Saturday, July 12, 2008

Review: Price Brings Some Gravitas To This Otherwise Luke-Warm Production

Program Review: Once Upon a Midnight Scary (1979)Once Upon a Midnight Scary (1979) was an hour-long television special for CBS that dramatized segments from three scary children's books, The Ghost Belonged To Me (Richard Peck, 1976); The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving, 1820); and The House With a Clock In Its Walls (John Bellairs, 1973).

Vincent Price plays a vampire who introduces each story from his castle. Price brings some gravitas to this otherwise luke-warm production. The show has its moments, and the program's emphasis on reading the books is admirable. It worked on me...after having happened upon this program one afternoon, I immediately checked out The House With a Clock In Its Walls from the library.

The first story, The Ghost Belonged To Me, is also the weakest. The second story is an excerpt from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. We skip the exposition and start right at the tail end of the Van Tassel's Halloween party. Finally comes The House With a Clock In Its Walls, the most elaborate of the three stories.

Brother Bill
The Haunted Closet

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