You will have to know what I'm talking about to see how the title of this piece fits in, but it’s Halloween and you can have all your Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger or Friday the 13th movies. You can have all the slice and dice, slash and burn, cut ‘em up and throw some fake blood about and make you jump movies, but they are don’t make you think movies and that to me is the true horror.
Speaking of thinking, I remember hearing when Michael Redgrave died and wondering, “Who’s he?” Then hearing that he was a famous actor and the father of Vanessa Redgrave and wondering, “Who’s she?”
I would find out later that Vanessa had a sister, Lynn who had a TV show about some sort of hospital that I’ve forgotten the name of that I would watch. Vanessa also had an actor brother Corin and a daughter Natasha Richardson who I had seen star in a movie with Christopher Walken and would later marry the actor Liam Neeson. Vanessa had another daughter whose name is I’m not sure of, but since I don’t think I’ve seen any of her work, it doesn’t matter right now.
In time I began to learn about the contributions that all the Redgraves had made to film and cinema, if not the theatre. I began learn that each time one of them was the screen, the father, the daughters, the granddaughters, even the son now and again, there was that special spark that lights up the screen and made you take notice of what was going on. The best of them was of course the father, the original, and I don’t know why that is but it just is.
You can see how good he is in many of his movies from the mid 30’s and early 50’s but since it’s Halloween the one that I want to show here is Dead of Night where Redgrave plays a ventriloquist whose dummy starts to take on a personality of its own. This was or is a sort of early version of the Twighlight Zone where in fact many parts of the movie could be found as whole episodes of the later produced TV show sans Rod Serling doing the prolog.
I’ve only seen this movie once before when they used to show classic movies on regular TV on a regular basis, but it’s always stuck with me.
Like the guy says, if you’re looking for something to curl up to this Halloween weekend, you could do worse by passing up this movie.
Oh and Happy Halloween.