Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 29, 2016



Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Maggie Evans on Dark Shadows, came out with this new photo book on the eve of the release of Tim Burton's quite dreadful big-budget film adaptation. Scott writes of how the members of the old cast, especially Jonathan "Barnabas" Frid, were disappointed that they were given no actual characters to play but were condescendingly cast as "party guests" (whom I never even spotted). Helena Bonham Carter, cast as Dr. Hoffman, was pleasant to their faces but later announced that the old series was "awful." (Apparently she said this before she saw the movie!) The rest of the book is full of notes and photographs pertaining not just to the original series, but the 12 episode remake starring Ben Cross as Barnabas. Then there are such anecdotes as the time Gale Sondergaard showed up on the set of the sixties series, and apparently auditioned for a role she either didn't get or didn't want. Scott also writes of what went on behind the scenes of the two Dark Shadows movies, such as House of Dark Shadows, that were made immediately after the cancellation of the TV show. The main focus of the book, of course, is on Scott, but there are interesting observations of the other actors as well.

Verdict: Primarily for Dark Shadows fanatics but packed with good photos. ***.


angelman66 said...

I have a couple of Leigh-Scott's books on Dark Shadows, including this one. I have been a huge fan of the original series since I was a child. And also loved the 1990s redux of the series. But the Tim Burton movie was dreck, and I can't believe Helena said those nasty things...boy is show business a bitchy business!! LOL
- Chris

William said...

You can say that again!

I'm currently watching the Adam and Eve/Nicholas and Angelique story line on "Dark Shadows," and enjoying it tremendously. It's the TV equivalent of comfort food. Had the whole set for years and years but something got me watching it again. It's just so much fun, and despite everything, not badly done at all.

Tim Burton and wife Helena showed their contempt for the original show and its cast by making a bad parody of the series. I've no doubt it was a mega-bomb.

angelman66 said...

Lara Parker as Angelique ranks among the most glamorous of TV soap opera villainesses! She is gorgeous, but was so mean to Barnabas and Josette!!!

William said...

Parker is one of the ladies on DS who got even better looking in later years, as the interviews on the DVD collection attest. And she is a good actress!

Unknown said...

I love dark shadows. But I also like the remake in the 90's. And I liked the Tim Burton film as well.

William said...

Glad to hear from another fan of "Dark Shadows." There's more on this blog about the show, the feature films, the reboot, and the remake. Thanks for your comments!