Monday, February 4, 2013

The Tomb Of Ligeia (1965)

Starring Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook, Derek Francis, Oliver Johnston
Directed by Roger Corman
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A lady is attracted to a brooding widower, and marries him, but soon begins to doubt that his first wife is dead and buried.

According to Wikipedia, this was the last of producer/director Roger Corman's films adapting the works of Edgar Allan Poe, nearly all of which starred Vincent Price in performances capturing the tortured angst of Poe's protagonists, and perhaps that of the author himself.  Per Wikipedia, screenwriter Robert Towne adapts Poe's "Ligeia" by explaining much of what Poe leaves unsaid in his tale, sometimes fascinatingly so, and adds a cat who bedevils Shepherd's character, leading us to believe it is in fact the spirit of the first wife.  Shepherd is a strong asset to the production, playing both wives, and nearly unrecognizably so, realistically conveying her fascination with Price's character, and adding a warm vibrance that makes it utterly believable that his character would want to enhance his life with, though doomed towards a tragic end.  For these reasons, I found much to like in this film, although it suffers perhaps a bit from going to the same well as in Corman's previous Poe adaptations, culminating in another fiery climax lifting footage from the fiery climaxes of the previous films.

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