This week on SVENGOOLIE...

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RedRiver
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by RedRiver »

That's interesting. I know somebody from the Toledo area. She doesn't recall "Beaver" being on TV in her youth either. What does Ohio have against The Beaver?

THE SEVENTH VICTIM is a chilling, if tightly contained psycho-drama. Not the best of Lewton's classics, but the most poetic. John Donne is effectively quoted. You don't see that in many mainstream movies! This sad, literate thriller impresses me more each time I see it. The cast is fine (I don't even mind Mr. Cleaver). The final scene is heartbreaking.

If there are any Val Lewton newcomers in attendance, you won't want to disregard this small, quiet creeper.
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Fossy
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

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moirafinnie wrote:Oh, Fossy, what a haunting story. I hope that your brother-in-law recovered as much as possible. He probably looked like an apparition that first night to your sister Beryl as well. Thank God he made it home after all he had been through.

I sometimes forget what a remarkable impact that movies like The Mummy's Ghost would have had on us as children. You've brought it all back to me with this post. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Moirafinnie, Thank you for your message.

The Rakuyo Maru took a couple of hours to go down. The Japanese abandoned the ship immediatey and the prisoners salvaged anything which would float. There were about 20 men on or clinging to Jack`s raft. jack spent the first day in the water clinging to a rope. On the second day there was room on the raft for him. When the submarine returned he was the only one left.

During his time as a prisoner a couple of cards were sent (I think via red Cross) saying he was well and and that the POWs were being well treated . Following his rescue a couple of telegrams were sent "am safe in American hands" and later "am in Australian waters". These were intercepted by Jack`s mother and because she and Beryl had had a blue they were not relayed to Beryl.

The first Beryl Knew of it was when she came out of the pictures and found Jack standing on the footpath. Jack recovered. They raised four children. When the children had grown up they sold their house, bought a caravan, and spent the next twenty years travelling around Australia. They both died at age 78.
RedRiver
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by RedRiver »

This week: FRANK MEETS WOLFIE! Ah-ooo!
RedRiver
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by RedRiver »

I can't believe this! The channel that showed "Frank Meets Wolfie" wouldn't come in. I didn't get to watch it. It's not my TV. Other channels are fine. (At least, I got to watch the ballgame!) It's something with this station. It's happened before. My guess is, it's a channel with limited technology. Old programming. Stuff most people don't care for. It's probably sort of patched together. Naturally, it's my favorite!

They better not drop THE RIFLEMAN. My dog loves that!
MikeBSG
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by MikeBSG »

I'm sorry the TV system malfunctioned and you couldn't get "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman."

It reminds me of something that happened when my wife and I were first married. We lived in an apartment building. The PBS station was #2 on the cable box. As the weeks went on, the PBS station became softer and softer, so when he watched it, we really had to crank the volume just to hear what the characters were saying. Then an electronic hum became noticeable on Channel 2, reaching the point that all we could hear on the channel was a hum.

So we called the cable company. They sent a guy who poked around and then thanked us because the cable connection to the building had started to corrode, which was the source of our problem with Channel 2. We realized we were the only people in the building (in an Ohio college town) who must watch PBS because we were the only ones who noticed the problem.
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moira finnie
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

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Red, as I understand it, Me-TV is on some channels only part of the day in some markets, but I sure hope that's not true for your area. I hope it is cleared up by next week when SSSSS with Strother Martin slithers into view.

Mike, we have had to have the cable guy out to fix the box attached to our house about three times. The squirrels store their nuts in it and chew on the wires!

Here are the films currently on the Svenschedule for April:

April 14
Dracula (1931)
I'm afraid I am not a huge Bela Lugosi fan, but I love the creepy waifishness of Helen Chandler in anything.

April 21
Dracula's Daughter (1932)
I'm really excited about this one! I've never seen it and the cast is great: Otto Kruger,Gloria Holden (Dracula's daughter), Marguerite Churchill and of course, Edward Van Sloan, along with Gilbert Emery, Irving Pichel and Halliwell Hobbes.

I know it is more fun watching it on TV but here is Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)--without the Svengoolie "humorous" interruptions or Alex Trebek trying to sell you life insurance. I almost wish that the entire movie had just been Wolfie trying to get some peace, but then we wouldn't have a chance to see those weird townspeople in "Frankieburg":

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RedRiver
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by RedRiver »

ME TV broadcasts partial days where I am too. Early mornings, they run programming from a radio station, interspersed with video from the studio! I make light of it. It's actually kind of interesting! Technically, it's the worst station on the dial. For entertainment, it's the best!
MikeBSG
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by MikeBSG »

"Dracula's Daughter" is a terrific movie. I think it is much better than the 1931 film.
RedRiver
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by RedRiver »

I will probably pass on SSSSS! Me and snakes? Not a good match! The previews look pretty slimey! I'll be back for DRACULA'S DAUGHTER!
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intothenitrate
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by intothenitrate »

I LOVE Dracula's Daughter (1936). I've heard that it started out as an "A" picture in pre-production but then got downgraded somewhere along the way. I think it retains a lot of the production values from its initial inception.

