Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Two on a Guillotine (1965)

Director: William Conrad

Writers: John Kneubuhl, Henry Slesar

Composer: Max Steiner

Starring: Connie Stevens, Dean Jones, Cesar Romero, Parley Baer, Virginia Gregg, Connie Gilchrist, John Hoyt, Russell Thorson, Billy Curtis, William Conrad, Richard Kiel

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  Two on a Guillotine - or 7 nights in a house of terror - or the unkindest cut of all.

Plot:  Duke Duquesne is a very eccentric magician, and owing to his lifestyle his two-year-old daughter, Cassie, is sent away to live with an aunt. After twenty years, news of her father's death brings her back to Los Angeles to attend his funeral. The day after her arrival, she is told he left a rather odd will. It specifies that she will inherit her father's estate on the condition that she stay in his creepy palatial mansion for seven nights in a row - alone.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

I went into this picture blind.  I was ready for a horror flick and the title and poster was all I knew about it.  Boy was I surprised when it was clear from the first few minutes this was more of a light murder mystery than a horror picture but I liked it.  Dean Jones in the 60s had that early Sean Connery good looks but he almost always played light romance and comedy roles.  He's a lot of fun, though, as is Connie Stevens. Cesar Romero is awesome as always.  Max Steiner's score (he'd have only one more feature film after this one) had moments of eeriness that worked very well.  The interiors of the 'castle' are nice.  I wasn't crazy about the lightness in tone for most of the film but the final fifteen minutes or so are firmly placed in horror and I REALLY liked the ending which went a long way into liking the film as a whole.  I was surprised to see that William Conrad directed the picture and he had an extensive career behind the camera as much as he did in front of it.  Oh, there's a few faces you'll recognize like Richard KKiel, Billy Curtis and Parley Baer). I'm almost inclined to say I'd watch it again but while I liked it, I'm not so crazy about it that I'll forgo the gazillions of other movies I haven't seen to make room for this one.  The Warner Bros. DVD is from their Archive collection.  The anamorphic widescreen print is gorgeous but there are no extras.

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