damsel in distress or persecuted maiden is a classic theme in world literature,art,film and video games. The trope involves a beautiful or innocent woman placed in danger by a villain or monster that requires a knight or hero to rescue her. In movies it has become common trope in storytelling. The golden age of movies turned this trope into a different light by turning it into women-in-peril sub genre of movies that started out in 1940’s as they were a sub genre for horror and thrillers that follows a female protagonist who is subjected to prolonged physical and emotional torture. These tortures are aimed at womanhood or what it means to be a woman. Women portrayed as victims is fertile ground for movies today I talk about movies of this sub genre that are a classics of the golden age of cinema as I talk about these Gothic melodramas or thrillers of the golden age of movies So let’s begin this talk about it.
So I begin with a review of gaslight(1944) which is a mystery thriller based upon a play that tells a story about a woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into believing she is insane.
Patrick Hamilton’s Angel Street an American stage classic was turned into a classic Gothic melodrama on the screen in 1944 as gaslight. This Gothic melodrama about a woman being driven out of her mind was directed by George Cukor. This film is beloved by film fans all over the world because it holds the viewer interested in watching the psychological drama with echoes of Gothic overtone unfold on the screen.
Ingrid Bergman plays a wonderful role as Paula as she born to play this troubled woman as she truly captures the raw depths of this person perfectly. The movie starts with her as a young girl at the begining of the flim to a blooming woman that is affaid of her own shadow. One look at Ingrid Bergman you get sense what is in her mind each moment of the movie as she truly gives us one amazing performance. Charles Boyer also makes a great Gregory Anton as he plays the perfect villain as he truly is sly and duplicitous with a hidden agenda to get whatever he can out of poor Paula. Gregory Anton is an evil man that will go to any lengths to get what he wants. Its truly a wonderful role. The supporting cast all give out such amazing performances as young Angela Lansbury stands out among them as a maid. Joseph Cotten gives a good performance. Dame May Witty truly is a good actress giving us an amazing performance. Gaslight is an excellent Gothic melodrama that you should see today.
House of wax review
Black cat reviewEdgar G. Ulmer’s The Black Cat was released in 1934; it was the first feature film to famed Universal horror actors Bella Lugosi (“Dracula”) and Boris Karloff (“Frankenstein”) in the same film together which may explain why it is one of the beloved cult classics.
Bella Lugosi plays the good guy in this movie. The role of Dr. Vitus Werdegast is among the finest ever played by Bella Lugosi. it is so much of a departure from many of his other roles it does stand out among his roles.Boris Karloff plays Hjalmar Poelzig, a Satanic architect whom is among one of his finest roles on the screen as he plays a wonderfully creepy role. He plays a devil worshiper that holds black masses and a penchant for the ladies only when they are put to the devil’s business. He plays it so dark and twisted as this evil devil worshiping priest. He was once friends to Dr. Vitus Werdegast whom he betrayed during the war which led to a long imprisonment. This bond really plays off well in parts you see shades of the friendship yet you know truth that both men don’t like each other. They play both together in a horror classic in a fine manner as both of the duo really lights up the screen.
Peter Alison (David Manners), a pulp mystery writer, and his newlywed bride, Joan (Julie Bishop,) both plays both roles finely i may add as both really are good at playing off this couple stuck in middle of this game between both men. Julie Bishop of course plays Joan the victim in the middle of it all.She is used as a pawn in Hjalmar Poelzig’s rituals. Both of the couple really stands out as both give out wonderful performances. The Black Cat contains some of the most unsettling scenes of any classic Universal horror film. It is the darkest of them all. I just wonder how it was viewed by audiences in 1934. Two scenes that immediately come to mind are the black mass performed by Karloff and the torture scene at the end of the film. These scenes are not typical of the Universal classics as this is darker than normal universal horror movies. I adore the darker elements that make this movie really stand out among horror movies of that era. The setting of this movie is different than other universal horror movies as its futuristic house really stands out among universal horror movie movies. It’s wonderful set design and cinematography and lighting really shines that makes it stand out along with its wonderful acting and makeup work and direction makes this universal classic stand out. This is one classic movie you should see today.
The Canterville Ghost is loosely based upon the a short story by Oscar Wilde starring Robert Young and Margaret O’Brien with Charles Laughton as the ghost whom he plays with a delightful charm to the role. It’s a very charming little gem that will make you smile as it’s a very delightful and charming ghost story for the whole family that you will laugh and adore. It’s a classic charming ghost story that is timeless as ever that you should see today.
Gothic Melodrama is a very special brand of the ever popular Melodrama style that emerged in the late 30’s and that featured not only old Gothic mansions, dozens of burning candles, foggy streets illuminated by gaslight, mysteries and haunting family secrets, Victorian ladies walking through dark corridors, Byronic heroes like Orson Welles or James Mason, tall dark villains like Vincent Price and tragic ghost stories. I showed some of these stories today that present as many classics exist in this area you can enjoy many times over and over again i hope you enjoyed my look upon this area today.