What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

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Nick
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What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

Post by Nick » Thu 27 Sep, 2007 13:33:13

Chris Lees DRO film was marketed under The Devils Bride in the US in 1968. (In case they thought it was a western under the DRO title)
I've just come accross a reveiw of the film from 1968 read on...



The Devil Rides Out (1968)
December 19, 1968
Screen: 'Devil's Bride':British Feature Delves Into the Occult
HOWARD THOMPSON.
Published: December 19, 1968

EVEN with a rare, fine burst of black magic from Hollywood such as "Rosemary's Baby," the occult is more Britain's cup of tea as is evident from persistent trickle of modest melodramas, some of which have hit the jackpot. The best is still "Burn, Witch, Burn," that brilliant campus whodunit five years ago. The runner-up remains the more recent "The Devil's Own," with Joan Fontaine scared out of her wits in a genteel village.

Yesterday's entry, "The Devil's Bride," with a horde of Satan worshipers clattering across the English countryside, places about third, rather uncertainly. For all its wild-eyed finale, lumpy absurdities and excessive length, this little picture ends up on its feet, wavering but standing.

For one thing, it sustains flavor and atmosphere in beautiful color photography, with the evil doings framed by cool, rural greenery and stately homes. Under Terence Fisher's direction, infact, the first 20 minutes are dandy, as a steely aristocrat, played with suave dignity by Christopher Lee, tries to outwit the evil ones on their own terms and have some friends and relatives.

This civilized counterattack, in terminology and behavior, and some realistic dialogue, steady the action until a flaring, flapping climax, which is O.K. within the context. One question, though: When the evil ones attack the innocents, who protectively crouch inside a chalked circle, where on earth were the child and butler?

Aside from Mr. Lee, the acting of Charles Gray, as the main culprit, Leon Greene, Nike Arrighi, Sarah Lawson and the others is much too broad. Still, and all considered, "The Devil's Bride" does hold together, and superstitious moviegoers could do a lot worse.



The film bombed I am told, however this guy seems to like it. Wonder if he went on to read the book?

Hoyo de Monterrey
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Re: What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

Post by Hoyo de Monterrey » Mon 1 Oct, 2007 23:19:29

Nick wrote:Chris Lees DRO film was marketed under The Devils Bride in the US in 1968. (In case they thought it was a western under the DRO title)
What a wonderful thought - a DW Black Magic Western!! :rofl (My slightly bizarre sense of humour is working overtime).
"Here's to crime"

Jim
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Post by Jim » Fri 7 May, 2010 23:53:00

Nick doesn't say so, but this write-up was published in The New York Times, which prides itself as a "newspaper of record." I don't think they gave many Hammer films such positive reviews...

Garry Holmes
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Re: What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

Post by Garry Holmes » Sun 9 May, 2010 11:08:08

Hoyo de Monterrey wrote:
Nick wrote:Chris Lees DRO film was marketed under The Devils Bride in the US in 1968. (In case they thought it was a western under the DRO title)
What a wonderful thought - a DW Black Magic Western!! :rofl (My slightly bizarre sense of humour is working overtime).
Starring Duke Wayne? ;)

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Re: What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

Post by Alan » Sun 9 May, 2010 13:34:57

Nick wrote:Chris Lees DRO film was marketed under The Devils Bride in the US in 1968. (In case they thought it was a western under the DRO title)
I've just come accross a reveiw of the film from 1968 read on...



The Devil Rides Out (1968)
December 19, 1968
Screen: 'Devil's Bride':British Feature Delves Into the Occult
HOWARD THOMPSON.
Published: December 19, 1968

One question, though: When the evil ones attack the innocents, who protectively crouch inside a chalked circle, where on earth were the child and butler?
.



The film bombed I am told, however this guy seems to like it. Wonder if he went on to read the book?
I've never been fortunate enough to see the movie. Am I to take it that it doesn't follow the book - wherein DW makes it absolutely clear what Fleur was doing at the time, ie being kidnapped by Mocata's minions? Not sure why Malin would be in danger though, he surely wouldn't be any threat to Mocky and his mates.

Cibator
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Re: What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

Post by Cibator » Sun 9 May, 2010 21:14:20

Garry Holmes wrote:
Hoyo de Monterrey wrote:
Nick wrote:Chris Lees DRO film was marketed under The Devils Bride in the US in 1968. (In case they thought it was a western under the DRO title)
What a wonderful thought - a DW Black Magic Western!! :rofl (My slightly bizarre sense of humour is working overtime).
Starring Duke Wayne? ;)
With, of course, [Vampire] Bat Masterson as the villain? :lol:
Fas est et ab hoste doceri

Jim
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Re: What our American Cousins thought of the Devils Bride

Post by Jim » Sat 15 May, 2010 00:13:02

Alan wrote: I've never been fortunate enough to see the movie. Am I to take it that it doesn't follow the book - wherein DW makes it absolutely clear what Fleur was doing at the time, ie being kidnapped by Mocata's minions? Not sure why Malin would be in danger though, he surely wouldn't be any threat to Mocky and his mates.
Within the limits of a 95-minute film, TDRO is quite true to the novel, and I believe it's the only film version of any of his books that Wheatley was pleased with. The screenplay is by novelist Richard Matheson, who did a lot of screen- and teleplays, including some classic Twilight Zone episodes.

As for omitted details, I think it was David Selznick who advised a scriptwriter that the audience would overlook anything that had to be left out of the movie of a book because of time constraints, but they would never forgive the addition of things that were not in the original...

Garry Holmes
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Post by Garry Holmes » Mon 17 May, 2010 19:18:01

I think the fact that Wheatley sent Matheson a letter thanking him for sticking to the book, says a lot! Matheson wrote back to say that he had seen so many of his own books and short stories murdered by hack screenwriters, that he had made a vow never to do it to anyone else. I can recall an interview that he did about the film. He remembered how he had taken the chapter where the Duc tries to convince Rex of the supernatural, and boiled it down to a few lines of dialogue. That pretty much sums up the adaption; simplified but still recognisably the book.

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