Bewitched

All posts tagged Bewitched

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Reta Shaw

Published November 9, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

The grand Reta Shaw has rooted herself in the minds of many burgeoning filmgoers from her classic turns in such Disney projects as Mary Poppins and Escape to Witch Mountain.

Nicely, with roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (as a nosy neighborhood woman), Thriller (as a childish middle-aged bride turned unrelenting domestic shrew) and Bewitched (as two different senior relatives of prime witch Samantha), she also gave golden genre television lovers something to talk about over the water coolers, as well.

In the honey-in-our-ears category, as a Broadway veteran, Shaw reprised her comic, singing role of Mabel in The Pajama Game to grand effect in the film version of the popular musical – truly making all those who haven’t witnessed her comic brilliance here jealous of those who have.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

(Photos – Top, Bewitched. Middle, Thriller. Bottom, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.)

Va-Va-Villainess: Mabel Albertson

Published August 22, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Mabel GlamourBest known for portraying the (occasionally) disapproving mother-in-law of Samantha on the classic supernatural comedy Bewitched, the distinguished Mabel Albertson made many other appearances on the stage and in film, often playing the matriarchal figurehead to the characters that each specific project focused upon.

In one earlier assignment, Albertson showed she could amp up the dramatic proceedings with a true sense of overbearing vengefulness. Playing out all the destructive impulses of Mrs. Conway, the commanding mother of Julie Adams’ hopeful starlet in the glossy 1957 Universal Pictures’ melodrama Four Girls in Town, this well-traveled performer brings a crushing weight to her fictional actions. Thus, this character’s overpowering persona almost destroys her daughter’s chance at true happiness and, often swiftly and subtly, Albertson makes her poisonous mark truly felt here. Mabel Four Girls in Town

Considering that almost everyone has dealt with the stinging pressure of a mentor or family member, Mrs. Conway emerges as a creature whose supposedly concerned and supportive sense of evil is just as great as any of the grander schemes provided by such notorious creatures as Lady Macbeth or Julia Cotton…a testament to the honest power of Mabel Albertson’s skilled work.

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Horror Hall of Fame:

Among her many other credits, this grand dame of expressiveness appeared on a popular episode of The Munsters and co-starred with the iconic Barbara Stanwyck in 1970’s The House That Wouldn’t Die, an early example of the made for television horror movie.

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Mabel House

Albertson reacts to the horrors of The House That Wouldn’t Die!

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Sharkbait Retro Village: Night of Terror

Published February 23, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

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When you a injure a limb, a reliable cast is sometimes necessary. But…when you watch an early 70s television film thriller, a really good cast is always a necessity.

Thankfully, 1972’s Night of Terror delivers with a creative team that glows as brightly as the greasy smile on costar Chuck Conners’ face. Though, I imagine there are a few out there who would rather break an arm then be forced to watch this almost 40 year old tribute to the virginal heroine in distress.

The plucky damsel here is played by television stalwart-nighttime soap opera icon Donna Mills. Before finding eternal fame as the manipulative Abby on Knots Landing, Mills was a prime time movie of the week regular. With credits including Haunts of the Very Rich and Play Misty for Me already under her belt, this blonde dynamo knew how to deliver up the surprise and anxiety that is the bread and butter of her role here. As a kindly art teacher accidentally caught in the crosshairs of Connors’ mob assassin, Mills’ Linda Daniel glows with dewy worry throughout the proceedings and the actress’s traditional Hollywood blondness is the perfect fit for this almost saintly character’s twisted trajectory. 

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Nicely, she is joined on her journey by many familiar faces, making this exercise in fraught dynamics a truly enjoyable one for lovers of the old school celeb estetic. Bewitched regulars Mary Grace Canfield and Agnes Moorehead show up as a friendly cleaning lady and the physical therapist who treats Daniel’s temporary emotional and physical paralysis, a plot point that shares similarities to such fare as The Spiral Staircase, Wait Until Dark and many other gothic shockers.

John Karlen, then best known for his work with Dan Curtis, meanwhile gives up a frantic appearance as Connors’ first victim. Other notables include esteemed character actor Martin Balsam, soap opera hunk William Gray Espy (AKA the first Snapper on The Young and the Restless) and what even appears to be Julie Kavner in a dialogue free exchange as a nurse attending to the distraught Mills.

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Perhaps most interestingly, the quirky and irreplaceable Catharine Burns shows up in the first act as Mills/Daniels’ doomed friend. Always a significantly enjoyable presence, Burns was best known for her devastating, Academy Award nominated work in Last Summer. Her success there, though, did not assure her a major career and she wound up doing smaller television work before fading away from the industry completely. Thus, her sudden death in 2019 was not discovered by the media for almost a year. Nicely, a quick YouTube search finds her here living forever young with all her special talents intact and ready for every agreeable viewer’s consumption.

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Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan