Hysterical Woman of the Week! Jean Marsh in Dark Places (1973)

DARK PLACES (1973)

dark places

Director Don Sharp’s outre creepy foray into the old dark house trope, as Robert Hardy (You might recognize him as Cornelius Fudge in The Harry Potter series) plays Edward Foster / Andrew Marr a man who inherits an estate where a fortune lays hidden. Visited by the malevolent ghosts of two small children, Edward recently released from the asylum begins to inhabit the former owners tragic and violent past… Genuinely atmospheric British horror gem from the 70s!

Co-starring Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Joan Collins and Jane Birkin…

Predates many of the films utilizing evil ghosts and various modes of carnage there after!

Jean Marsh plays the truly tightly wound wife Victoria who’s homicidal tendencies are passed onto her two impish yet dangerous children… watch as this fine British lady starts to unwind on husband Andrew. This aint Downton Abbey…!

Stay calm and carry on-Your Everlovin’ MonsterGirl!

Hysterical Woman of the Week! Marilyn Monroe as Nell Forbes in Don’t Bother To Knock

“…a wicked sensation as the lonely girl in room 809!”

DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK (1952)

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Director Roy Ward Baker and Writer/Screenwriter Charlotte Armstrong  (The Unsuspected 1946) offer this tense Psycho-Melodrama/Noir starring Marilyn Monroe as the very disturbed Nell Forbes, who comes to New York to stay with her uncle Eddie the ubiquitous Elisha Cook Jr. who bell hops in a ritzy Hotel. He manages to get his niece, who was recently released from a sanitarium a job babysitting a young girl named Bunny (Donna Corcoran) for one night. Nell has had a breakdown and a suicide attempt after the loss of her beau Air-Force pilot who went down with his plane. Along comes Jed Towers (Richard Widmark) who’s just been dumped by the Hotel’s night club singing sweetheart Lyn Lesley (Anne Bancroft). Jed sees Nell through the window across the alley and they meet up in the Hotel room for a little bottle of rye and some good times, until Jed realizes that Nell isn’t quite what she appears to be. Nell is living in a fantasy world, who resents the little girls intrusion into her concocted love affair with Jed, and she starts to slowly unravel, and go quietly ‘hysterical’ Monroe does a pretty darn good job with the role, she’s dripping with a tragic frustrated sensuality and she’s got great legs and other things too…

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Bunny’s parent’s are played by Jim Backus and Lurene Tuttle 

Don’t bother knocking, just walk right in, I’m here all the time folks… your ever lovin’ MonsterGirl

Hysterical Woman of The Week: Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark, from The Bad Seed (1956)

“For little Rhoda, murder is child’s play.”

THE BAD SEED (1956)

The Bad Seed film poster

Mervyn LeRoy’s bold psychological thriller adapted from Maxwell Anderson’s play.

Nancy Kelly confronts her crispy clean dress wearin’ skipping little psychopathic child Rhoda (Patty McCormack) in a scene where both mother and child devolve into the realm of ‘hysterical’ over the truth behind poor Claude Daigle’s brutal death, prompted by his winning the penmanship medal.

Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark

Little Rhoda Penmark

I have the prettiest mother
“I have the prettiest mother in the world”

A basket of evil hugs

I was going to use Eileen Heckert’s compelling performance as the besotted mournful Hortense Daigle, but I couldn’t resist this climactic scene instead…

Eilleen Heckert as Hortense Daigle The Bad Seed

What’ll you give me for a basket of kisses?, I’ll give you a basket of hugs -MonsterGirl

Hysterical Woman of the Week! Doreen Lang at the diner in The Birds (1963)

Doreen Lang designated ‘the Hysterical Mother in the diner’ on IMDb. From Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) A cautionary tale based on friend Daphne Du Maurier’s book about nature gone wild. With the screenplay penned by Evan Hunter.

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Watch the hysterical woman in the diner accuse Tippi Hedren’s character Melanie Daniels of practically being the Whore of Babylon, having brought upon this flying wrath from the sky, as all the winged mayhem began the moment she stepped onto the dock of the pristine and pious sleeping fishing village of Bodega Bay.

Hysterically Yours-MonsterGirl

Hysterical Woman of The Week! Olive Deering as Thelma Tompkins from (1959)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents-

Season 4, Episode 25

The Kind Waitress (29 Mar. 1959)

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Olive Deering in Caged (1950) starring Eleanor Parker and Hope Emerson

Olive Deering (Caged 1950, Shock Treatment 1964) plays Thelma Tompkins a kind hearted waitress who toils in a hotel restaurant. She’s attentive and thoughtful doting on old Mrs.Sara Mannerheim (Celia Lovsky) who eats in the restaurant every evening.

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Mrs. Mannerheim tells Olive that she is her only friend and has decided to leave her in her will, also bestowing on Thelma a brooch. But like all dark fairy tales, as the months creep forward, Mrs. Mannerheim becomes increasingly demanding,and Thelma becomes unhinged. You see…

Thelma’s musician boyfriend Arthur gets the idea to precipitate the old woman’s demise, instead of waiting for death to take her by inches, so, Thelma poisons old lady Mannerheim’s tea. Unfortunately for Thelma, the old woman has a constitution of stone and it doesn’t work.

Driven by an obsession to keep her boyfriend happy, and sick and tired of care taking, Thelma cracks and let’s loose her fury on the old lady.

Have some tea-MonsterGirl

Hysterical Woman of the Week! Louise Sorel in The Fugitive from (1965)

As of late, I am finding myself drawn to David Janssen, his quiet charisma and sexy self-restrained smile that just kind of makes me swoon. I’ve been devouring as much of his work as I can, guilty pleasures like Once is Not Enough 1975, and tv movies like The Golden Gate Murders 1979, Warning Shot 1967, and his other tv persona as cheeky private eye, Harry O.Each night I coil up with an episode of that quintessential noir television thriller, The Fugitive to waltz me into slumberland.

And so, in honor of this wonderful actor who left us way too early …I’m kicking off this new Last Drive-In offering, Hysterical Woman of the Week, with one of the most powerful episodes from the series about the man who runs away a lot… the valiant and zen Dr Richard Kimble.

David Janssen fugitive

So with just a little further MG ramblings here’s a little ‘hysteria’ god how I resent, no!…abhor this archetype which is why I harp on it perhaps way too much, The Hysterical Woman…!

Louise Sorel

Here’s the pretty and unsung Louise Sorel  portraying Edith Waverly getting a little upset with mother Edith (Ruth White)

*years later she would do hysterical brilliantly yet again as Velia Redford in one of my favorite episodes of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery’s The Dead Man.

from television series ‘The Fugitive’: episode The Survivors (2 Mar. 1965)

Ever Hysterically Yours-MonsterGirl