Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Return of Caftan Woman and Dr. Moreau

The old PC has been in mothballs for the past month while the homestead has been undergoing renovations. I can hear you now - "Really, Caftan Woman, it's a wireless world. What is your deal?" Well, my deal is that all the cool, new toys will have to wait until I've finished paying for the renovations, and by the time I've finished paying for the renovations we'll all be communicating telepathically!


And speaking of communicating telepathically, I hope you woke early on March 3rd for what would have been Caftan Woman's Choice for March on TCM, Paramount's 1932 production of Island of Lost Souls, the first screen version of H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Charles Laughton is magnificent as the maddest mad doctor of them all. Driven from his native England for his obscene experiments, the scientist rules over a Pacific island where he plays god, trying to turn animals into humans, creating tortured nothings. Bela Lugosi (Dracula, The Black Cat) is the leader of the unfortunates. Into this garden spot comes shipwreck victim Richard Arlen (Wings, The Virginian, Artists & Models). At first grateful for rescue by Moreau's alcoholic assistant Arthur Hohl (The Scarlet Claw, Moontide), our hero quickly assesses the true nature of the island. Luckily, his fiancee Leila Hyams (Freaks, Ruggles of RedGap) plans a rescue. Maybe not so lucky. Moreau sees in the new arrival a substitute for his diabolical plans for a Panther Woman played by Kathleen Burke, a beauty contestant who won the role.

How will it all end? It ends as it must for all mad scientists. A true horror film that plays on deep fears and ethics, with Laughton as enjoyable to watch as his character is abhorrent.

TCM's next screening of Island of Lost Souls is June 6th at 2:15 pm. Don't miss it!

22 comments:

  1. So nice to have you back--and blogging about one of my favorite early 1930s horror movies! Charles Laughton seems to be having such a great time in this one!

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  2. Hi, Lee. It's great to be back, and talking about such a wonderfully eerie and atmospheric movie. There's nobody like Laughton.

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  3. Welcome back. We were just about to draw straws to see which one had to put down the remote, put on our shoes, and go out looking for you.

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  4. It looks like I came back right in the nick of time, Jacqueline. I'd had to be responsible for such effort.

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  5. Good to see you back, CW. Dr. Moreau is a wild film, with crazy creatures and a strange story.

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  6. Thanks, Kim. "Island of Lost Souls" is, as my father used to say, "a dandy"!

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  7. CW, I missed you! Jacqueline made me laugh, but I echo her idea. It just hasn't been the same without you. I LOVE Charles Laughton in Island of Lost Souls. It is my favorite version of the book, and I certainly felt the creepy horror of it when I was a kid. I still do! Your father is right -- it's a dandy!

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  8. P.S. The signature above says Rebecca because I was fooling around with my account -- I've changed it back, and again it's me, ClassicBecky!

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  9. Becky or Rebecca, you'll always be a classic!

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  10. Complete off-topic but... Since you were such a generous supporter of the "June and Art" series (thanks so much for that!), I thought I'd mention that I just posted a related piece (a reflection on my father's death) at my new blog, 21 Essays:
    http://21essays.blogspot.com/search/label/King%20Kong

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  11. I'm glad you mentioned your new blog, Lee. I miss your writing.

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  13. So glad you're back CW! I've missed ya and your wonderful posts.

    Looking forward to what you have in store for us.
    Page

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  14. Thanks, Page.

    I have a lot of CMBA reading to catch up on. I've missed you guys!

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  15. "Are we not men?" I always remember that line uttered by, I think, Bela Lugosi as one of the man-beasts. OR was that in a later version?

    A truly frightening movie. Laughton is just right. Eerie and repulsive.

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  16. Ha! Jacqueine's comment made me laugh out loud.

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  17. Yes, Yvette, it was the heartbreaking Bela Lugosi who gave us that classic, unforgettable line.

    That Jacqueline - what a card!

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  18. It's nice to have you back blogging, CW. That is the law!

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  19. Welcome back, CW. When are you inviting all of us over to see the renovations and watch a movie? I'll bake a pie :)

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  20. Thanks, guys.

    Well, Classicfilmboy, so you can bake? Everybody's invited. Once we can settle on the movie.

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  21. It's about time Caftan Woman. I've missed your wise and funny posts and comments. Now you can do it in improved digs.

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