one of his lectures.

Janet Blair plays Tansy, who learns how to conjure spells, and must protect her husband (Peter Wyngarde) a sociology professor acclaimed for debunking witchcraft, psychic phenomena and other ‘silly’ superstitions, from a powerful dark witch who is trying to kill him. Tansy secretly practices black magic, taught by a witch doctor while her husband Norman was doing research in Jamaica. She insists that it was her magic that help him soar to the level of success in the midst of bad blood and hostility from his colleagues within the intellectual community at the college where he now teaches, though he believes it is work that has put him at the top. Norman orders Tansy to destroy all her magic paraphernalia. But no time passes before he succumbs to a series of misfortunes. He’s soon shown that all his cynicism and faith in science falls to pieces once the giant stone eagle from the university roof comes to life and swoops down on his egotistical pompous ass, finally convinced that there is a dark force stalking him. It is engrossing, fitting into the suspense genre, even though a classical horror film, the narrative could easily hint that the magic could just as well have a psychological basis as a supernatural one, which challenges a solid couple to confront a disturbance that threatens to cause fissures in their good marriage. This grows into an upswell of terror, fear, suspicion and paranoia. One of the striking elements, aside from the keenly nuanced performances by both leads, Janet Blair in particular is the

Burn Witch Burn 1962 aka Night of the Eagle, she went on to do Twins of Evil 1971, and Nothing But the Night 1973.

Norma Bengall

Planet of the Vampires 1965

Dynamic heroine, Sanya along with the rest of the crew of the Galliot clash with the unseen forces that try to take over, turning them into the walking dead.

A horror film set in outer space with the dead rising from their graves bathed in Mario Bava’s signature red, green and violet gels. A scene using steel head stones and clear plastic body bags, that is every bit arresting as a Gothic vampire movie.

The Galliot crashes while responding to a distress signal from an unexplored planet. Her sister ship the Argos follows them there on a rescue mission. Almost immediately the crew go into a trance and begin acting violently toward each other. They learn that the same thing happed to the crew of the Galliot, killing themselves off. There is a hostile intelligence that is trying to take over the bodies of the crew and it’s a fight for survival to fend off these space vampires or rather the more accurate appearance would be zombies, who inhabit the bodies of their victims in order to escape their dying planet.

Norma Bengell plays female crew member Sanya with great nerve and perseverance seemingly resilient like a Marvel super hero in that voguish space suit the crew wears.

Martine Beswick

British beauty known for her roles in James Bond films – she co-starred in From Russia with Love 1963 and Thunderball 1965. She starred as the dark and deadly ‘sister’ in Hammer’s Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde 1971.  She also stars as Upondi in One Million Years B.C. 1966

Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde 1971.

Erna Martha Bauman

Erna in Invasion of the Vampires 1963

Erna Bauman appeared as the beautiful wife/prisoner Countess Eugenia Frankenhausen in The Bloody Vampire aka El Vampiro Sangrieto 1962.

And as Doña Ana in La LLorona 1960Felipe and Margarita get married and have a boy named Jorgito. Her uncle Gerardo tell them about a curse that affects the first born boy in the family.

El Mundo de los Vampiros (World of the Vampires) 1961 and Invasion of the vampires 1963 and uncredited in Vampire Hookers 1978.

ISOBEL BLACK

As Tania in The Kiss of the Vampire 1963

When car trouble strands a honeymooning couple in a small Southern European village, an aristocratic family in the area reaches out to help them with sinister consequences.

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Angela Cartwright

Born in England, Veronica is the older sister of Angela, who plays Penny on the 1960s science fiction series Lost in Space. Cast as the easily shakable kleptomaniac Rosalie Wells in William Wyler’s The Children’s Hour 1961, I love her portrayal of Lumpy’s younger sister, the prissy snooty”Violet Rutherford” on Leave it to Beaver.

She was awarded the 1980 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress as Joan Lambert in Ridley Scott’s science fiction/horror classic Alien (1979). She disliked the character’s emotional weakness, but nevertheless accepted the role.

IMDb fun fact:

She has appeared in three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant: The Birds (1963), Alien (1979) and The Right Stuff (1983).

The Birds 1963, she went on to do the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978, Alien 1979 and The Witches of Eastwick 1987.

DIANE CLARE

Perky Blonde English actress had several leading roles in the 1960’s, several notable horror films, including Julie Harris’ irritating sister in Robert Wise’s The Haunting 1963, co-starring with Lon Chaney Jr. in Witchcraft 1964, John Gillings The Plague of the Zombies 1966, Beast of Morocco 1968 and The Vulture 1966.

The Naked Edge 1961, As Carrie Fredericks in The Haunting 1963, Witchcraft 1964, as Sylvia in John Gilling’s The Plague of the Zombies 1966, The Vulture 1966, The Trygon Factor 1966, Beast of Morocco 1968, The Avengers episode “Death at Bargain Prices 1965.

Virginia Christine

Billy the Kid vs Dracula 1966, also appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956, as Princess Ananka in The Mummy’s Curse 1944

Boris Karloff’s Thriller episode The Twisted Image 1960, Daughter of the Mind 1969 tv movie, and television series The Invaders episode Labyrinth 1967. She also appeared in Kolchak the Night Stalker episode The Devil’s Platform. She was ruthless hypocrondriac David Wayne’s unfortunate wife in The Twilight Zone episode Escape Claus  1959.

Virginia had a long career as a character actress on the screen, but she will always be best remembered as the Swedish “Mrs. Olsen”, who somehow knew everything about making coffee and was the face of Folger’s coffee in television commercials. She was trained for a theatrical career by actor/director Fritz Feld and In 1942, she signed a contract with Warner Bros. She appeared in films such as, Edge of Darkness 1943, High Noon 1953, underrated noir Plunder Road 1957, Judgement at Nuremberg 1961, The Killers 1964 and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 1967, and numerous television series. She was the scream queen woman in peril in The Mummy’s Curse 1944. She was never more beautiful in that classic B horror picture.

The owner of a smal town zoo kills his enemies in Black Zoo 1963. and The Boston Strangler.

[on Lionel Atwill with whom she worked in Raiders of Ghost City (1944)] Lionel Atwill was a great ham, a poseur, and I mean that as a compliment. We got along very well – he was a delight.

JEANNE COOPER

BLACK ZOO 1963, as Cloe in The Boston Strangler 1968, The Twilight Zone 1959 episode “Mr.Denton on Doomday” Boris Karloff’s Thriller episode “The Big Blackout”

Veronica Carlson

Christopher Lee reprises his role as the immortal Count Dracula. Rupert Davies as Monsignor exorcises Dracula’s castle only to bring him back to his dead life. He goes on to terrorize the village and sets his sights on Veronica Carlson who plays Maria, the Monsignor’s niece.

Frankenstein Must Be Destoryed 1969– Baron Frankenstein, with the aid of a young doctor and his fiancée, kidnaps the deranged Dr. Brandt in order to perform the first brain transplant operation. Carlson co-stars as Anna Spengler.

Carlson is featured in Hammer’s Dracula Has Risen from the Grave 1968, and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 1969.

Melinda Casey

Billy the Kid vs Dracula 1966

Rosalie Crutchley

THE HAUNTING 1963 as the grimly mocking, dour housekeeper, Mrs. Dudley.

With her victorious grin Crutchley spouts the line that sums up the atmosphere in one cutting remark, “No one lives any nearer than town. No one will come any nearer than that.  In the night; in the dark.”

“It was such a good script… as you know we’re all ninetly percent as good as our script, most of us. And that was a good script.” –Rosalie Crutchley

Victoria Carroll

Nightmare in Wax 1969 a film starring Cameron Mitchell who taps into his imposing nature to play the disfigured curator of a wax museum who murders his enemies and then uses their bodies as exhibits in his museum.

Ombretta Colli

Ombretta Colli in The Blancheville Monster 1963, War Between the Planets 1966.

In late 19th century France, Ombretta Colli as the aristocratic Emilie de Blancheville returns home to her ancestral castle one week before she turns 21. She is accompanied by her best friend from college in America, Alice Taylor (Irán Eory) and her brother John. While Emilie was away her father died tragically in a fire. Now the estate is overseen by her brother Rodéric De Blancheville (Gérard Tichy) They are met by the dark and sinister presence like an icy wind, housekeeper Miss Eleonore played by Helga Liné and the new family physician Dr. LaRouche (Leo Anchóriz).

