Film for a Friday: Dragonwyck

2019-07-20 13.06.33

I think I have the Cultural Gutter to thank for finally getting to watch this film. It ought not to have been a hard sell: Vincent Price! Gene Tierney! And it takes place in the very region I live in the NY half of my year. Based on the Anya Seton novel, ‘It is a fictional story of the life of Miranda Wells and her marriage to Nicholas Van Ryn, set against an historical background of the Patroon system, Anti-Rent Wars, the Astor Place Riots, and steamboat racing on the Hudson River.’ Who knew I was living in the Lower Manor of Rensselaerswijck? (Of course it’s the lower).

Not nearly as gothic as I was hoping — though there’s a spooky painting, possible ghost and lovely harpsichord — it nonetheless has some pleasing performances including a surprisingly creepy Spring Byington (!) and an angry young Harry Morgan, as well as the stars themselves, Walter Houston, Jessica Tandy and the always engaging Anne Revere. Well worth watching, beautifully filmed, atmosphere galore, and a little history too.

That’s a lovely oleander you’ve got there…