The movie wasn't that bad!


I saw this on HBO in the early 1980s, and thought the movie wasn't that bad. Mind you, it wasn't that good either. Being a fan of Hammer films, I was floored to find out Hammer studios put this out.
Years later, I found out one of the Carrerras' sons decided to up the budget on Hammer films, and this film was the first big budget Hammer film. Sadly, the son gambled the studio on this film, and the film bombed! It was this film that caused the collapse of Hammer not To the Devil a Daughter as some film scholars suggest. In a nutshell; the film wasn't that bad, but I would not have bet my studio on its success which is what the son did, and he lost the farm.

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Definitely not that bad. Not bad at all, if you ask me (please, see my review for some arguments). As to why it bombed, my theory is it came out at a time when the movie paradigm had just shifted (with neo-hollywood blockbusters like Star Wars), and people tend to repeat the critical opinion of the era.

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You just have to ignore the fact that the original version was a masterpiece by a genius. But I thought it was quite enjoyable. Charming stars, good chemistry, all in all good fun.

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It is flawed and is inferior to the Hitchcock classic, but as a remake it is a decent one. It is beautifully filmed, the music was outstanding and Angela Lansbury as always was marvellous. Plus Cybill Sheppard while she's been better, was quite captivating. I do think though the plot did meander in places, Elliot Gould I did think was miscast, and it doesn't quite have the charm of the original. If there was one thing I preferred over the original, it was that the remake for me was slicker.




"Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage"- Madeleine Kahn(CLUE, 1985)

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The original is, indeed, a classic. TBH, and sorry to say, I found almost nothing to like about this remake: for me the leads lacked any charisma (Ms Shephard played either hysterical or wooden throughout), either the script was lumpen or the actors were, the picture was neither amusing nor suspenseful (unlike the original which managed both with seeming ease) and the musical score -- while well composed and played -- was occasionally obtrusive. The two features that kept me watching to the end were 1) the genuinely good location photography and 2) the reliable performances of Arthur Lowe and Ian Carmichael as Charters and Caldicote, but I'm unlikely to watch it again.

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I could not agree more Askilaun. The script rewrite was ridiculous and awful. And the direction was lame, limp and amateurish. This film was the cinematic equivalent of an eight-year-old's crayon copy of the Mona Lisa.

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I watch more than 300 movies per year and I've seen thousands of movies over the past 45+ years which were much worse than this one. Actually I found this remake very entertaining, a real feel good movie. Will watch it again.

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This was probably the wrong type of film for Hammer to make at that time. But the bigger budget tells as it is more classier than their horror film output.

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