Best Scary Movie Ever Celebrates Its 50th Birthday (TRAILER)

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by Anne Thompson
October 29, 2013 12:27 PM
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'The Haunting'

Talk to Russ Tamblyn about "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" or "West Side Story" and he rolls his eyes. Enough already. But he's showing up Tuesday night at The Regent in Westwood to do a special 50th anniversary pre-Halloween Q & A for a movie he's justifiably proud of that involved no dancing, the original 1963 "The Haunting," directed with screw-tightened efficiency by Robert Wise, who cut his teeth making movies for Val Lewton. (Yes, he also directed "The Sound of Music.") 

Starring the late great Julie Harris as a mousy young woman, Eleanor, who comes into her own as the object of attention of a haunted house, the movie based on the Shirley Jackson classic "The Haunting of Hill House" is utterly terrifying. And influential. You'll see many of the psychological thriller tropes still in use today in such films as "The Conjuring"--accomplished without CGI. I first saw this as a kid; the movie features a morphing sequence that's still too intense for younger viewers. 

When "The Haunting " first opened, critic Judith Crist called it “a thoroughly satisfying ghost story for grownups... completely contemporary in its psychological overtones and implications.”  

Check out the Anniversary Classics Series page on the Landmark Theatres web site.


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