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William Castle: Articles


'Shanks' Movie Review - Marcel Marceau William Castle

SHANKS (1974) Dir.: William Castle Cast: Marcel Marceau, Tsilla Chelton, Philippe Clay, Cindy Eilbacher, Larry Bishop, Don Calfa Scr.: Ranald Graham Schlock-master William Castle's Shanks, a little-known curiosity piece, is the story (written by Ranald Graham) of Malcolm Shanks, a deaf-mute puppeteer who leaves his abusive family to go to work for the creator of a device that brings the dead back to life. Shortly after sharing his secrets with the puppeteer, the scientist dies. Since pantomimist Marcel Marceau stars as both the deaf-mute and the scientist, Shanks offers precious little dialogue. In fact, long stretches of the film have no speech at all. And with title cards to connect the scenes, Shanks plays almost like a silent movie. It's […]


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'Shanks' Movie Review - Marcel Marceau William Castle



William Castle 'Terrified' of 'Rosemary's Baby'

William Castle and the Rosemary's Baby 'curse' William Castle was a director of B movie thrillers such as those in two popular franchises of the '40s starring faded stars of the previous decades: The Whistler, with Richard Dix (Best Actor Oscar nominee for Cimarron, 1930-31), and The Crime Doctor, with Warner Baxter (Best Actor Oscar winner for In Old Arizona, 1928-29). In the early '50s, Castle also directed both B Westerns (Conquest of Cochise, The Law vs. Billy the Kid) and B “Easterns” (Slaves of Babylon, The Saracen Blade). But later in the decade, as explained by David Parkinson at Films in Focus, William Castle, now a producer-director, “sold his soul to horror.” How so? “In 1958 he hit upon […]


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William Castle 'Terrified' of 'Rosemary's Baby'



STRAIT-JACKET: Joan Crawford Movie Review

Strait-Jacket: Joan Crawford axe-murderer movie review “From the director of Homicidal, the author of Psycho, and the co-star of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” reads the byline for producer-director William Castle's 1964 thriller Strait-Jacket. Although I've seen this Joan Crawford movie dozens of times, I still go back to it whenever I want a “post-Baby Jane” fix. In that category, Strait-Jacket and Berserk!, the latter also starring Crawford, are the only two that I appreciate. For Strait-Jacket, Castle jumped at the chance to lure a real movie star into one of his exploitation movies. As everyone knows (or should know), Joan Crawford plays Lucy Harbin, an axe-murderess released from an “insane asylum” after twenty years. (And once again, Crawford […]


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STRAIT-JACKET: Joan Crawford Movie Review