Alice becomes haunted by the terror that lurks in the castle, and it turns out that their father is still alive, but severely burnt and disfigured – left as a crazed, grotesque maniac, now prowling the castle grounds. Carved on the family tomb is the prophecy that the De Blancheville bloodline will end with this generation, when the last female descendant reaches the age of 21. At night Alice awakens and wanders through the vast castle, stumbling upon Miss Eleonore whipping and injecting a drug into the an anguished howling disfigured “monster’ they are trying to subdue. Eventually, after another night of somnolent wandering, Emilie wakes up in her muddy nightgown, unable to remember her nightmare drifting, now left with fainting spells and a spiraling melancholia. Eventually she is believed to have succumbed to her affliction and is entombed alive in the family crypt.

DANY CARREL

from The Mill of the Stone Women 1960.

From The Hands of Orlac 1960

In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor’s ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art. Dany plays Liselotte Kornheim.

Pianist Stephen Orlac (Mel Ferrer) loses his hands after a plane crash. He has new hands grafted on that belonged to an executed murderous knife thrower. Stephen finds the hands starting to take over and show signs of violence. Christopher Lee plays Nero a menacing Magician who blackmail hims. Dany plays Regina, Nero’s  beautiful assistant. Remade as Mad Love 1935 with Peter Lorre and the origianl film The Hands of Orlac 1924 starring Conrad Veidt based on the novel Les Mains d’Orlac.

Mill of the Stone Women 1960, The Hands of Orlac 1960.

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AUDREY DALTON

INTERVIEW WITH THE MESMERIZING AUDREY DALTON

Audrey’s list of horror credits include – William Castle’s Mr. Sardonicus 1961, Boris Karloff’s anthology series, THRILLER  – THE PREDICTION Season 1 -episode 10 AIRED NOVEMBER 22, 1960, HAY FORK AND BILL HOOK Season 1 episode 20, AIRED FEB.7 1961 and THE HOLLOW WATCHER SEASON 2 EPISODE 20 AIRED FEB. 12, 1962

Jennifer Daniel

In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation in The Reptile.

From IMDb-Blonde Welsh leading actress who spent the majority of her career working in television. Her rare forays to the big screen resulted in two of the more intense heroines inhabiting the world of Hammer horror in the 60’s. On both occasions she appeared opposite Noah Williams as one of his victims in The Kiss of the Vampire 1963 and as a newlywed wife in 19th century Cornwall by The Reptile 1966), who does not know that he is a sinister neighbor.

Kiss of the Vampire 1963 and The Reptile 1966. The television series One Step Beyond 1961 episode ‘Signal Received’.

Catherine Deneuve

She made her debut in 1957 and was discovered by Roger Vadim who cast her in Vice and Virtue 1963. Deneuve in her breakthrough role in the highly romantic The Umbrella’s of Cherbourg where she plays a middle class woman who falls in love with Nino Castelnuovo. The film includes one of the most memorable scores by Michel Legrand. She went on to do Polanski’s Repulsion 1965, where she plays a disturbed young women who plunges into a despairing nightmare world of paranoia, persecution and violence. She is known for her outstanding performance as a married woman who has a secret life as a prostitute. in Bunuel’s Belle du Jour 1967. And of course her role as the sensouly enigmatic vampiress in The Hunger 1983. Deneuve is one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Polanski and Deneuve on the set of Repulsion.

Polanski’s nightmarish, voyeuristic vision of a one dimensional madwoman or murky victim… The backers of the movie specialized in soft core porn.

“a titillating story of a woman who is afraid of sex. Repulsed by men…{…} As is customary with such movies we get the ‘obvious troubles’ of the cardboard human that will propel the feature to its conclusion. The obvious troubles in Repulsion are lampshaded with the family photo that we see early on, and its easy to let that became the basis for all our thoughts about it. Is this picture of Carol’s family that the camera slowly zooms in on. Anything other than an indictment of most movie goers. We see the picture and we think, Ah that’s Carol as a young child not taking part in the group photo of a happy family. Staring off into the distance as we already seen her stare before. She’s been like this her whole life. She’s always been a little strange. But Polanski gives us that photo not because it contains deep meaning but because all of his hints leading up to the reveal of the photo very likely went unobserved. What exactly does the picture tell us? That she has a family. We know that she has a family because she lives with her sister. And as a human being she is no longer with her family. We assume she is no longer with most of her family because she’s Belgian and lives in England. And that she is a strange person. We know her behavior is strange. Well we know that’s nothing new because her sister doesn’t ask the same questions about her behavior the way that strangers do. She seems unconcerned. The picture is telling us that she is deeply disturbed. Well yeah, we know that there’s a deep disturbance in her because of all the little actions we’ve already witnessed. From drifting off mid manicure to showing a deep lack of confidence at work, to making lame excuses for not dining with a man for whom she seems to be dating, to her frustration at the invasion of her sister’s lovers toiletries in the bathroom. And the picture is telling us that her sister is well-adjusted. While we’ve seem the sister portrayed in contrast to her in every scene containing the two of them. So really we don’t need that photo. It gives us no new information except possibly at the time that picture was taken her mother and father were still alive and there was a grandmother and they had a dog. The presence of that photo is a blatant crutch for the unobservant viewer but I’m kinda glad for it. The photo makes two more appearances in the film, each appearance adding another simplistic aide for interpretation, something necessary for a mere titillating horror film. The landlord scene implies that sexual abuse may be at the roots of her troubles. The landlord is transformed from owl to caregiver to wolf. And as he observes the photo at the window summing things up the way the way we have summed things up just as he summed up the rent money he says “There’s no reason to be afraid of me you know” something a male adult might say.”

The landlord (Patrick Wymark) is stabbed to death by Carol while trying to assault her. Or has she imagined the attempted rape?

Hischier continues – “In the last scene as the camera pans away from her sister’s lover as he carries a catatonic Carol out of the apartment, the camera in the living room gently moves across the mantle filled with toys, the photo of mother down to Carol’s attempt at sewing, a broken cracker and just as we think it’s gonna settle on the photo affirming our suspicions it cuts to black. We think its over, then a fade in on the photo we were expecting appears. As if to emphasis the source of her disturbance everyone in the photo is in criss crossing shadow except her father who is in half shadow, rather large dog and Carol as a child. The camera zooms into her eyes echoing the opening titles. But this time getting too close and the photo un-resolves to splotches of black and grey. We might feel that the photo is an unnecessary coda but it is a coda whether it was added to help people feel like they figured the film out or whether Polanski was told to include it or if it was one last joke we may never know. But the tone of the discovery of Carol under the bed shifts from horror to comedy as the tenants of the other flats all come pouring in and after the initial shock the men begin offering suggestions as they always do and then the women do all in a rather comical and exaggerated fashion. Normally in a situation like this everyone would be talking at once but we hear line after line spoken as if in a play each line absurd” -Brian Hischier

Startling performance as the disturbed Carol in REPULSION 1965 and of course she went on to drink her victims blood a century’s old vampire Queen in THE HUNGER 1983.

Diana Dors

Dors appeared in Berserk! 1967 with Joan Crawford. A scheming circus owner finds her authority challenged when the show is targeted by a vicious killer.

Platinum Blonde-The British bomshell, the voluptuous Dors, knew she wanted to be an  actress at a young age, fascinated by the movies stars on screen. She also developed sooner, and appeared to be much older than she was. After winning a beauty contest at age 13 she joined a theatre group. Diana enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In 1948 she had minor roles in 6 films, having to lie about her age, which she was able to pull off. Dors played Charlotte in Olver Twist, It seems like Diana was Britains version of Marilyn Monroe. She continued to work through the 1950s becoming very popular in England. But she wanted to go to Hollywood. Diana continued to play sexy sirens and was a big draw on screen in British theaters, and  really came into her own as an actress. I loved her in the underrated noir crime thriller The Long Haul 1957 with Victor Mature. Dors proved that she could act and wasn’t just robust cleavage and full lips.

Diana Dors was more than a woman who exuded her sexy side, she was a very fine actress as her films show. As the 1960s turned into the 1970s, she began to play more mature roles. LIke Mamie Van Doran she was considered for the role of Venus De Marco in the warped horror film about a serial killer in The Ice House 1969.

She dismissed most of the films she appeared in as rubbish but cherished A Kid for Two Farthings  (1955), Blonde Sinner (1956) and Deep End (1970). Dors later said, “They asked me to change my name. I suppose they were afraid that if ‘Diana Fluck’ was in lights and one of the lights blew…”. As an early adolescent living in Swindon, her screen hero was Margaret Lockwood.

Personal quote

I was the first home-grown sex symbol, rather like Britain’s naughty seaside postcards. When Marilyn Monroe’s first film was shown here (The Asphalt Jungle 1950) a columnist actually wrote “How much like our Diana Dors she is.”.

I’ve played my share of drunken sluts, good time girls, and whores. Being bumped off is really no novelty for me. I’ve been shot, hanged, strangled, gassed, burned to death, and even pushed off a cliff. And for an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), I was sawn in half by an electrical buzz saw.

