Friday, 25 February 2011
I'm fanatical about Fanatic....
Hello my lovelies!
I was slightly bored last night and began flipping through the options in the 'free movie' section of On Demand. I found a title that made me do a little happy dance: Die! Die! My Darling!...or Fanatic, as it was titled in it's UK release. This was a film I'd originally found a couple of years ago on youtube and watched a couple of times. This was a chance to watch again!
It's a Hammer film, my favourite studio, released in 1965. As usually happens, the cast caught my eye first: Tallulah Bankhead as the title 'Fanatic', Stephanie Powers, and a young Donald Southerland
as the mentally disabled...somebody...it really never reveals his relationship to the family, so I'm really not sure!
It begins when Patricia (Stephanie Powers) comes to England with her new fiance Allen. We soon learn that this isn't Patricia's first engagement. Her first was to a man named Steven who passed away.
Steven's mother had asked that if Patricia was ever in England, that she should come visit her. And that's just what Patricia does....which we the audience can already sense is a huge mistake.
When she gets to the home of Steven's mother, Mrs Trefoile, she discovers that the woman is religious, VERY religious. Almost puritanical in her beliefs and habits. She won't allow mirrors, makeup, perfume, or even the colour red ("the devil's colour") in her home....yeah, that's right folks, she's looking more and more of a nutter every minute!
One of the things that impressed me about this film was Tallulah Bankhead's ability and willingness to look, well, old and ugly. Let's face it, she was one of the most beautiful women of the '20s and '30s. And she was still beautiful in the mid '60s when this was made.
I remember hearing a Bette Davis quote once about how you could tell a good actress when she's not afraid to play unattractive women. Well, then Tallulah is a great just based on her 'Mrs. Trefoile'.
I won't go into great detail about the plot, as you simply MUST watch the film to appreciate it and I'd hate to ruin the story for you with spoilers. I'll only say that Mrs. Trefoile is not only a Jesus freak, she's also certifiable...and so are her horny handyman, Harry (played by the great Peter Vaughan), and his long suffering wife, Anna (Yootha Joyce, later of Man About The House), who is the muscle behind Mrs. Trefoile's violent threats.
As a Vintagista, I have to admit that one of the loveliest things about the film are Patricia's clothes. The candy floss pink coat that she wears in the opening scenes is just gorg....as is the car she drives to Mrs. Trefoile's!
She wears a chic little wine coloured, sheer sleaved mini dress to dinner that I would Die! Die! for!
Even the 'conservative' outfits are gorgeous. I love the brown oversized sweater and A-line brown skirt paired with the oh-so-chic leopard print headscarf.
Then there's the frothy pink number that Anna pulls out of Patricia's suitcase when...oh, nevermind...I said no spoilers!!
If you lot haven't seen this before, I highly recommend it. If you have, I recommend seeing it again. This was my third viewing and it really was just as good as the first two times I saw it!
Right now it's on Comcast On Demand in the free movie section. If you don't have Comcast...well, it's availible on Amazon, but a little pricey....or you can cheat and just watch it on youtube.
Here's a great bunch of snippits from early on in the film...so don't worry, no spoilers!....