Saturday, February 23, 2013

70'S FOCUS : DARK PLACES ... 1973 ...

JOAN COLLINS as Sarah Mandeville
ROBERT HARDY as Edward Foster / Andrew Marr
HERBERT LOM as Prescott
JEAN MARSH as Victoria Marr
Charleton Hobbs as Old Marr
Jennifer Thanisch as Jessica Marr
Michael Le Vey as Francis Marr
Martin Boddey as Police Sgt Riley
Roy Evans as Baxter
John Glynn Jones as Bank Manager
John Levene as Doctor
Barry Linehan as Gatekeeper

Assistant Director/ Barry Langley  Director of Photography/ Ernest Steward  Art Director/ Geoffrey Tozer
    Music by Wilfred Josephs  Written by Ed Brennan & Joseph Van Winkle  Edited by Teddy Darvas
                                       Produced by James Hannah Jr      Directed by Don Sharp

When Andrew Marr lies dying in a mental home, he confides in a friend, Edward Foster about the whereabouts of his fortune, which is hidden in his country estate. But others have their eye on Marr's money and a cat and mouse game of deception begins! Where no one can be trusted. Where nothing is what it seems! But the darkest secrets of all.. Are waiting to be unleashed! As there is more than death waiting in Dark Places!!
  (c) 1973 .. Cinerama .. 87 Mins .. Color ..

Although filmed in 1972, "Dark Places" was not released until 1973, where it failed to set any box office records! It was filmed near Uxbridge in England, including in an old nursing home and the surrounding areas. As it was in the middle of a freezing winter, conditions were far from favourable as Christopher Lee recalled.
" Dark Places had a clever story. However it was shot in a house, far from Pinewood Studios.A house empty and abandoned, water dripping down the walls. No plumbing or heating! It was an uncomfortable film to make!"
However the film did have an excellent cast of British stars. Although marketed as a horror film, it is more a psychological thriller, the appearance of Christopher Lee, probably added to it's horror moniker. Joan played another of her icy villianess roles as Christopher's scheming sister, who seduces Hardy's character, in order to find out where the hidden money is! Joan looks lovely as ever, apart from a misfortunate wig, that also made an appearance in "The Persuaders", ( on Joan's head, I hasten to add!).. Herbert Lom gave his usual distinguished performance, with Jean Marsh in flashbacks as the neurotic wife, with a couple of evil children, who murder the nanny, played by Jane Berkin. Critics slated the film.
" Dark Places... A film of no distinction! Bound for TV!"

The film is seldom seen these days, available on video in the 80's with one lurid cover, which caused he film to be added to the infamous video nasty list. The film was eventually removed, as apart from the murder of Jane Birkin which the cover depicted, there was little to offend anyone in the film. Apart from a bargain bin DVD release, with a poor print, the film has yet to find a proper release. Hopefully it will turn up at some stage.. Watch this space!!

 (c) 2010 ... Mark McMorrow...

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