[on Nothing But the Night (1973)] I play a triple murderess with a record of assault, larceny, and prostitution. I play a mother who fights to get her daughter back from an orphanage. I was hunted all over like a wild animal in the moors. I wore a red wig, my clothes were dirty and disheveled, a million miles from my old image.

[comment on the decline of the British film industry and acting in sex comedies and horror movies in the early to mid-1970s] The trouble is that there are so many good actors in this country and they are obliged to work in films like that because there is nothing else for them to do. This is why I get so sad. There is no film industry here anymore and the only types of films being made are either horror or sex films {… }But if I was sitting around, as the majority of actors and actresses are today for an acting role to come along, then I’d never work unless I did horror films and sex films.

BERSERK 1967, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Hour – ‘The Sorcerers Apprentice’ 1962, “Run for Doom 1963”, in the 70s appeared in Deep End 1970, Nothing But the Night 1973, Theatre of Blood 1973, and Craze 1974 with Jack Palance.

From Alfred Hitchcock Presents ‘Run for Doom’ 1963.

MILDRED DUNNOCK

NEW YORK CITY – JANUARY 20: Mildred Dunnock sighted on January 10, 1975 at DJ Nite Club in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Mildred Dunnocks biography From my feature: Actresses of a Certain Character:

With the dignity of a weathered carved tree, Dunnock is spare and angular, a handsome yet fey looking woman with a modest hair style and time worn features. She is an American actress who was prolific in playing spinsters and middle class mothers. Her weighty performances earned her two Oscar nominations and praise for her performance in Tennessee William’s Sweet Bird of Youth. But the role that would garner the most praise, both stage and screen versions, is Linda Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Another of her outstanding performances was her portrayal of the painfully shy Aunt Rose Comfort in Elia Kazan’s deviant story, Baby Doll 1956 for which she garnered her second Oscar nomination. Her biggest hit was playing Lavinia in Lillian Hellman’s Another Part of the Forest. Even her small roles are astounding. She origniated the part of Big Mama in Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  on stage 1955-56. Dunnock gives one hell of a performance as the “cruel and voracious she-wolf in deceptively virtuous sheep’s clothing” in The Story on Page One.

Many people remember her as the woman in the wheelchair that sadist Richard Widmark as Tommy Udo pushes down the stairs with his maniacal cackle in Kiss of Death 1947.

One of my favorite of Dunnock’s appearances on television is as Mother Alcott, the spectacle-wearing kleptomaniac whose son and daughter-in-law are planning to kill her off for her money in Boris Karloff’s anthology series-Thriller in the episode The Cheaters 1960. She appeared in Roald Dahl’s warped television series Way Out episode – William and Mary 1961. Below is Dunnock blowing smoke into the tank holding the brain of her cantankerous husband, Henry Jones.

The macabre What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? 1969, with an effectively discordant score by Gerald Fried and Robert Aldrich as producer, kills off Dunnock in a supportive role as the cautious Miss Tinsley, Mrs. Marrable’s (Geraldine Page at her most maniacal) housekeeper and eventual murder victim who is tricked into digging her own grave. Rosemary’s Baby high-priestess, the inimitable Ruth Gordon, takes a job undercover as Geraldine Page’s new housekeeper in order to learn the truth behind Dunnock’s mysterious disappearance.

“I think that hole’s too big for that little tree.” Mildred Dunnock as the ill fated Miss Tinsley.

Television science fiction series “Way Out’ hosted by Roald Dahl, episode ‘William and Mary’ 1961 co-starring Fritz Weaver and Henry Jones. What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? 1969, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour 1964 episode Beyond the Sea of Death with Diana Hyland and as Mother Alcott in a tale where a pair of supernatural glasses reveal the dark truth lurking behind our faces in Boris Karloff’s Thriller episode – The Cheaters 1960

“For what is most precious between friends… The truth!”Mildred Dunnock in The Cheaters

In The Cheaters written by Robert Bloch and directed by John Brahm tells the story of a pair of glasses invented an alchemist that gives the wearer the ability to read minds and hear the thoughts of ruthless people, mainly murderous cutthroats. Dunnock as Mother Alcott is a triumph of a paranoid biddy in peril.

OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND

Olivia de Havilland in 1949, the same year she starred as Catherine Sloper in The Heiress, won her an Oscar.

Like other older actresses in the 1960s, de Havilland played the tormentor of Bette Davis’ woman in peril in Robert Aldrich’s follow up to his successful formula with Baby Jane, the outre macarbe Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964).

Olivia de Havilland was just as magnetic as cousin Miriam, an ambiguous she wolf with a history of resentment in Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte 1964.

Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte was directed by Robert Aldrich, written by Henry Farrell, who also wrote What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 1962 and How Awful About Allan 1970, also the made for tv film The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972) scripted by Lukas Heller and Farrell.

The film stars, the legendary Bette Davis as Charlotte Hollis and Olivia de Havilland is laser sharp astounding as her ruthless cousin Miriam Dearing. Olivia de Havilland’s exudes a subtle malignant charm. Davis wanted Olivia de Havilland after seeing her in see my earlier post here: Lady in a Cage 1964

She is best known for her portrayal of the saintly Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind, which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. Through her long acting career she was nominated four times for a best actress Academy Award, winning twice. One for To Each His Own 1946 and her striking performance as Catherine Sloper who falls prey to opportunistic Montgomery Clift in The Heiress 1949.

But her impact on her industry extended far beyond her acting ability. Her sufferings under the restrictions of the notorious Hollywood studio system pushed her to take her employers, Warner Brothers, to court. It cost her several years of her career, but her victory – still referred to as the “De Havilland decision” – changed irrevocably the way that actors would be treated by studios… She won and the De Havilland decision, along with a judicial ruling fought for Bette Davis, ended the old studio system by limiting contracts to a total of seven years, suspensions included.(The Guardian)

In the psychological noir film The Dark Mirror, de Havilland plays a dual role as twin sisters, one a sociopath the other good natured. The film can be seen as a metaphor for the estrangement with younger sister, actress Joan Fontaine. De Havilland whent on to play a psychiatric patient in Anatole Litvak’s The Snake Pit 1948, that plays out like a nightmarish horror movie, showing the barbaric and crude practice of shock treatments prevalent in mental asylums.

The Snake Pit 1948.

Lady in a Cage 1964.

on the set of Lady in a Cage 1964.

Susan Denberg

And Frankenstein Created Women 1967.

Marie Devereux

The Brides of Dracula 1960.

E

Sammantha Eggar

The Collector 1965.

Based on John Fowle’s novel stars Terence Stamp a psychopath, and avid collector of butterlies, who turns to women to hole captive for the endless pleasure of their company.

Eggar went on to do several horror films including The Dead Are Alive! 1972, A Name for Evil 1973, All the Kind Strangers 1974 made for tv movie, The Uncanny 1977, Cronenberg’s The Brood 1979, The Exterminator 1980, Demonoid 1981 and Curtains 1983. Eggar is a true Scream Queen!

From Cronenberg’s The Brood 1979 with Eggar as the bloody Queen mother.

Irán Eory

Irán Eory, is of Iranian descent. She won a beauty pageant in Monaco then started her acting career in continental Europe and Mexico. Once she emigrated to Mexico Eory became a singer and eventually a theater producer. Eory plays Alice in The Blancheville Monster 1963, she also appears in The Dead Don’t Forgive (Los muertos no perdonan) 1963.

As the strong spirited Alice, she and her brother John suspect something isn’t right with Emilie’s fate and go on their own search to uncover the mystery surrounding her death, the de Blancheville curse, the secrets that dwell in the castle, and the black caped figure that sweeps through the ruins, the shadowy hallways and gloomy tower like a wraith

ANITA EKBERG

Assaulted by a knife wiedling madman, Ekberg in Gerd Oswald’s Scremaing Mimi 1958. Fangs of the Living Dead 1967 aka Malenka and Screaming Mimi 1958

URSULA DAVIS

Photo by Discobolo/Kobal/Shutterstock (5861545a) Barbara Steele, Ursula Davis Un Angelo Per Satana 1966 Director: Camillo Mastrocinque Discobol ITALY

Ursual Davis in Crypt of the Vampire 1964.

 

Crypt of the Vampire 1964, An Angel for Satan 1966, Kong Island 1968.

F

SUZAN FARMER

Blonde British heroine who left school at the age of 15 to become an actress and appeared in her first film a year later. Farmer appeared in three films with Christopher Lee. Prince of Darkness, The Mad Monk and The Devil-Ship Pirates in 1964. She played Francis Matthew’s wife in Dracula: Prince of Darkness 1966 and his sister in Rasputin: The Mad Monk 1966. She also dubbed Barbara Shelley’s scream in Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Farmer also appeared with Nick Adams and Boris Karloff in the adaption of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Color of Outer Space-Die Monster Die! in 1965.

