10.23.2013

THE LONG SHADOW OF VINCENT PRICE...


The most frightening horror film to me was House of Wax... Fabulous Vincent Price never frightened me again as he did in that 1953 scary movie...


House of Wax is a 1953 American horror film starring Vincent Price. It is a remake of Warners' Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), without the comic relief featured in the earlier film, and was directed by André de Toth. It is perhaps the best-known film from the 3-D film craze of the 1950s. In 2005, Warner Bros. distributed a new film called House of Wax, but its plot is very unlike the one used in the two earlier films.



House of Wax was the first color 3-D feature from a major American studio and premiered just two days after the Columbia Pictures film Man in the Dark, the first major-studio black-and-white 3-D feature. It was also the first 3-D film with stereophonic sound to be presented in a regular movie theater. It premiered nationwide on April 10, 1953 and went out for a general release on April 25, 1953.

Gene Tierney and Vincent Price

Despite his lasting association with the world of horror, Price started out as a character actor. He made his film debut in 1938 with Service de Luxe and established himself in the film Laura (1944), opposite Gene Tierney, directed by Otto Preminger. He also played Joseph Smith in the movie Brigham Young (1940) and William Gibbs McAdoo in Wilson (1944) as well as a pretentious priest in The Keys of the Kingdom (1944).


Price's first venture into the horror genre was in the 1939 Boris Karloff film Tower of London. The following year he portrayed the title character in the film The Invisible Man Returns (a role he reprised in a vocal cameo at the end of the 1948 horror-comedy spoof Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein).


In 1946, Price reunited with Tierney in two notable films, Dragonwyck and Leave Her to Heaven. There were also many villainous roles in film noir thrillers like The Web (1947), The Long Night (1947), Rogues' Regiment (1948), and The Bribe (1949) with Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Charles Laughton. 


Vincent Price was married three times and fathered a son, Vincent Barrett Price, with his first wife, former actress Edith Barrett. Price and his second wife, Mary Grant Price, donated hundreds of works of art and a large amount of money to East Los Angeles College in the early 1960s in order to endow the Vincent Price Art Museum there.

The Vincent Price Art Museum was built to house art works and present exhibits. Their daughter, Mary Victoria Price, was born in 1962. His daughter was named Victoria, because of Price's first major success, the play Victoria Regina.

Price's last marriage was to the Australian actress Coral Browne, who appeared with him (as one of his victims) in Theatre of Blood (1973). He converted to Catholicism to marry her, and she became a U.S. citizen for him.

Price often spoke of his pleasure at playing Egghead in the Batman television series. One of his co-stars, Yvonne Craig (Batgirl), said Price was her favorite villain in the series. In an often-repeated anecdote from the set of Batman, Price, after a take was printed, started throwing eggs at series stars Adam West and Burt Ward, and when asked to stop, replied, "With a full artillery? Not a chance!", causing an eggfight to erupt on the soundstage.


Price suffered from emphysema, a result of being a lifelong smoker, and Parkinson's disease; his symptoms were especially severe during the filming of Edward Scissorhands, making it necessary to cut his filming schedule short.

His illness also contributed to his retirement from Mystery! He died of lung cancer on October 25, 1993, at UCLA Medical Center at the age of 82. He was cremated and his ashes scattered off Point Dume in Malibu, California..



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