70'S FOCUS : TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS ... 1973 ..
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Presents From World Film Services
TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS Starring KIM NOVAK as Auriol Pageant
JOAN COLLINS as Bella Thompson
JACK HAWKINS as DR Nicholas
DONALD HUSTON as Sam Patterson
MICHAEL JAYSTON as Brian Thompson
SUZY KENDALL as Ann Patrick / Beatrice
PETER MCENERY as Timothy Patrick / Albert
DONALD PLEASENCE as DR R.C.Tremayne
GEORGIA BROWN as Fay Patterson
MARY TAMM as Ginny Pageant
FRANK FORSYTH as Uncle Albert
RUSSELL LEWIS as Paul Patterson
MICHAEL PETROVITCH as Kimo
Assistant Director - Peter Saunders
Director of Photography - Norman Warwick B.S.C
Music by Bernard Ebbinghouse
Art Director - Roy Walker
Screenplay by Jay Fairbank(Jennifer Jayne)
Edited by Bernard Gribble
Produced by Norman Priggen
Directed by Freddie Francis
DON'T POINT THAT THING AT ME DEAR!
At his private clinic, DR Tremayne (Pleasence), has been monitoring four of his mental patients, each with a strange background. An old friend DR Nicholas (Hawkins), arrives to see how he is progressing and hears each of their tales!
Young Paul has an imaginary friend, who is eating the family out of house and home. When his parents decide to put a stop to the boys strange behaviour, little do they know, that they are next on the menu!
DARLINGS I AM THINKING OF BRANCHING OUT!
Timothy Patrick (MCENERY) and his girlfriend Ann (Kendall), run an antique shop, when his aunt dies, she leaves him her antiques. But he soon finds hinself caught up in the past and under the influence of his late Uncle Albert (Forsyth), with fiery consequences!
Brian Thompson (Jayston), lives in a woodland bungalow with his headstrong wife Bella (Joan). But Bella soon finds herself competing for Brian's affections, from a malevolent tree, he had just brought home! But when it comes to the crunch...Who will get the chop!!
AURIOL DEMONSTRATES THE BAT STROKE!
Auriol Pageant, a literary agent, agrees to let her latest star client Kimo, a south seas, American educated writer stay at her luxury home. But Kimo has a dark secret and takes an interest in her daughter Ginny. In the end, Auriol will get a cut of Kimo's profits... But it is a cut of Ginny, he wants!!
DR Nicholas listens to each tale, but fails to be impressed and poor demented Tremayne is taken away to join the other patients, leaving Nicholas alone to discover the true Tales That Witness Madness!!
(1973) PARAMOUNT RATED 15 90 MINS COLOUR
This was Joan's second venture into the portmanteau film and her second for director Freddie Francis. They had both worked together the previous year on the now classic "Tales From The Crypt". Joan's segment is one of the more memorable stories, if not the most ludicrous, as she has to compete with a tree, for her husbands affections! Although she has had to act with many wooden actors in her time, this had no comparison! The film was also notable for been the first film in three years for Hollywood legend Kim Novak. But she was not originally slated to star in the film, but another Hollywood great, Rita Hayworth. But she was in the latter stages of Alzheimer's and her behaviour on the set was erratic. Rita could not remember her lines, while on occasion prone to violent outbursts. She finally ran away from the Shepperton set, after only four days and went back to America. Kim Novak had stated that she had not made any films for a few years, as she had not been offered any good roles. One wonders why she decided to do this film, as it was hardly Oscar material! The film proved to be the final screen appearance of actor Jack Hawkins, who had been suffering with throat cancer. His voice was dubbed by actor Charles Gray, Hawkins sadly died before production finished on the film. Joan had appeared with Jack in her first big Hollywood release "Land Of The Pharaoh's". Donald Pleasence would go on to star with Joan in the 1975 shocker, "I Don't Want To Be Born", while Georgia Brown would co-star in "The Bawdy Adventures Of Tom Jones", where Joan played Black Bess. The film got mixed reviews, most of them not very good.
DARLING! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TREE!
MY HUSBAND HAS BECOME A TREE SURGEON!
" In "Tales That Witness Madness", the humour lacks wit, the horror lacks poetry. Kim Novak's reappearance is easily eclipsed by Joan Collins, who still looks a knockout, two decades after "Land Of The Pharaoh's".
So although the film got bad reviews, Joan continued to stand out, even within a notable cast. Viewed in the context of the horror genre, it's certainly an enjoyable film. It was available on video many years ago, but sadly it still has to surface on DVD....