Directed by Daniel Haller, the film takes place on a remote English estate where Boris Karloff as Susan, Suzan Farmer’s father Nahum keeps a peculiar glowing meteor that is turning the estate’s plants and animals into freaky mutations and transforming Nahum into a monster. Freda Jackson is Farmer’s mother who begs Nick Adams to take her daughter away, afraid her husband is going insane.

Mia Farrow

Daughter of John Farrow and Maureen O’Sullivan, the uniquely beautiful Farrow debuted in small roles, in particular the maiden Allison Mackenzie in the long running melodramatic television series Peyton Place, until she was chosen to play Rosemary Woodhouse in Roman Polanski’s iconic horror film about paranoia and the fierce dominion of motherhood.

Rosemary’s Baby is my all time favorite film, a masterpiece and stunning work of complexity. With Polanski’s direction, the outstanding performances by the entire cast, even Komeda’s provocative score, bares the fruit and the confluence of artistry, contributed by everyone involved in the project. Part of what works for the film is the ideal casting of Mia Farrow who gives a multi-layered performance as the unsuspecting divine spirit, caught up in a devil cult’s plan to trick her into baring Satan’s son, an allegory about the tyrannical control over women’s wombs. It’s the reciptrocity between Ruth Gordon’s sublime performance as Minnie Castavet and Sidney Blackmer’s Roman Castavet, the nefarious husband and wife team that lure with delicious Divine Comedy twisted out of shape for the urban pixie who will ultimately become the unwitting mother, after they have tempted her mercenary actor husband Guy into selling their first born for the price of success.

I truly want to write a full length feature at The Last Drive In. The most difficult endeavor for me is to put thought into the piece and find the right words to honor what has been my favorite film. I find it harder to write about the films that have had a profound effect on me, as it is challenging to do them justice. And Rosemary’s Baby possesses such weighty context that defines it’s genius and a wealth of theory written about the different layers to the narrative.

After Rosemary’s Baby 1969, Farrow  went on to do the psycho-sexual frisson, Secret Ceremony 1968 with Elizabeth Taylor, and the eerie ghost story, The Haunting of Julia 1977.

Mia Farrow in the morbid and moody ghost story The Haunting of Julia 1977.

JOAN FONTAINE

In 1940 she garnered her first Academy Award nomination for her performance as the timorous new mistress of Manderley in Hitchcock’s Rebecca. She would again be nominated for an Oscar for her role as Lina McLaidlaw Aysgarth in Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion 1941. In 1950 she starred in film noir’s Born to Be Bad.

The Witches aka The Devil’s Own 1966,was Fontaine’s last appearance on the big screen. She went on to act in various suspence and horror themed television series such as One Step Beyond 1960, the episode ‘The Visitor’ for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 1961, and an intense performance as a pathological perfectionist dragon in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode ‘The Paragon’ 1963.

With a script by Nigel Kneale, following a horrifying experience with the occult at an African missionary, a schoolteacher Gwen Mayfield (Fontaine)moves to a small English village after suffering a nervous breakdown, only to discover that she is the target of black magic by a devil cult there too where she must try and stop a human sacrifice.

Jane Fonda

In Spirits of the Dead – Fonda appears in the sequence as the libertine Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein. The film consistes of 3 vignettes each directed by FELLINI, MALLE and VADIM Jane’s husband at the time. Spirits of the Dead is colorful surreal and trippy. Of course 1968 saw Fonda in a role that would become iconic. Barbarella, a psychodelic science fiction/fantasy opera.

Myrna Fahey

HOUSE OF USHER, from left: Myrna Fahey, Vincent Price, 1960. Courtesy Everett Collection ACHTUNG AUFNAHMEDATUM GESCHÄTZT PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xCourtesyxEverettxCollectionx MCDHOOF EC472

Directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe, the film tells the tale of Mark Damon who comes to the family mansion to bring his fiancée Madeline Usher back with him. Philip is met by Madeline’s strange brother who warns that his sister cannot leave as there is a menacing family curse that hovers over them both. Philip fears that Roderick has entombed her alive in order to save her from the evil. The of the most striking aspects of the Corman/Price collaboration is Burt Shonberg’s almost primitive post-modern paintings of the Usher lineage.

Fahey plays the tormented gothic ingénue damned by the sins of her ancestors, who may or may not be beset by the history of the Usher family madness. Roderick sufferes from torturous heightened senses, sound, touch and taste all inflict pain upon him. Once Madeline is trapped in her tomb, his hearing is so acute that he can hear her scratching in her coffin to get out. He can hear her screams. Roderick- “Even now I hear her. Alive, deranged. Scratching at the lid with bloody fingernails. Don’t go down there let her die.” Philip – Is there no end to your horrors.”

When Philip goes to rescue her, the coffin is empty and Madeline has now become a crazed thing with bloody claws who roams the halls raving mad. The house will fall to ruin and Madeline a lost soul with it.

G

BEVERLY GARLAND

BIOGRAPHY AND TRIBUTE HERE-features 1950s work with Roger Corman

THE TWILIGHT ZONE 1960 episode ‘THE FOUR OF US ARE DYING’, THRILLER 1960 episode KNOCK THREE-ONE- TWO, exploitation thriller STARK FEAR 1962, Corman’s TWICE TOLD TALES 1963 and psychopath Sue Ann’s (Tuesday Weld) mother, Mrs. Stepanek in the suspenseful thriller PRETTY POISON 1968.

The Mad Room was directed by Bernard Girard whose original vision was hacked to bits just as Shelley Winters character is the film. The story was adapted from the stage play ‘Ladies in Retirement’ written by Reginald Denham and Edward Percy. It was later brought to the big screen starring Ida Lupino, Elsa Lanchester, Isobel Elsom and Edith Barrett.

In this modern Grand Guignol re-telling, Stella Stevens plays Ellen Hardy the eldest sister who is hiding dark twisted family secrets. She had walked into her parents room to find a gory mess as her younger brother and sister George who was 6 at the time, and Mandy who was 4, hover over the lifeless bodies of their parents who have been slaughtered with a butcher knife. The walls are decorated with finger painted bloody daisies.

It leads to a sensational murder case, with neither of the two children ever admitting who was responsible for the killings. They spend their formative years shut away in a mental hospital while Ellen is sent to a provincial orphanage.

This gruesome legacy is something Ellen’s has had to live with all those years. Now as an adult, she is engaged to Sam, and is staying with his stepmother, the overbearing Glady’s Armstrong, working as an assistant/secretary to her future mother-in-law (Shelley Winters) in the family’s country estate. But all Ellen’s plans go astray when she receives a letter telling her that her psycho siblings are about to be released back into society and she must now be their guardian.

Ellen begs the pair to keep their past a secret and concocts a story about their uncle dying and needing a place to live. She must convince the brash bawdy broad that George and Mandy to let them come stay. It is essential that George and Mandy have their ‘mad room’, a private space where they can express themselves, so Ellen allows them to use the attic which Mrs. Armstrong has forbidden entrance to. The blood-letting begins again, as her severed hand winds up in one of the dog’s mouth as he carries it around the property taunting the real killer.

Beverly Garland whose small role is pure gold, plays Mrs. Racine, one of Gladys Armstrong’s friends, a lush who is one of the ‘ladies who lunch’, married to the meat head husband Armond who might be doing more than just massaging the ladies with his brawny shoulders. In Pretty Poison 1968, Garland plays Tuesday Weld’s overbearing mother who winds up falling victim to her sociopathic daughter and her delusional, unbalanced boyfriend Anthony Perkins who has been recently released from a psychiatric hospital.

SCILLA GABEL

Mill of the Stone Women 1960

RUTH GORDON

Actress Ruth Gordon (Photo by © Alex Gotfryd/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

All*Kinds* of Observable Differences-The World of Ruth Gordon

Minnie has all the kitschy charisma of a character from a vanishing generation. No one manifests this creature better than Ruth Gordon. Behind her nosy intrusion into Rosemary Woodhouse’s world, lurks a preditory crone who works the art of war against society in the name of Satan, intending to facilitate the birth of the anti-christ through the vessel of an ambivilent Catholic nymph. Gordon’s exaggerated vernacular, her tacky wardrobe and make-up and her suffocating infatuation with the young couple is one of the key pieces of theater in Polanski’s film. Gordon’s characterization is the epitome of a 1960s ethnic, urban hag overflowing with baubles, sateen head rags and war paint.

