Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The one-person anthology

TCM is running a night of horror anthologies tonight, starting with Dead of Night, which is apparently out of print on DVD. I'd like to focus a bit more on the second film, Twice-Told Tales, at 10:00 PM. Vincent Price stars in adaptations of three different Nathaniel Hawthorne stories, starting with "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", one that I read back in my junior high school days an eon or two ago.

The slightly more interesting thing is that you've got Price in all three of the stories. It isn't the first time such a structure has been used for an anthology moive. Buster Keaton told three stories of romance and how it's been essentially the same throughout history, in Three Ages. That movie is a bit different, however, in that the movie was structured was structured the way it was for a simple reason. It was Keaton's first feature, and he and the producers figured that if it wasn't successful as an anthology cutting back and forth between the three stories, it could be recut into three two-reelers, each dealing with one era.

A movie that follows the more standard anthology formula and has one star in all the stories is Plaza Suite. Here, Walter Matthau plays several different characters, all of whom rent the same suite at New York's Plaza Hotel at different times. Matthau is, unsurprisingly, quite good.

I'm sure there are some other good anthology movies having one actor in all the stories that I'm forgetting right now.

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