Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bedlam (1946)

Bedlam is a nice, little thriller that was produced by Val Lewton and directed by Mark Robson who worked on a number of other Val Lewton projects as well.  The setting is a mental institution in 18th century England where Master George Simms runs the show, and the living conditions inside the asylum are horrible.  Boris Karloff plays the role with excellence and shows off his considerable acting skills.  He appears to be enjoying himself in every scene and it draw you in immediately.  The other standout is Anna Lee [Whatever Happened to baby Jane, The Sound of Music] as Nell Bowen, the protege of wealthy Lord Mortimer, who tries to bring reform to the asylum and ends up getting involuntarily committed there herself.  She is absolutely wonderful and is a strong presence in every scene she's in.  
The sets and costumes are what you would expect for the period.  It's all powdered wigs, big dresses and beautiful furnishings [Except inside the asylum, of course]!  If you are a fan of Lewtons' other films, you won't be disappointed by this one.  It's definitely not a horror film and is better classified as a thriller.  There is also a lot of socio-political and religious commentary in it as well.  Watch for several nods to the work of Edgar Allan Poe, especially in the films conclusion.  It's not the kind of film that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish but it's a well made film nonetheless.
RATING:  Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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