Dragonwyck

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I just received Dragonwyck in the mail today and after watching it, I decided to do a small review. For those unfamiliar with this Vincent Price film, it was released in 1946 and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Dragonwyck was the fourth film both Vincent Price and Gene Tierney appeared in together. Although originally, the studio wanted Gregory Peck for the role of Nicholas Van Ryn.

Synopsis

For Miranda Wells, moving to New York to live in Dragonwyck Manor with her rich cousin, Nicholas seems like a dream. However, the situation gradually becomes nightmarish. She observes Nicholas’ troubled relationship with his tenant farmers, as well as with his daughter, to whom Miranda serves as governess. Her relationship with Nicholas intensifies after his wife dies, but his mental imbalance threatens any hope of happiness.
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Features

I was surprised to find that this release actually has some special features. There is a commentary with Steve Haberman (he also did the commentary for The Masque of the Red Death, which I found to be a bit on the dull side) and Constantine Nasr. A House of Secrets: Exploring Dragonwyck is a sixteen-minute featurette, which I watched and enjoyed. A cool tidbit of information in this featurette is that Vincent Price actually lost thirty pounds for the role of Van Ryn. There are also two vintage radio shows featuring Vincent Price. A restoration comparison, trailer, and still gallery round out the features.

Thoughts

Dragonwyck is a very good film. Although it is not a horror film entirely, it does have a little horror mixed in. It is a gothic romance. All performances are excellent, but Vincent Price was just amazing, especially in the second half of the film. He portrayed Nicholas Van Ryn with a sense of evil elegance that I just don’t think Gregory Peck could have. We see characteristics that Vincent would later use in other films. I highly recommend Dragonwyck, not just to Price fans, but to movie lovers in general.

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