01 November 2014

Dragonwyck (1946)
103 min.
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
With Vincent Price, Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Glenn Langan, Anne Revere, Spring Byington, Connie Marshall, Harry Morgan, Vivienne Osborne, Jessica Tandy.
More of a gothic melodrama than a standard horror thriller, Dragonwyck still packs in a lotta fun thanks to a memorable performance from Vincent Price.

Miranda Wells (Tierney) is a Connecticut country girl who yearns for her first taste of upper crust sophistication.

So she's delighted when her aristocratic cousin Nicholas Van Ryn (Price) invites her to his Dragonwyck estate in New York for an extended visit.

However, Miranda soon discovers just how divorced reality can be from dreams.

Once there, she meets Joanna (Osbourne), the mistress of Dragonwyck, an unhappy, sickly woman. And then there's the Van Ryn's young daughter Katrine (Marshall), who seems to have absolutely no feeling for either her mother or father.

And worst of all, there are some who believe Dragonwyck is haunted by the ghost of a distant ancestor. But just as Miranda begins to wonder whether she should have ever accepted Nicholas' invitation, she finds she's been drawn into the Van Ryn family...permanently.

Based on a novel written by Anya Seton and published in 1944, Dragonwyck is in great company with Hitchcock's original Rebecca (1940).

Gene Tierney has never been lovelier, and her innocence as Miranda is in perfect contrast to a dominating performance from Price as Dragonwyck's firm lord.

There's also some assured direction from Mankiewicz, excellent set design, and loads of atmosphere.

No classic, but a must see for Price devotees in particular, or broad-minded horror fans in general.

copyright 1998-present | The Terror Trap; www.terrortrap.com | all rights reserved