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Gothic Romance movie/TV adaptations
#1
Years ago on the A&E Channel, I saw Jane Eyre that the BBC did as a series where Timothy Dalton was Mr. Rochester.

I loved that series and fell in love with Timothy Dalton who I think made a better Rochester than he did Heathcliff in a movie production of Wuthering Heights in 1970.

I also fell in love with Jeremy Brett when he played Max de Winter in the BBC's adaptation of Rebecca in the mid 70s.

Does anyone out there have any favorite television and/or movie productions of gothic romances to recommend?

What about ones that "missed the mark" in your opinion?
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#2
The BBC 1997 version of Northanger Abbey was GREAT.
The most recent one was good, but nowhere near as creepy.
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#3
My favorite Wuthering Heights is the one with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche (I also have the soundtrack album). Favorite Rebecca is the Hitchcock one. I saw the first BBC adaptation in the 70s when it first aired, but now that I've been informed Jeremy Brett plays Maxim de Winter I'm keen to watch it again. My favorite Jane Eyre is the Fox version with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. I recently watched The Wide Sargasso Sea, the NC-17 rated take on the story behind Mrs. Rochester and her incarceration in the tower. It was quite good, though not quite Gothic. Those of you who are fans of BBC productions might want to seek out a terrific production of Dracula starring Louis Jordan from 1977 which finally made it to DVD in the US this time last year. Talk about sexy AND evil! *fans self to keep from fainting*

I got the new DVD release of Dragonwyck this week. I am not familiar with the story but I have only made it half way through the movie during two sittings. Its fun to see a very young Vincent Price and the always ethereal Gene Tierney, the house is suitably Gothic and there is a pall of opression which hangs over the Van Ryan family, but overall the movie has failed to capture my interest. Anyone else seen it who can better advise?
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#4
Wuthering Heights original with Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier was HOT!
Yes, to the Jane Eyre, my fave too. Wide Sargasso Sea, book much better.

YES to the Dracula--my mother still talks about that to this day!

Vincent Price, to my mind, was never sexy, but Christopher Lee could be at times. It's the voice, I think Smile
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#5
well I just finished watching Dragonwyck. The second half was much better than the first half, and Vincent Price was never again as cooly sinister as he was in this movie (but sexy? nah)
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#6
The Gothic Romance genre is sorely under-adapted in film and television.

How on earth has there never been an adaptation of a Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney novel? How come Mary Stewart only has the one lousy Hayley Mills adaptation? Why does Barbara Michaels only have a couple of tv movies to her credit?
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#7
maisonvivante Wrote:The Gothic Romance genre is sorely under-adapted in film and television.

How on earth has there never been an adaptation of a Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney novel? How come Mary Stewart only has the one lousy Hayley Mills adaptation? Why does Barbara Michaels only have a couple of tv movies to her credit?

Truly, a lot of Mary Stewart would have adapted very well, and considering how well the Brits do telenovelas, I'm also surprised this never happened with these authors.

But, speaking of which, I caught the 2006 remake of Jane Eyre a few weeks ago. WOW! I "found" it because I had just finished watching the 15 episode "Bleak House" and wondered what else the director, Susanna White, had been up to. Sure enough, Jane Eyre.

This one took a lot of liberties with the storyline, condensing the opening part at Lowood School into 15 minutes among other things, but poured on the gothic imagery without resorting to ham fisted visual cliches. Orson Welles' Rochester has long been my favorite, but Toby Stephens is HOT! The "romance" between Jane and Rochester was the bulk of the 4 hour running time and I hung on every breath, word, and "look" on the actors faces. Highly Recommended.
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#8
Monique Devereaux Wrote:[quote=maisonvivante]


But, speaking of which, I caught the 2006 remake of Jane Eyre a few weeks ago. WOW! I "found" it because I had just finished watching the 15 episode "Bleak House" and wondered what else the director, Susanna White, had been up to. Sure enough, Jane Eyre.

This one took a lot of liberties with the storyline, condensing the opening part at Lowood School into 15 minutes among other things, but poured on the gothic imagery without resorting to ham fisted visual cliches. Orson Welles' Rochester has long been my favorite, but Toby Stephens is HOT! The "romance" between Jane and Rochester was the bulk of the 4 hour running time and I hung on every breath, word, and "look" on the actors faces. Highly Recommended.

All good points, and yes, the chemistry was great between them.

The remake of Northanger abbey wasn't bad but it was far too inclined to offer rational explanation and so ruined the gothic atmosphere and a lot of the silliness that Austen was making fun of

They do these adaptations because they are 'classics' for schools. Unfortunately, because of the costs involved, there are really no 'cheap paperback' equivalents these days-even the made for TV movies have their price!
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#9
Monique Devereaux Wrote:Truly, a lot of Mary Stewart would have adapted very well, and considering how well the Brits do telenovelas, I'm also surprised this never happened with these authors.

I'm very much in agreement on this. I keep expecting a Mary Stewart adaptation to show up on "Masterpiece Theatre's Mystery!."

"Mystery!" did showcase "The Wyvern Mystery" a few years ago, with Naomi Watts. It was adapted from the Sheridan Le Fanu novel (which I haven't read). It was done fairly well, but it was a little muddled.

There was also an adaptation of Le Fanu's "Uncle Silas" (which I have read) but I haven't seen this adaptation. "Uncle Silas" was written during the Victorian era, and is very much in the Gothic Romance tradition. It's quite a good read, and would probably be a lot more popular today if the heroine weren't such a Victorian drip.
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#10
Oh, yes, just wanted to mention the adaptations of the first 2 Sally Lockhart mysteries by Phillip Pullman that they did on Masterpiece Mystery this past summer. VERY well done apart from the wooden actress Billie Piper. Quite Gothic.

They are Ruby in the Smoke, (brilliant performance by Julie Walters) and Shadow in the North, the latter with really strong supernatural elements. There are 2 more in the series but we will have to wait for a while for them, if ever.
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