If you’re a William Castle devotee, like me, you’ll want to spend some time with this published version of Robb White’s screenplay for the director’s memorable 1959 haunted-house movie, which featured the gimmick known as Emergo. The core of the large-format paperback is a facsimile of Castle’s working script, filled with his penciled notations and thumbnail sketches. His daughter Terry Castle offers a personal view (titled “William Castle, Forever Dad…”) which sets the stage for the reader, along with Dante’s evocative introduction and Charlie Largent’s essay about the making of the film and how it differs from the script.
This handsome new hardcover edition of Finler’s 1995 book (printed on coated paper stock) offers thirty new pages of photos, including shots of some of the stalwart Hollywood “still” cameramen at work: George Hurrell at Goldwyn, Bert Six and Elmer Fryer at Warner Bros., Frank Powolny at Fox, Paul Hesse at Paramount, and Fred Hendrickson at RKO. Finler has also expanded his listing of staff photographers at the studios during the golden age of Hollywood. The author explores the whys and wherefores of publicity photos and portraits, goingso far as to compare famous scenes from films like It Happened One Night andThe Informer and the carefully staged stills that tried to crystallize those moments for all time.