As promised here is part 2 of favorite movies to watch during the witching season.
First up is a great old film called Topper starring Cary Grant (obviously one of my favorite actors) and Constance Bennet.
Here is the synopsis:
George (Cary Grant) and Marion Kerby (Constance Bennett) are a young, happy-go-lucky couple who love to party. But after a car accident kills them both, they discover that they haven’t done enough good deeds to earn a trip to heaven. To remedy this problem, they decide to help their old uptight boss, Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), live a little. While Topper begins to take their ghostly advice and enjoy life for a change, his controlling wife finds her husband’s laid-back behavior infuriating.
Topper was a big success for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when released it in 1937.
Next is a film that was made in the 60’s by Roman Polanski called “The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck” and it is awesome! It is campy fun. Also, it should be noted that Sharon Tate is in this and of course looks gorgeous. If you don’t know who Sharon Tate or Roman Polanski is, well, I don’t know what to tell you. Google away my friends.
Here is the synopsis
Vampire hunter Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) and his faithful assistant, Alfred (Roman Polanski), are traveling across Transylvania when they stop to rest at a suspicious-looking inn. That night, they witness the innkeeper’s daughter, Sarah (Sharon Tate), being whisked away by Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne), an obvious vampire, and pursue him to his nearby castle. They break in, only to be invited to stay by the unfazed count, and plot to rescue Sarah and destroy their murderous host.
This movie is hilarious and just mesmerizing. The cinematography by Douglas Slocombe has a surreal, Daliesque quality, notable in its lighting and visual imagery. The outdoor sequences in the snow and the visuals inside the inn, the castle and the minuet scene are filmed to create a dreamlike image.
There is an animated opening sequence to this film which is really interesting for an MGM film.
The soundtrack was done by Krzysztof Komeda, who also scored Rosemary’s Baby!
This movie was released on November 1967 in the US and unfortunately Sharon Tate would die tragically two years later.
Lastly, we have an all time classic for you movie peeps. “Young Frankenstein” by the genius Mel Brooks.
I ABSOLUTELY refuse to believe that anyone hasn’t seen this movie but if by chance you haven’t (shaking head) here is the synopsis: Respected medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) learns that he has inherited his infamous grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. Arriving at the castle, Dr. Frankenstein soon begins to recreate his grandfather’s experiments.
The cast alone is enough to want to watch any movie but the pure comedic genius of Mel Brooks and his actors makes for a seriously laugh out loud movie you will keep watching year after year.
Most of the lab equipment used as props was created by Kenneth Strickfaden for the 1931 film Frankenstein. To help evoke the atmosphere of the earlier films, Brooks shot the picture entirely in black-and-white, a rarity in the 1970s, and employed 1930s’ style opening credits and scene transitions such as iris outs, wipes, and fades to black.
Also, did you know that Gene Wilder is the one that started writing the screenplay? When Wilder approached his agent with it his agent told him about hiring Peter Boyle and Marty Feldman. Wilder even approached Mel Brooks to direct it but he didn’t agree at first. It wasn’t until Gene and Mel worked on Blazing Saddles together (another gem) that Mel Brooks agreed to direct “Young Frankenstein”. It was then that the two of them wrote the rest of movie.
The late great Madeline Kahn.
While shooting, the cast ad-libbed several jokes used in the film. Cloris Leachman improvised a scene in which Frau Blücher offers “varm milk” and Ovaltine to Dr. Frankenstein, while Marty Feldman surreptitiously moved his character’s hump from shoulder to shoulder until someone noticed it, and the gag was added to the film, as “Didn’t you used to have that on the other side?”and the response “What? Used to have what on the other side?”
Do yourself a favor watch this movie this Halloween and tell me some of your favorites!