As Mrs. Dimmock, she goes in search for answers about the disappearance of her dear friend Mildred Dunnock, putting herself in danger at the hands of the murderous Geraldine Page.

Rosemary’s Baby 1968, What Happened to Aunt Alice? 1969.

JUDY GEESON

Born in Sussex England, Judy Geeson was enrolled in the Corona Academy Chiswick founed by Rona Knight, at the age of 10. She is the older sister of actress Sally Geeson. Judy has an ethereal Fae like quality, making her first appearance on television in Dixon of Dock Green in 1955 when she was only 12. But it was her role in To Sir, With Love 1957 as the spirited Pamela Dare that made us fall in love with her beguiling manner. She went on to make a series of films from the 1960s throught the 1970s. She appeared in Berserk 1967 with Joan Crawford, and gives an unmistakably profound performance in the psychological horror film, Goodbye Gemini 1970, 10 Rillington Place 1971, Fear in the Night 1972, Doomwatch 1972, It Happened at Nightmare Inn 1973, Thriller British anthology horror series “Murder on the Midnight Express’, Dominique 1979, The Lords of Salem 2012, 31 (2016)

Fun Facts:

In the late 1980s, along with fellow Brit performers Jenny Agutter, Ian McKellen, Timothy Dalton and Olivia Hussey, she spent time volunteering teaching Shakespeare to children at a school in Watts, Los Angeles.

Has said that Horror Planet (1981) was a terrible film and that she only did it for the money.

Was married to Kristoffer Tabori, the son of actress Vivica Lindfors and director Don Siegel.

PERSONAL QUOTES:

I’m not sure how other people of my generation look back on that time (when she acted in To Sir, with Love (1967)), but since I trained at a professional stage school, if you took yourself too seriously, or started to think you were better than anybody else, you just got the shit beaten out of you.

[on working with Joan Crawford on Berserk! (1967)] Joan Crawford said she was lonely, and I could see and feel that she was. She wasn’t easy, but I think Berserk! (1967) was hard on her precisely because it *was* a B-movie. And there was something very likable about her – after all, when people show their vulnerabilities, it’s hard not to forgive them for other things”

I never planned out my career and just took the best job available. In fact, I’m not really a horror fan at all. Even when I go to horror film conventions, the majority of people still come to visit me because of “To Sir, with Love.” [Interview with Nick Thomas, 2017]

Joan Crawford as Monica Rivers, and Judy Geeson as Angela Rivers in the 1968 film Berserk!. (Photo by John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Goodbye Gemini 1970

In the 70s she appeared in several horror features-Fear in the Night 1972, Doomwatch 1972 and It Happened at Nightmare Inn 1973.

Cristina Galbó

After further threats from Irene, Cristina Galbo tries to escape and tells sympathetic John Moulder Brown of her plans in a scene from the film ‘The House That Screamed’, 1969. (Photo by American International Pictures/Getty Images)
Mary Maude subjects Cristina Galbo to physical and mental torture in a scene from the film ‘The House That Screamed’, 1969 (Photo by American International Pictures/Getty Images)

Directed by Narciso Ibanez Serrador. A strict headmistress Lili Palmer as Sra. Fourneau runs a secluded school for wayward girls in 19th century France. Her odd effete son Louis (John Moulder Brown) stays hidden away, as his mother does not want her pure son to be tainted by immoral girls who happen to be disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Galbo is the last girl to be admitted to the school abandoned by her prostitute mother. Aside from being tortured by a band of vicious lesbians, she too falls under the spell of the innocent Louis who lurks behind the steam pipes while the girls shower. Creepy stuff, film like a dark fairtytale. It is one of the most beautiful and disturbing horror films of the 1960s or any decade for that matter. A favorite of mine. And Galbo is exquisite as the tormented Teresa.

After The House that Screamed 1969 Cristina went on to do What Have they Don’t to Solange? 1973, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie 1974 aka The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, and giallo-The Killer Must Kill Again 1975.

From the Living Dead at Manchester Morgue aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie 1974.

Carole Gray

Appeared in a staple of British horror for which she acquired the sobriquet of ‘Scream Queen’. In 1968, she returned to South Africa to resume her career on the stage.

Island of Terror 1966, The Curse of the Fly 1965, Devils of Darkness 1965 and The Brides of Fu Manchu 1966.

SALLY GEESON

Sally is the younger sister of Judy Geeson. She appears along side Vincent Price in Poe’s THE OBLONG BOX 1969.

Rosa Maria Gallardo

The Brainiac 1962, Santo in the Wax Museum 1963.

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JULIE HARRIS

THE HAUNTING 1963

Julie Harris is a revered stage actress and not just particularly known for Robert Wise’s The Haunting unless you’re a horror nerd like me.

Studied for a year at the New York Drama School before becoming one of the first members of Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio.Recipient of the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors. She was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1994 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C.Harris Harris is the youngest student ever to attend the Yale School of drama on a scholarship. Critic/Director Harold Clurman said of Harris – totally designed to be a good instrument on the stage’.

She starred in The Member of the Wedding 1952, East of Eden 1955, I Am a Camera 1955, as Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s A Dolls House 1959 tv version, and Belinda in the television version of Johnny Belinda 1958, Requiem for a Heavyweight 1962, Reflections in a Golden Eye 1967 and one of my favorite Columbo episodes where she tries to snag Donald Pleasance in ‘Any Old Port in the Storm’ 1973.

For the sake of giving her credit appearing in suspence and horror let’s list them. Rarely seen-Journey to the Unknown tv series episode ‘The Indian Spirit Guide’ 1968, The House on Greenapple Road 1970, How Awful About Allan 1970 tv movie directed by Curtis Harrington and Home for the Holidays 1972 tv movie. And in 1973 2 episode of The Evil Touch- ‘The Upper Hand’ and ‘Happy New Year, Aunt Carrie’ She also co-starred in Stephen King’s The Dark Half in 1993.

[In 1981]: I think life is translated. We’re always in a state of change. Acting is more translated than a lot of things. Theater is about what we are. We need it to express ourselves.

Acting is always an adventure, and a struggle, and a quest to find the truth…It’s wanting to do it right, that’s where the fear comes in, but who can say what’s right? We’re very delicate creatures, aren’t we?

The house summons Eleanor’s poor beguiled tormented soul whose longing to experience life and belong somewhere. She is driven to sacrifice herself to the ghosts of Hill House. Dr. Marquay has chosen Eleanor because of the childhood phenomena when showers of stones rained down upon her family home for several days. Harris turns in a tour de force as the neurotic who has no place to go but be swallowed up by the netherworld of Hill House.

Valentine Dyall (Horror Hotel aka City of the Dead 1960) ‘Think the Mrs.can’t have things just the way we want, without you city people…’

“Whose hand was I holding!?”

MARTHA HYER

In the 1960s Hyer appeared in First Men in the Moon 1964, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode ‘A Piece of the Action’ 1962, and ‘Crimson Witness’ 1965, Pyro… The Thing Without a Face 1964, Bewitched episode ‘The Cat’s Meow’, and as the conniving Francene Shelley in Bert I. Gordon’s Picture Mommy Dead 1966.

Candace Hilligoss

Carnival of Souls is a film I will be featuring as part of my Sunday Nite Surreal series.

Candace Hilligoss came to New York to studay acting at The American Theatre Wing and made her debut on stage in summer stock. She toured in Nina Foch in ‘Idiot’s Delight’

She has been the iconic expression of horror in the 1960s as the dismembodied Mary Henry in the only horror film Herk Harvey and written by John Clifford – the cult classic Carnival of Souls 1962.

“I don’t belong in the world”

One of the most stand alone woman-centric horror films of the 1960s, ironically Hilligoss was having a hard time connecting with her role as Mary, partly because Harvey would not stop filming to give the actress any motivations for the character’s actions. This disassociation with the character actually helped create the protagonist’s detached manner – the expressionless delivery and the empty gaze add to her canny and restrained performance.

The sleeper and the dreamworld, an allegorical chiller suggestive of purgatory that is permeated with arresting surrealism and uncanny disease.

As Juer-La Janisse calls it “The mutability of place and the disconnection from one’s sense of it” 1962 cult horror film is reminiscent of the Twilight Zone’s episode “The Hitchhiker”.

Candace Hilligose is the film’s only professionally trained actors having studied method with Lee Strasberg. She plays Mary Henry, a woman who emerges unharmed after her friend’s car has gone off the bridge, though her two girlfriends were not so lucky.

Her co-workers at the organ factory remark as Mary leaves for Salt Lake City to start a new life, “If she’s got a problem, it’ll go right with her.”

Thus begins the eerie journey where she is drawn to an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Mary is stalked by a menacing specter played by Herk Harvey himself and visions of ghouls in evening wear, chalk faced (egg white and pancake makeup) zombies wading through dark waters, and quivering in a wicked dance macabre at the pavilion.

