Looking for something else to watch for Halloween other than the standard Dracula, Frankenstein, and Mummy fare? I mean nothing against those movies; they are classics of their genre, but sometimes a little variety around Halloween isn’t a bad thing. I speak from experience here since one of my local TV stations seems to think that Halloween means they can run Creature from the Black Lagoon-esque movies ad nauseam. But these two movies bring fresh perspective–heck, maybe I should petition said TV station to run them.
The Trouble with Harry (1955, John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine):
We’ve got ourselves an Alfred Hitchcock classic here about townspeople who band together to hide a dead man’s body because they believe that they contributed to his death. I won’t attempt to explain it further; just watch the trailer.
Besides, it’s just not Halloween without at least one Hitchcock film.
La Belle et la Bete (1946, Jean Marais, Josette Day):
Even if your knowledge of French is more pathetic than mine (and mine is scant indeed), you can probably see that the English equivalent of La Belle et la Bete would be Beauty and the Beast. Based on the French fairy tale of the same name, La Belle et la Bete is not particularly spooky or frightening, but I wanted to mention it because it was such a well-done film. It’s completely different in feel to the animated version Disney made in the 1990’s, and that, I think, is part of its charm. The director, acclaimed poet Jean Cocteau, wanted to bring the magic of a fairy tale to a 20th century audience, and he succeeded–except for the ending. The ending is a bit of a head-scratcher at first, but don’t let that deter you from watching this. It’s in French with English subtitles, so just consider it your Foreign Language Education for the week.