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arpirose

"I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE": A JACQUES TOURNIER CLASSIC

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One of Jacques Tourneur's best films, the underrated "I Walked with a Zombie," is playing on Turner Classic Movies (TCM.)  The film is loosely based on Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" legendary book with a modern slant set in the Caribbean.  This film is one of my favorite Tourneur films, even more so than "The Cat People."  There are no big names in the cast, but that does not matter.  The story and atmosphere are what counts.

 

Here is Leonard Maltin's review of said film:

 
3.5 out of 4 Stars
 

LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:

 

Jacques Tourneur. Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett, Christine Gordon, Theresa Harris, James Bell. Nurse Dee comes to Caribbean island to treat zombielike wife of troubled Conway, finds skeletons in family closet, plus local voodoo rituals and legends that cannot be ignored. Exceptional Val Lewton chiller with rich atmosphere, mesmerizing story. Loosely adapted from Jane Eyre! Read small-print disclaimer in opening credits carefully.

Edited by arpirose
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One of the most wonderful movies of all time!

Seeing Tom Conway discuss how the little fishies are not happy when they jump up in the air above the sea, but are trying to escape being eaten alive by other big fish, is a highlight.

Also, who doesn't enjoy seeing Sir Lancelot singing his heart out. And...with zombies yet, which makes it almost better than the Bronte tale.

Zombies, whether in real life or as cocktails always make everything more enjoyable!

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I love this film! I also love Frances Dee and wish she was shown more on TCM.

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Francis Dee was Joel McCrea's wife until his death.  You can also see her with Katherine Hepburn in "Little Women" and the original Human Bondage with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard on Turner Classic Movies.

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Tom Conway was George Sanders' older brother.  Furthermore, the two brothers worked together in a few projects.  unfortunately though, alcoholism shortened his life.  His early death was quite indeed a very sad ending for such a talented, wide-ranging man.

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13 hours ago, arpirose said:

Francis Dee was Joel McCrea's wife until his death.  You can also see her with Katherine Hepburn in "Little Women" and the original Human Bondage with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard on Turner Classic Movies.

She also had a good part in IF I WERE KING, which I believe has only aired once on TCM (during Ronald Colman's SOTM salute.)

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19 hours ago, arpirose said:

One of Jacques Tourneur's best films, the underrated "I Walked with a Zombie," is playing on Turner Classic Movies (TCM.)  The film is loosely based on Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" legendary book with a modern slant set in the Caribbean.  This film is one of my favorite Tourneur films, even more so than "The Cat People."  There are no big names in the cast, but that does not matter.  The story and atmosphere are what counts.

 

Here is Leonard Maltin's review of said film:

 
3.5 out of 4 Stars
 

LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:

 

Jacques Tourneur. Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett, Christine Gordon, Theresa Harris, James Bell. Nurse Dee comes to Caribbean island to treat zombielike wife of troubled Conway, finds skeletons in family closet, plus local voodoo rituals and legends that cannot be ignored. Exceptional Val Lewton chiller with rich atmosphere, mesmerizing story. Loosely adapted from Jane Eyre! Read small-print disclaimer in opening credits carefully.

I've never gone by this fairly new 5 star rating system myself & Ebert & Siskel used to get ****-=(hope that's ok to say here) when it was starting (l990's) because they grew up with the official 4 star rating system & same one Leonard Maltin has always used too.

 

It started around the 1920's & in THE DAILY NEWS

 

I agree it a quiet horror film, quite the opposite of todays horror flix, which have to end with blood everywhere, violence, CGI, explosives the works

 

I'm not quite 54, but always preferred these type of thrillers vs. say FRIDAY THE 13th & that ilk

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& used towatch tv's WALKING DEAD, main reason CHARACTER FIRST & FOREMOST  Something Hawks used to put first

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20 minutes ago, spence said:

I've never gone by this fairly new 5 star rating system myself & Ebert & Siskel used to get ****-=(hope that's ok to say here) when it was starting (l990's) because they grew up with the official 4 star rating system & same one Leonard Maltin has always used too.

 

It started around the 1920's & in THE DAILY NEWS

 

I agree it a quiet horror film, quite the opposite of todays horror flix, which have to end with blood everywhere, violence, CGI, explosives the works

 

I'm not quite 54, but always preferred these type of thrillers vs. say FRIDAY THE 13th & that ilk

Yes, it is quiet. I think what makes it  scary (or suspenseful) was the lack of what we saw, such as the scene where Frances Dee is walking through the jungle area. We hear the rustling of the palm trees, but is it the breeze making that sound, or is it someone following her? No dialogue necessary for the scene.

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Creepy film and very effective.

I agree that this ranks as one of Jacques Tourneur's very best films.

A rare occasion where I actually agree with Leonard Maltin. Wonders never cease. 

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21 hours ago, arpirose said:

Francis Dee was Joel McCrea's wife until his death.  You can also see her with Katherine Hepburn in "Little Women" and the original Human Bondage with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard on Turner Classic Movies.

Yea,  it appears Dee was more interested in her personal life and marriage with McCrea than making movies because she certainly had the talent to have a more robust film legacy.   

Some other solid films she was in were Love is a Racket,  a pre-code with Douglas Jr. and Ann Dvorak,  Finishing School,  pre-code with Ginger Rogers (and condemned by the Legion of Decency) and likely her most developed leading role,  Becky Sharp the Mirian Hopkins film,   Wells Fargo with husband McCrea,  If I Were King with Roland Colman,   Meet the Stewards with William Holden (yea, this film doesn't work but it does give Dee a big part with a very young Holden),   and THe Private Affairs of Bel Ami,  with George Sanders,  Ann Dvorak and Angela Lansbury.

 

  

 

 

 

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I missed airing.  But, its not in ON DEMAND. So out of luck to watch at my convenience.   Far too many titles not downloaded to ON DEMAND.  Fed up!

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Highlight of the film for me is the night scene of Frances Dee, with her patient, walking through the sugar cane field. All we hear are the natural sounds of the wind rustling through the cane stalks, and the beating of the drums of the voodoo ceremony they are approaching.

The power of this scene is that its pending "horrors" are left to the imagination of the viewer, but it's a memorably eerie screen sequence in which members of an audience feel anything can happen.

I-Walked-with-a-Zombie-1943-644x356.jpg

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