Although technically a sequel, it's oozing with originality--not a bit like the formulaic Universals of the forties.
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MikeBSG
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by MikeBSG »

As I understand it, "Dracula's Daughter" was originally supposed to have been directed by James Whale. Lugosi was to return as Dracula, and Karloff would appear in it as well as the sorcerer who had cursed Dracula into becoming a vampire way back when. However, this meant going into Dracula's polygamy (remember the three vampire women from the 1931 film), and it looked as if "Dracula's Daughter" would have more fights with the Breen Office than "Bride of Frankenstein" had been through. Whale lost interest when it looked as if Karloff and Lugosi would have to be dropped from the film to lose the polygamy angle and please the censors.

But as you said, although it is not quite an A picture, it still has a freshness and a vitality that make it well worth seeing.
Mr. Arkadin
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

I'll be interested in what you think of Dracula's Daughter Moira. It's the best Dracula sequel and in many ways better than the original as Mike says. The polygamy uproar story is interesting, but baffling, since the film pushes plenty of other boundaries (most notably, lesbianism), which somehow slipped past the censors.
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MichiganJ
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by MichiganJ »

From what I've read, Dracula's Daughter was supposed to be an "A" picture, budgeted on par with The Bride of Frankenstein. Whale was scheduled to direct, and it was to feature an all-star cast, including Colin Clive, as well as newcomer, Jane Wyatt as the Countess(!) While I've not read that Karloff was to be involved, it stands to reason that he would be included in the cast. Lugosi was once again to appear as the Count during the first third of the film, which was to tell the Count's origin story.

Whale grew bored with the project and "mysteriously" a re-write of the script got to the Breen office before the heads at Universal got a look. In it, Whale had a considerable amount of sex and violence put in the origin story, and, once the contemporary story began, he gave the Countess a proclivity for whips, chains and the like. Breen, already irate at Universal for the amount of sex and the treatment of religion in Bride of Frankenstein, blew his top. Whale got his wish and was out.

Considering Breen, and desperately in need of a money-making hit, Universal didn't want another film that would risk being banned in overseas's markets, as Bride had been. So Universal nixed the all-star cast, toned down the horror, and cut the budget drastically. They saw that by cutting the Dracula origin story entirely, that would solve most of Breen's objections and save oodles of money. (But they still paid four grand to Lugosi for some publicity photos and the use of his likeness on the dummy at the film's beginning. You know, the one that looks nothing like Lugosi).

The film went through more than several re-writes, and, according to Holden, the script wasn't completed when they started filming. This may be why there is so much ambiguity in the picture. For instance, it is never made clear that Zaleska is actually Dracula's daughter. In fact, we don't know if she's even a vampire at all. Unlike most of the other Universal vampire films, there are no transformation scenes, and while she can't look at a cross, she can touch one, and she also believes that psychotherapy can cure her. Most of her actions seem to indicate that she suffers from delusion. They might also imply, while another Breen no-no, that Zaleska has a drug addiction. (At the very least, that might help to explain her inexplicable attraction to Dr. Garth.)

In the Dracula thread, I wrote about the homoerotic quality in many vampire films, pointing out what appears to be an overt instance of lesbianism in DD. While I still believe that, and the scene with Lili is highly erotic (as well as evil), it must be remembered that Zaleska's first victim is male (and one she, herself, chose). More interesting is Zaleska's obvious infatuation with Dr. Garth, which motivates the final third of the film. Her sexual identity seems to add more to the ambiguity of the film.

After re-watching the film this past October, I was really curious how the Breen Office could have let the Lili scene pass. I found that the shooting script had Lili actually posing nude, but the Breen office said 'Thank you, but no.' They also had Universal cut the sequence before there was any physical contact between Zaleska and poor, doomed Lili. (Leaving the rest to our imaginations).
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moira finnie
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by moira finnie »

Oh, you guys are making Dracula's Daughter most intriguing. I am hoping that RedRiver's reception service is okay next week so he can join in the discussion that is likely to ensue. I had many family obligations over the holiday weekend, so there was no time to even record SSSSS, despite my affection for Strother Martin. Thanks for all the buildup, guys!!
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intothenitrate
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Re: This week on SVENGOOLIE...

Post by intothenitrate »

One of Whale's friends said in an interview that he would play the Breen office by deliberately adding overtly salacious elements to scripts to give them something to object to. Then, after they were satisfied by making the cuts, they would let other things pass.

Thanks for the extra background info, MJ. You're right, there's a certain amount of ambiguity in the way the story unfolds, and about the characters' motivations. It reminds me of the way The Big Sleep used to leave me scratching my head...until I learned that they were dancing around the issue of a drug ring.
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
Goodnight Basington
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