Session: Price and Poe -- a Match Made on Heaven, Week 2
Movie: Tales of Terror (1962)
Directed by Roger Corman
As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL
1) A dying woman comes to visit her father. And her mother's corpse. Hilarity ensues.
2) A drunkard is more interested in wine than in his wife. Hilarity ensues.
3) A dying man seeks the comfort of an end to his pain, but his doctor has other plans. Hilarity ensues.
As implied by the plot synopsis, ToT is an anthology move -- three short films unconnected to each other. And it was a wonderful showcase for Vincent Price. I note with a bit of bemusement that, last week when we saw The Pit and the Pendulum which failed to engage me, I concluded that maybe I just didn't care foe Vincent Price. Now, I see this and do a complete reversal. Ethan has mentioned that, at first, he didn't care for Vincent Price, but that he grew on him. So...
The three parts, "Morella," "The Black Cat" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" are each based on a Poe story. Sort of. Kind of. Each is named for a Poe classic and shares some elements with that classic, but otherwise bears little resemblance to its namesake.
The best of the pieces by far, and this opinion was shared by the rest of the class, was "The Black Cat," which paired Price with Peter Lorre. Before things took a turn for the dark, Lorre seemed to be channeling Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden. Then, when Price entered, he took on Art Carney's Ed Norton. The whole wine-tasting sequence was arguably the highlight of the movie. Then, when things did get dark, Peter Lorre was great with the one liners delivered to Vincent Price as straight man. It was enough to make me wish that the two of them had done more performing together.
In one way I was a bit of a contrarian. Most of the class commented that the Morella was too short. That it would have benefited from a little more fleshing out. And that, since the movie only runs 82 minutes, there was room. I understand where they're coming from. It was very short. But I don't think it needed anything else.It was a good quick gut punch of a story. It got right to the point and it thrilled.
Sean: 3 out of 4