George Romero credits the make-up of the ghostly undead as the inspiration for the zombies in Night of the Living Dead’s.

As her sojourn between the what might be fantasy and the real world, she seems unwilling to surrender to the notion that she was involved in a tragic accident and seeks to start a new life as a church organist, (a gloriously distinctive set piece). The intent of Mary as church organist whose is the embodiment of a ‘lost-soul’ is a deliciously melancholy and nihilistic. Though her environment becomes increasingly hostile, the fantasies begin to intrude more fiercely and the natural world slips away from her, as she becomes invisible and silent to those around her. She is driven to hysteria trying to decipher whether the disturbance is coming from within or without.

In an interview in 1996 with Clifford he tells historian Tom Weaver that “I decided early on to give the heroine no really sympathy or understanding from any other character… So, for the viewer there’s no relief from her dilemma. There’s no catharsis, even, except what the viewer creates for himself.”

Two years later she went on to appear in the low budget, creepy Curse of the Living Corpse in 1964.

Jill Haworth

British born Jill Haworth was a stunner, discovered by director Otto Preminger, who saw a photograph of the blonde beauty from days in acting school Corona Stage School like alumni Judy Geeson. She went to Broadway in 1966 and took on the role of Sally Bowles in the musical “Cabaret” Once the glamour of her run ended, she returned to England and appeared in a few horror pictures.

THE BRIDES OF DRACULA 1960 as an uncredited schoolgirl, and in THE OUTER LIMITS Season 1 episode 5THE SIXTH FINGER’ Haworth plays Cathy Evans, a humble lass in a small British mining town who befriends Gwyllim Griffiths (David McCallum) as he has agreed to be Professor Mather’s human subject in his experiment to speed up evolution. She stars in the underwhelming HORROR HOUSE 1969, and as Ellen Grove in IT! 1967, a variation of the Golem mysthology. The film stars  Roddy McDowall.

TIPPI HEDREN

Tippi was working as a New York fashion model Alfred Hitchcock discovered Tippi, beauiful cover girl, while viewing a commercial on NBC’s today. He put her under personal contract and cast her in his natural world gone amuck in The Birds 1963. In a cover article about the movie in Look magazine (Dec. 4, 1962), Hitchcock told the Associated Press: “Tippi Hedren is really remarkable. She’s already reaching the lows and highs of terror”. Her performance in the film earned her both the Golden Globe award and the Photoplay award as Most Promising Newcomer. Her next film was playing the title role in Hitchcock’s psychological thriller about a beautiful neurotically repressed habitual thief in Marnie 1964. The professional relationship with Hitchcock deteriorated ending bitterly during the filming of “Marnie.”

“An apocalyptic poem” -Federico Fellini

Alfred Hitchcock’s originally bought the rights to du Maurier’s short story with the mind to adapt it to his anthology television series. The Birds, begins as a romantic screwball comedy that turns itself into a dark catastrophic allegory with a fuse that is lit when Melanie first gets thumped by a seagull on her way to Bodega Bay until the carnage by the film’s end. “The pattern of the birds was to go slow. I felt it was vital that we take our time, get absorbed in the atmosphere before the birds come. Once more, it is fantasy. But everything has to be as real as possible-the surroundings, the settings, the people… -Hitchcock

“We decided that it would be science fiction if we explained why the birds were attacking. It would have greater meaning if we never knew.” – writer Evan Hunter

Hedren plays a socialite newspaper heiress Melanie Daniels from San Francisco, who follows Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) to the small Northern California town of Bodega Bay, with a pair of lovebirds after an edgy flirtation. Only to be terrorized by a deadly throng of birds who suddenly attack, with an aura of the natural world taking vengeance on people.

The lovebirds are a birthday gift to Mitch’s younger sister (Veronica Cartwright). Before the ‘birds’ even descend, Melanie must contend with another predator, the jealous devouring mother Lydia who is subsituting her son for his dead father. Lydia is played with an exquisitely astringent, yet poignant state of mind by Jessica Tandy. Another complication is the presence of Mitch’s ex-girlfriend Annie (Suzanne Pleshette) who longs for Mitch and is metaphorically taken down by the fury that Melanie has unleashed.

Melanie Daniels (Hedren) may be the catalyst for the destruction in The Birds as it is hinted by the reactions of the provincial inhabitants of the island – that she brought the onslaught of birds with her from the city, the downfall of the small fishing community of Bodega Bay. The residents see Melanie as an ‘evil’ witch. As one the hysterical Doreen Lang shouts, “What are you? Where did you come from? I think you’re the cause of all this, I think you’re evil!”

(SEE MY PREVIOUS FEATURE ON THE BIRDS)

“Perhaps Hitchcock’s least accessible motion picture, since it reveals its richness like a demanding art novel or a complex symphony, only after condsiderable effort” – Hitchock biographer Donald Spoto

In the climax when Melanie Daniels is nearly killed, it took five harsh days to film with Hitchcock putting the actress though an intense trial by birds attack, that left Hedren briefly hospitalized from exhaustion.

HILARY HEATH

THE OBLONG BOX 1969, She went on to star in Cry of the Banshee 1970 as well as Witchficer General 1968 all with Vincent Price.

MARIANNA HILL

from Black Zoo 1963.

Marianna in The Baby featuring Byrd Holland’s (LEMORA 1973) hair and make-up!

Marianna Hill possesses an uncommon beauty, almost the look of an enchantress. She studied at the La Jolia Playhouse and was an acting coach at the Lee Strasberg Institute in London. Hill also studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. She was very present on popular television series.

She appeared Black Zoo 1963, THE OUTER LIMITS episode ‘I, ROBOT’ 1964, In BATMAN she played the role of CLEO-PATRICK, she was in STAR TREK episode ‘Dagger of the Mind’, and the feature film Medium Cool 1969 starring Robert Forster.

Marianna Hill went on to appear in the 70s Messiah of Evil 1973  atmospheric arty obscure horror films the deviantly troubling THE BABY 1973 as Ruth Roman’s deranged daughter Germaine Wadsworth- She also known for High Plains Drifter 1973, and The Godfather II.

Gayle Hunnicutt

She starred in Eye of the Cat 1969, with Michael Sarrazin, then starred in one of the most influential eerie ghost stories on film – The Legend of Hell House 1973 written by Joseph Stefano (Psycho, The Outer Limits).

MARGARET HAMILTON

13 Ghosts (1960)

Margaret appeared in several films before she established herself in the role of Almira Gulch/ The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939) Her immortal character would become one of the most iconic villains in our cultural consciousness.

William Castle’s 13 Ghosts, she hints at raising from the dead, The Wicked Witch as the housekeeper Elaine Zacharides who does not flinch from the supernatural goings on.

Buck Zorba : “You really are a witch, aren’t you?” Elaine Zacharides : “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.”

Fun Facts:

She also appeared as Grandma Frump in The Addams Family series in 1965.

Often signed her autographs with the notation of WWW (Wicked Witch of the West).

It is ironic that her performance as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was so scary to children, because her first job was as a kindergarten teacher. She loved and doted upon children all her life.

“Almost always they want me to laugh like the Witch. And sometimes when I go to schools, if we’re in an auditorium, I’ll do it. And there’s always a funny reaction, like Ye gods, they wish they hadn’t asked. They’re scared. They’re really scared for a second… The picture made a terrible impression of some kind on them, sometimes a ghastly impression, but most of them got over it, I guess… Because when I talk like the Witch and when I laugh, there is a hesitation, and then they clap. They’re clapping at hearing the sound again.”

Martita Hunt

British dramatic. Cactress has played everything from royals, dignified or batty dowagers and pythonesses. With her unmistakable prominent features and distinctive regal stature she’s carved a niche for herself as a dramatic character actor of stage and television as early as the 1930s up through the 196os. She is known for her performance as the reclusive Miss Havisham in Great Expectations 1946. This led to Anastasia 1956, Becket 1964 and The Unsinkable Molly Brown 1964. In 1949 she won a Tony Award for her The Madwoman of Chaillot.

Hunt envisioned a reluctant vampiress in The Brides of Dracula 1960, and plays with nutty abandon as Aunt Celia Summerville who has imaginary dinner parties and gets electrocuted in her bubble bath by her greedy niece Ursula played with delicious vicious subtlety by Phyllis Thaxter.

Baroness Meinster-The Brides of Dracula 1960, Thriller episode ‘Last of the Summervilles’ and as Ada Ford in Bunny Lake is Missing 1964.

