Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:37 pm
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:45 pm
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:49 pm
Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:52 pm
Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:13 pm
drjohncarpenter wrote:Time flies!
The 1953 "House of Wax" is a thoroughly enjoyable -- and still quite frightening -- film today. I also have the DVD with the 1933 original as a bonus, and the only thing that strikes me about it is how much of the narrative they used for the remake 20 years later. Lionel Atwill was quite good, though.
As a kid in the '70s, I stole away and saw the film in 3D at a showing in San Francisco. It was fantastic.
It is a great shame that neither "House of Wax" nor "Mystery of the Wax Museum" has seen a proper digital release -- for example, the pan-and-scan used for the 1953 film is infuriating.
Thanks for the post.
Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:24 am
Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:30 am
Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:18 am
Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:22 am
drjohncarpenter wrote:Hopefully, they'll do as good a job as possible.
Here's a neat still from the film:
Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:26 am
Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:08 am
Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:59 pm
"The moment was pregnant and propitious …"
THE SCREEN IN REVIEW
House of Wax,' Warners' 3-D Film With Vincent Price, Has Premiere at Paramount
By Bosley Crowther
New York Times, Saturday, April 11, 1953
A slight paraphrase of the first message sent over telegraph wires might signal the staggering appearance of the first major stereoscopic film. "House of Wax," the historic production unveiled at the Paramount yesterday in as wild a display of noise and nonsense as has rattled a movie screen in years, may well cause a dazed and deafened viewer, amazed and bewildered, to inquire in wonder and genuine trepidation: What hath the Warner Brothers wrought?
For this mixture of antique melodrama, three-dimensional photography, ghoulish sensationalism and so-called directed sound (which means noises coming at you from all parts of the theatre) raises so many serious questions of achievement and responsibility that a friend of the motion picture medium has ample reason to be baffled and concerned.
It isn't only that the story projected in this first major whack with 3-D is a bundle of horrifying claptrap that was cheap and obvious twenty years ago—which is precisely how long ago it was the Warners first made it under the title of "The Mystery of the Wax Museum." Even then it was a raw, distasteful fable fit only to frighten simple souls with the menace of a crazy, fire-scarred sculptor embalming his victims in a wax-works chamber of horrors.
And now, as a story, it is no different. It is still a fantastic conceit, highlighted by a fire in the wax museum and the subsequent depredations of a repulsively disfigured ghoul who establishes a new museum with wax-encased cadavers snatched from the morgue. And its performance by Vincent Price as the monstrous hero, Phyllis Kirk as a potential victim, Frank Lovejoy as a baffled detective and several others in assorted comic-strip roles, under Andre De Toth's direction, is in a consistently stiff and graceless style.
Nor is it that the stereo-photography, while more effective than any other yet seen in New York theatres, is of but moderate advantage to the film. The picture is in Technicolor (as was the previous "The Mystery of the Wax Museum") and the illusion of contour and depth in the images, as viewed through polaroid glasses, is good. On a few occasions, such as a scene in which a barker bounces a rubber ball toward the audience or figures tumble forward in the picture, the shock effect is pronounced. But the so-called added dimension of "deepness" is of slight significance.
The major causes for anxiety presented by this film are in the savagery of its conception and the intolerable artlessness of its sound. It is thrown and howled at the audience as though the only purpose was to overwhelm the naturally curious patron with an excess of brutal stimuli. And this is betrayed not only in the morbidity of many scenes but in the violence of the noises that are brayed from the theatre's screen and walls.
The intended effect of having sounds come from areas in which they would naturally develop in relation to the images on the screen—such as the voice of an actor out of the frame to the left coming from that side wall—is not only confusing but incongruous with the visual illusion of the screen. It is as though someone were speaking from a box or the stage wings, with no relation whatsoever to the images before the eyes. The mechanical distraction of it may wear off with time, if this sort of thing is repeated, but it is disturbing and almost comical now.
Likewise, the noisy sound of footsteps clattering in the back of the theatre a moment after an actor has appeared to rush forward from the screen is completely illogical and unnerving. It sounds like a riot outside.
But the most frightening thing about this picture is the thought of the imitation it will encourage, if it proves to draw customers to the theatre, which it more than likely will do. Some may accept this dismal prospect with the same casualness they accord the idiocies and eventually comical monstrosities of the film. But not so this reviewer. It's a prospect we view with alarm. Dimly we foresee movie audiences embalmed in three-dimensional wax and sound.
On the stage at the Paramount are Eddie Fischer, The Beach-combers, Joey Forman and Henry Winterhalter and his band.
HOUSE OF WAX, screen play by Crane Wilbur, based on a story by Charles Belden; directed by Andre de Toth; produced by Bryan Foy in Natural Vision for Warner Brothers. At the Paramount.
Prof. Henry Jarrod . . . . . Vincent Price
Lieut. Tom Brennan . . . . . Frank Lovejoy
Sue Allen . . . . . Phyllis Kirk
Cathy Gray . . . . . Carolyn Jones
Scott Andrews . . . . . Paul Picerni
Matthew Burke . . . . . Roy Roberts
Mrs. Andrews . . . . . Angela Clarke
Sidney Wallace . . . . . Paul Cavanagh
Sgt. Jim Shane . . . . . Dabbs Greer
Igor . . . . . Charles Buchinsky
Barker . . . . . Reggie Rymal
Bruce Allison . . . . . Philip Tonge
Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:27 am
Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:26 am
drjohncarpenter wrote:Looks like this is from Crowther's second report on the film, from April 19, 1953.
He does make interesting, detailed observations regarding the aesthetics of stereoscopic sound, but they come off today like that of a cranky 47 year-old resistant to innovation. One imagines he would soon detest the rock 'n' roll explosion in 1956, and would have been no fan of 5.1 surround sound.
Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:21 pm
Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:29 pm
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Thanks, John, I appreciate that article.
I had the earlier review somewhere but couldn't find it.
Yeah, Crowther was a VERY hard to please individual.
Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:48 pm
Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:34 am
Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:41 pm
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Coming Soon!
Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:11 pm
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Coming Soon!
Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:32 pm
Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:36 pm
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:It's a Blu-ray exclusive release. Here are the specs:
Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:31 pm
Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:32 pm
Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:42 pm
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