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Four of the great bogeymen of the silver screen— Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, John Carradine and Peter Cushing— worked together for the only time in HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS.


SUPERMAN) pops up as the bet-winning publisher who sends Mary to sabotage the writing (even steal- ing his notes from a darkened train compartment in a prologue), in a trace element of the trickery as- cribed to the character in Cohan’s play; Richard Powers, who would change his name to Tom Keene and appear in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, is cast as the gun-toting henchman; and Erville Alderson, the police chief in the 1935 film, takes a demotion to the uncredited role of Station Master. Of the three RKO films, this is probably the cheap- est and yet its Baldpate looks the best. Cinematog- rapher Jack Mackenzie (ISLE OF THE DEAD, ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY) takes advantage of a set built around the curving MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS staircase already reused in CAT PEOPLE and other productions.


There had been a TV production of Cohan’s play in 1946 and another (an episode of BROADWAY TELEVISION THEATER, with Buddy Ebsen as Magee) in 1952, but the inn fell out of use as the Old Dark


44


House cycle closed shutters in the US, save for last hurrah remakes of THE GHOST BREAKERS (as SCARED STIFF) and THE BAT in the 1950s. The form had a revival in Britain, often with US filmmakers involved, accounting for WHAT A CARVE-UP! (aka NO PLACE LIKE HOMICIDE, a 1962 remake of THE GHOUL) and the William Castle and Radley Metzger versions of THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1963) and THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1979). In the 1980s, an- other flicker of activity yielded CLUE (1985) and HAUNTED HONEYMOON (1986). The last roll of the dice for SEVEN KEYS TO BALD-


PATE came when Cannon Films hired director Peter Walker (HOUSE OF WHIPCORD) and writer Michael Armstrong (HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR) to unite the once-in-a-lifetime dream horror star quar- tet of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine in a remake of THE OLD DARK HOUSE. The rights to J.B. Priestley’s novel BE- NIGHTED were still tied up, thanks to William Castle’s 1963 Hammer film, so Walker and


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