J

Margaret Johnston

In Burn, Witch Burn, Margaret Johnston is that evil force Flora Carr, behind the psychic and physical attacks against Janet Blair, and her husband. She plays the role with a delicious stroke of a finely drawn, nefariously obsessive enthusiasm.

Burn Witch Burn 1962 aka Night of the Eagle.

Patricia Jessel

Jessel plays Elizabeth Selwyn aka Mrs Nywles burned as a witch, and now runs an Inn in the fog filled Lovecraftian village with inhabitants who sacrifice maidens on Candlemass Eve.  Co-stars Christopher Lee.

Directed by John Llewelyn Moxey, City of the Dead aka Horror Hotel tells the story of a young college student Nan Barlow (Vanetia Stevenson) arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town called Whitewood, to research witchcraft. She was sent there by her professor Alan Driscoll (Christopher Lee) who grew up there. During her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers the secret about the town and its inhabitants, run by a sinister Inn keeper who is the 300 year old high-priestess to a cult of devil worshipers. Jessel is masterfully malevolent as witch Elizabeth Selwyn, with her forbidding presence. Along with her cult members she is a murderous she-devil who takes pleasure in sacrificing young women. One of the great classic atmospheric horror films of the 1960s. Still gives me shivers with every re-watch, partly thanks to Jessel’s chilling performance. Just waiting for del Toro to remake it.

City of the Dead aka Horror Hotel

GLYNIS JOHNS

Johns is best known for her role as Mrs. Winifred Banks in Disney’s musical Mary Poppins 1963. She is also one of the five actors to made special appearances as a villain on Batman series 1966. She was a very busy actress in film and television from the 1930s-the 90s.

She played Jane Lindstrom who is terrorized in The Cabinet of Caligary 1962.

In Vault of Horror 1973 she appears in one of the cheekier vingettes called ‘The Neat Job’ where she finally loses it on husband Terry Thomas who is an infuriating control freak.

Glynis Johns in Miranda 1948

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 1962, Monster of Terror 1965, Batman as Lady Penelope Peasoup 1967, The Valley of Gwangi 1969, Tia Zorina a witch, went on to do The Vault of Horror 1973 ‘the neat job’ 

QUOTE:

[on playing a mermaid in Miranda 1948 – I was quite an athlete, my muscles were strong from dancing, so the tail was just fine. I swam like a porpoise.

Freda Jackson

Freda Jackson is known for being cast as witches and sinister women. She appeared in Brides of Dracula 1960, The Shadow of the Cat 1961 and later, the wonderful fantasy Clash of the Titans 1981 where she plays a Stygian witch.

Freda Jackson was born in Nottingham, England in 1908. She studied acting at the Royal College of Art, in London. Her first professional stage appearance was in Northampton, England in 1934, before moving on to London’s West End in 1936, joining the prestigious Old Vic company in 1938. In 1945 that she gained recogniztion for her performance  in No Room at the Inn in London. This followed with many starring roles. In total Freda Jackson appeared in some sixty two major stage roles in England and overseas.

She appeared as Greta the servant to Baroness Meinster (Martita Hunt) in the Hammer Horror classic Brides of Dracula in 1960. Vampire hunter Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) returns to Transylvania to destroy  blood sucking Baron Meinster (David Peel), who desires beautiful Marianne (Yvonne Monlaur).

JULISSA

Julia Isabel was born in Mexico City on April 4, 1944. The daughter of Don Luis de Llano Palmer (a pioneer in Mexican radio and television) and actress Rita Macedo, she began her career at age 14 singing in the rock group The Spitfires, which earned her second place in a radio competition. As a result of this she was signed by CBS. From then on she recorded various rock hits and has participated in numerous soaps and in over 35 features films.

From a young age she began acting and producing plays, becoming one of Mexico’s leading theater producers and importing Broadway shows such as “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Grease”, “Joseph”, “Pippin” and many others. She has also produced TV soaps and created the Onda Vaselina musical group. She is the mother of two of Mexico’s greatest talents, singer Benny Ibarra and Alejandro Ibarra. – IMDb bio gatototo

The Following mini bio by Mark Voger “Players in the Mexican Karloffs”

Espiritismo 1962, House of Evil 1968 aka Serenata Macabra aka Dance of Death, The Curse of the Crying Woman 1963. Julissa appeared in three of the cycle of Mexican horror films that featured Boris Karloff – In the 1970s- Isle of the Snake People 1971, Fear Chamber 1971.

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DEBORAH KERR

Deborah Kerr was born in Glasgow Scotland in 1921. She first performed at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park, London. subsequently performed with the Oxford Repertory Company 1939-40. Her first appearance on the West End stage was as Ellie Dunn in “Heartbreak House” at the Cambridge Theatre in 1943. She was discovered by producer Gabriel Pascal and was cast in Major Barbara in 1941. She rose to stardom in British cinema appearing in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp 1943 and Black Narcissus 1947. Perhaps one of her most notable roles was that of Burt Lancaster’s sea swept lover in From Here to Eternity in 1953, for which she received her second Oscar Nomination. Subsequently she was cast in starring roles in The King and I 1956, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison 1957, An Affair to Remember 1957, The Sundowners 1960, and one of my favorite roles of hers, as the repressed Hannah Jelkes in Tennessee William’s The Night of the Iguana 1964.

Personal Quotes:

I came over here [Hollywood] to act, but it turned out all I had to do was to be high-minded, long suffering, white-gloved and decorative.

TIDBITS:

Her last public appearance was in 1994 when she was awarded an honorary Oscar after six failed nominations over the years. Along with Thelma Ritter, she is one of the few actresses to have received six nominations and not won the award. On Oscar evening, Glenn Close presented a special tribute to her work, and the Oscar audience watched clips of her films to music. She then appeared from behind the screen, obviously frail, in a blue pastel trouser suit and received a standing ovation from her peers. A life-long shy person, she said, “I have never been so terrified in my life, but I feel better now because I know that I am among friends. Thank you for giving me a happy life.” Following this, there was another standing ovation and she left the stage, her exit becoming her last official goodbye to Hollywood. Ironically, Close herself has since passed Kerr with seven nominations and Ritter’s record, receiving six nominations with–so far–no wins.

Joan Crawford was originally supposed to play her role in From Here to Eternity.

Originally when filming began on Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957), her co-star Robert Mitchum worried that Kerr would be like the prim characters she frequently played. However, after she swore at director John Huston during one take, Mitchum, who was in the water, almost drowned laughing. The two stars went on to have an enduring friendship that lasted until Mitchum’s death in 1997.

William Whyler said, “I still think of Audrey Hepburn as the princess but Deborah Kerr as the queen”.

In The Innocents 1961, she was never more riveting, was Kerr as the sexually bottled up Miss Jessup in director Jack Clayton’s gothic ghost story, The Innocents based on Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw about a repressed nanny who is haunted by the ghost of the previous nanny and her lover, the groundskeeper Peter Quint (Peter Wyngarde). Her two charges Miles (Martin Stephans) and Flora (Pamela Franklin) seem to be under the spell of the two ghostly lovers who may be baleful phantoms looking to possess the children. Jessup’s obsession to liberate Miles from the haunting leads to a tragic end. Kerr is startling as the bedeviled Miss Jessup.

In the film “Eye of the Devil” Kim Novak was originally cast in the role of Catherine de Montfaucon. Filming began in the fall of 1965 in France. Nearly every scene had been filmed when Kim Novak fell from a horse and wasn’t able to complete her scenes. Production was suspended for two weeks, but after Novak attempted to return she found she could not continue. She later said she had fractured a vertebra. Deborah Kerr was hired to take over and nearly every scene that featured Kim Novak had to be re-shot with Deborah apart for a few long shots.

Directed by J. Lee Thomson, Eye of the Devil 1966, (another film I will feature in my series Sunday Nite Sublime) is a criminally neglected horror film, starring Kerr as Catherine de Montfaucon, married to Philippe (David Niven) who begins to realize that he is doomed to sacrifice his life for an age old tradition that calls for the men in his noble French family to give themselves up to an ancient pagan rites who need his offering to help the harvet flourish during the dry season. Kerr’s performance evokes The Innocents, with the rising panic united with a irrepressible determination.

Catherine de Montfaucon “What are you seeking Philippe?”

Philippe de Montfaucon “Am I seeking, or am I being sought?”

THE INNOCENTS 1961, Eye of the Devil 1966. She also appeared in the psycho-sexual thriller, The Naked Edge 1961.

SANDRA KNIGHT

Tower of London 1962, The Terror 1963, Blood Bath 1966, she was in Frankenstein’s Daughter 1958, One Step Beyond episode The Burning Girl 1959.

