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Gothic Movies: Scream of Fear
#1
Scream of Fear (1961), a black and white psychological suspense thriller from Hammer Films, has finally been released in the U.S. as part of Icons of Horror: Hammer Films (Sony Home DVD) along with three other films. Netflix has the films available for rent individually.

This is a tricky, fast paced mystery thriller which behaves pretty much like the contemporary gothic romances of the late 50s / early 1960s, reminds me somewhat of Mary Stewart's brand of "impersonation" mysteries.

Crippled Penny Appleby (Susan Strasberg) returns to her ancestral home in a villa on the French Reviera to be reunited with her father whom she hasn't seen in ten years. She is greeted by her father's second wife, Jane (Ann Todd), who tells Penny that her father has been waylaid and will be arriving shortly; the cast of characters is rounded out with Christopher Lee as the sinister Dr. Gerrard, and a handsome chauffer named Bob. Penny is soon up to her neck in romance with Bob and perilous near death accidents and apparitions of her father's dead body popping up all over the estate.

This is a short movie, running about 80 minutes. The last fifteen minutes of the movie has so many twists and turns you'll need a seat belt to keep from falling out of your chair.

A young heiress in peril, romance with a handsome Frenchman, cliff-hanging suspense, madness, characters who are not all they appear to be...this is a classy, overlooked British suspense film, perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon or a cold November night!
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#2
Thanks for writing these reviews. I'm really enjoying them and look forward to reading more!
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