Patsy Kelly

Patsy Kelly is the brilliantly satiricle coven member Laura-Louise, Ruth Gordon’s pal in the conspiracy to undermine Rosemary’s motherhood in Roman Polanski’s devil worshipping in New York City, ROSEMARY’S BABY 1969. And she brings her comedic background as nurse Mac THE NAKED KISS  1964 Sam Fuller’s psychotronic cult film that has the feel of a psychological horror filck about a prostitute looking for redemption in small town America that holds a dark deviant secret.

Read a bit about Kelly’s biography here: Queers and Dykes in the Dark

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CAROL LYNLEY

Read My Carol Lynley Bio Tribute Here: THERES GOT TO BE A MORNING AFTER

In The Shuttered Room, the feeling of hostility, repression and dread inhabit a small Island, where the Whateleys live in an old mill town. There is a frightening secret behind a series of brutal murders. After Lynley’s character Susannah parents are killed, her Aunt Agatha (Flora Robson) sends her to New York, to protect her from the family curse.

Based on a story by August Derleth and H.P. Lovecraft, newlyweds Mike Kelton and Susanna (Gig Young and Carol Lynley) arrive on the remote island off the coast of New England, which was Susanna’s childhood home. They plan on renovating the old Whately Mill into a summer home. They find out that that her dilapidated estate has a dark secret. Warned off by the locals who claim it is haunted by the Whately curse. Susanna is already apprehensive, troubled by the memories lying buried in her subconscious and the mysterious pall that hangs over the family. She is also terrorized by the local thugs led by her libidinous psychopathic cousin Ethan (Oliver Reed).

The Shuttered Room, lobbycard, from left: Carol Lynley, Gig Young, 1967. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING 1965, The Shuttered Room 1967

Helga Liné

Helga Liné was a German former model and contortionist.

Alberto De Martino’s gothic horror, The Blancheville Monster established her place as a continental european horror/exploitation icon. In the seventies Liné made appearances in multiple genre favorites, Horror Express 1972, Amando de Ossorio’s The Loreley’s Grasp 1974 as well as working with Spanish horror auteur Paul Naschy in his Horror Rises From The Tomb (1973) and The Mummy’s Revenge (1975). She also appeared in León Klimovsky’s The Dracula Saga (1973) and in the same vein, The Vampires Night Orgy (1973) continuing on to appear in the exploitation films by José Ramón Larraz’ Madame Olga’s Pupils (1981) and Black Candles (1982).

Later on in her career Liné was cast in Pedro Almodóvar’s Labyrinth of Passion (1982) and Law of Desire (1987) playing Antonio Banderas’ mother. Partly filmed on location at the Monasterio del Cercón in Madrid that was later used in Paul Naschy’s The Werewolf Vs the Vampire Women 1971 and de Ossorio’s The Tombs of the Blind Dead 1972 featuring the Templar Knight horse riding zombies.

The Italian/Spanish production of The Blanceville Monster is permeated with lowcut dresses, candelabras., creepy family portraits and dream sequences and if it wasn’t so tedious and had a better flow and flair, it wouldn’t be such a dreadfully pale comparison to something Roger Corman and AIP put out. The film is “loosely based on Poe’s The Premature Burial which it does have one specific element to it, with one particular musical note, but that is it.

In The Blancheville Monster 1963 Helga Liné is the true standout as the sinister housekeeper Miss Eleanor – possessed by the brother who is impersonating his deformed father, he wants to end the family curse by killing his sister Emilie (Ombretta Colli) who is about to turn 21, after which It would mean the destruction of the male line of Blancheville’s. Eleanor is hypnotized into helping Roderic kill his sister Emilie. Helga Liné would play a similar role in Mario Caiano’s atmospheric Nightmare Castle (1965) starring Barbara Steele. Liné plays Solange –So Sweet… So Perverse 1969 with Carroll Baker and Erika Blanc.

She co-starred in the gory Italian horror film, Horror Express 1972 aka Panico en la Trans Siberian starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Here she is with Erika Blanc and again with Jean-Louis Trintignant in the giallo, So Sweet… So Perverse 1969

Susanne Loret

Atom Age Vampire 1960, The Minotaur, The Wild Beast of Crete 1960.

Daliah Lavi

 The Whip and the Body 1963, Ten Little Indians 1965.

JANET LEIGH

Janet Leigh is the quintessential ill-fated heroine, Marian Crane who falls victim to the perverted machinations of Anthony Perkin’s iconic pshcho Norman Bates-in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho 1960

She was discovered by MGM actress Norma Shearer who saw a picture of Janet which led to a screen test at MGM. She would play the young ingénue in a number of films and work with such stars as Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper James Stewart Orson Welles, starring in successful Hollywood films, including Little Women (1949) Angels in the Outfield 1951, Scaramouche 1952, Houdini 1953 with soon to be husband Tony Curtis and The Black Shield of Falworth 1954. She also appeared in John Frankenheimer’s political thriller The Manchurian candidate 1962.

Leigh will always be the influential face of the woman-in-peril. Of her more than 50 films she will forever be remembered getting killed off in the first 45 minutes of Alfred Hitchcock’s small budget horror movie inspired by his witnessing the success of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique 1955. As Marian Crane, Leigh barely has time for redemption after stealing money from her employer, before she is murdered by Bate’s Motel mother fixated taxidermist gangly Norman, who keeps his desiccated harpy mother stuffed in the basement of the creepy house on the hill.

Though a low budget experimental horror film, Psycho 1960 would become a landmark picture because of it’s shocking shower scene, where a suggested naked Leigh would be violently stabbed in a disturbing and grim psychologically driven attack. The scene has become one of the most iconic sequences not only in classic horror, but transcending all genres, waxing legendary.

“Marion challenges stereotypes, yet patriarchal views are still displayed. Marion is strong-willed and determined to obtain what she desires.” – By Alyssa Marie – Hitchcock’s Psycho through a Feminist Lens

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by Norman Bates, an odd gender ambigious young man who appears to be under the rule of his tyrannical mother.

Marion Crane takes hold of the narrative and changes the way we look at her, refusing to be defined by her sexuality that could easy be objectified. Marion challenges stereotypes, and though Hitchcock true to form, frames the movie around patriarchal patterns maintained in the 1950s-60s, Janet Leigh’s protagonist ultimately rebels until she is penetrated by Norman’s knife. While initially through our voyeuristic lens and the male gaze, we see her a demure and outre feminine subject in the motel room, having a clandestine affair with her bare chested married lover Sam. Going through symbolic transitions from innocent feminine white bra and panties, to provocative thief in black bra and panties to conservative smart grey blouse that obscures her neckline, when she goes on the run.

Marion is resolute in seeking what she desires, she literally breaks free and through a series of interactions with objectifying male figures, gives herself permission, after coming face to face with the gender ambiguous Norman Bates to be herself. In the beginning, her actions would not be accepted by society, and she conforms to gender standards, expecting Sam to marry her and legitimize their relationship, she tells him “I pay, too,” as her reputation will become stained if anyone found about their secret liaisons. In this way, she adhere’s to expectations of a woman being respectable by giving in to what is expected of them. Another constrained gender notion of that time, is that greed and power through money is a masculine trait. Marion defies gender norms and engages in a criminal act by stealing money, though she regrets her decision later on. The duality of Marion Crane both fortifies and disrupts the patriarchy and provokes us to think about stereotypes of women during the 1950s & 60s. In fact, Psycho challenges gender norms in general.

CATHERINE LACY

Catherine Lacy (Pink String and Ceiling Wax 1945, The Late Edwina Black 1947) was a regular performer with the Old Vic Company who went on to play eccentric spinsters.

“Ecstasy with no consequence!”

It’s London in the time of getting ‘kicks’, during the mod 60s and Professor Marcus Montserrat (Boris Karloff) is a weathered scientist/hypnotist who has created an apparatus that gives he and is wife Estelle (Catherine Lacy) the ability to become empathetic with the object of desire, thus experiencing their thoughts, feelings, and sensations through mind control. They choose young and handsome Mike Roscoe (Ian Ogilvy) a unsavory Hedonist as their test subject, so they might become endowed with his prowess and the self-gratification of being young. Roscoe must obey all thoughts that are put into his head. Soon, Estelle develops a voracious craving for more and more pleasure, becoming obsessed with the power she gets from living vicariously through Roscoe.

The Shadow of the Cat 1961, The Mummy’s Shroud 1967, Journey to the Unknown tv series episode ‘the Indian Spirit Guide 1968.

DIANA LORYS

The Awful Dr. Orloff 1962, Fangs of the Living Dead 1969. She went on to appear in Nightmares Come at Night 1970, The Bloody Judge 1970 starring Christopher Lee.

STAY TUNED: FOR PART 3 OF BRIDES OF HORROR: SCREAM QUEENS OF THE 1960s

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