The Long, Hot Summer

Film Title

The Long, Hot Summer

Director

Martin Ritt

Starring

  • Paul Newman as Ben Quick
  • Joanne Woodward as Clara Varner
  • Orson Welles as Will Varner
  • Anthony Franciosa as Jody Varner
  • Lee Remick as Eula Varner
  • Angela Lansbury as Minnie Littlejohn
  • Richard Anderson as Alan Stewart

A gloriously enjoyable and overheated Southern drama, The Long, Hot Summer gains extra points due to the stellar cast headed by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who would later become man and wife when the film wrapped. Filled with colourful characters, briskly paced and sizzling with heat, it’s a fine movie that has a surprising amount of innuendo for its time.

Ben Quick is a handsome, charismatic drifter who at the beginning of the film is accused of being a barn burner. Expelled from the town he was residing in he journeys away and ends up in Mississippi. The Long Hot Summer PosterHe then hitches a ride with snippy Clara Varner, a local schoolteacher and Eula, her vivacious sister-in-law into the nearby town of Frenchman’s Bend. It turns out Clara is the daughter of prominent land baron Will Varner, who owns practically everything there is to own in town. Will also has a son Jody(who is married to the giggly Eula, who is becoming wary of his lack of opportunities and prospects), who tries to take on parts of his father’s business but is too weak-willed to get any approval from his overbearing father. Paul Newman The Long Hot SummerWhile the head of the family is away, Ben, eager for a job approaches the Varner family and manages to acquire one after talking with stand in Jody. When the thundering land baron returns from a spell in the hospital and finds Ben working for him, he is initially reluctant because of his less than respectable reputation. But as the days go on, Will begins to take a shine to the charming Ben and sees a quality to make decisions and a deep ambition, that he can’t find in his own son. Jody, seeing that he could be muscled out, becomes increasingly jealous of Ben and is left seething that his father has taken such a liking to the stranger. Meanwhile, Will concocts a plan to give Ben a lot of land and power if he marries his daughter Clara, who he thinks will become a spinster if she waits around for her current suitor Alan, who doesn’t really show much interest in her at all. The driven Ben accepts this and pursues her, but then begins to fall genuinely in love with her. The thing is, Clara is a smart and self-assured young woman, who while she wants to fall in love in the future, has no desire to be forced into it, and knows exactly how to voice her disapproval at her father’s insistence. Yet it is obvious that both Ben and Clara are attracted to each other, Clara just doesn’t know how to express it. What will become of the union between them as Ben genuinely falls in love with her and Clara does the same? And what desperate lengths will Jody go to in order to prove his worth to his belittling father?

Martin Ritt brings verve and energy to the torrid emotions that rise in this tale and he makes it very enjoyable to watch. He successfully employs a brisk pace that makes sure that something is always happening to keep us glued. Paul Newman and Joanne WoodwardNow the film is overheated as it is a melodrama, but don’t let that discourage you as it doesn’t completely topple over into ridiculousness thanks to Ritt’s energetic direction. The stunning cinematography conjures up the sweltering cauldron of passion and jealousy within The Long, Hot Summer that seeps from every frame. And with an abundance of colourful characters to add to the mix, it’s hard not to be impressed with this movie. What really struck me about The Long, Hot Summer was the double entendres and innuendo that it had running through it. Considering films of that time were usually at the mercy of censorship, this movie manages to get a little more heat into it and makes it a very sexy film, although no actual nudity is ever seen. I guess it just goes to show that you don’t need bedroom acrobatics shown graphically to make a movie sexy. When you have a script like this that crackles with sexual tension and naughty lines, you can still be saucy in a more refined way. Suggestion can be just as saucy when it’s done like this. The languid score is a delight to the ears as it mixes jazz riffs with romantic strings and a stellar title song.

Heading the cast is the magnetic charisma and likability of Paul Newman. Ben QuickWith his striking blue eyes and easy smile, it’s impossible not to be taken in by Newman’s performance as the ambitious Ben. He may have a devil-may-care attitude and a questionable past, but the way Newman portrays him, it’s impossible not to like the guy. And when he’s alongside Joanne Woodward, the sparks fly. Woodward is very good as the opinionated and intelligent Clara, who comes off as aloof to Ben but really starts to likes him as time goes on and the heat rises. The scenes the two share crackle with wit and sexual tension that is a sight to behold and it later lead to their marriage off-screen too. Orson Welles The Long Hot SummerThe larger than life persona of Orson Welles dominates the scenes he has in the movies as the blustering patriarch, worried that his family name isn’t going to be upheld. Welles is a hoot in this movie and all the little tics and mannerisms he gives Will are marvellous. Then there is Anthony Franciosa who is impressive playing the weak and belittled Jody, whose jealousy begins to burn when he sees that his position is under threat from the charismatic Ben. A lovely Lee Remick is kittenish and free-spirited as Jody’s wife, who spends her days shopping and gossiping with others. Angela Lansbury is amusingly tart and saucy as Minnie, Will’s feisty mistress who is desperate to be hitched to him, despite his misgivings and refusal to commit. The only person who really gets short-changed in this movie is Richard Anderson, as he is required to play a role too similar to that of Jody to really be at all interesting.

Sensual and dramatic, with a good amount of censor navigating saucy lines, The Long, Hot Summer is an easy affair that is the perfect way to kill and hour or two in the company of distinguished Hollywood stars at the peak of their powers

A Kylie Minogue Post

Recently I was going through my music and I kept seeing Kylie Minogue pop up. Now I know that many people if someone asked would say that the pint-sized pop princess was a guilty pleasure, but I’m happy to admit to liking her music. Kylie Minogue NowI love her evolution in image and style and the way she’s kept it sexy but classy too. She always comes off as such a genuine person of talent and imagery.

Below are some of my favourite songs by the beautiful Kylie. I guarantee these songs will get your toes tapping and get stuck in your head. From romantic pop to sultry electronica, there’s something for everyone here. I can’t list every song in her repertoire as that would be impossible.

The Guest

Film Title

The Guest

Director

Adam Wingard

Starring

  • Dan Stevens as David
  • Maika Monroe as Anna Peterson
  • Brendan Meyer as Luke Peterson
  • Sheila Kelley as Laura Peterson
  • Leland Orser as Spencer Peterson
  • Lance Reddick as Major Richard Carver

A thrilling throwback to 80’s thrillers with a horror ambience, The Guest is a stylishly constructed, enjoyable and delightfully over the top movie with a killer soundtrack to accompany it.

The Peterson family; mother and father Laura and Spencer and their two children Anna and Luke are mourning the death of the other son Caleb, who died while serving with the army in Afghanistan. The Guest Movie PosterA knock at the door reveals David, who claims to have been a friend of Caleb’s. He explains to the Peterson’s that Caleb told him before his death to keep a close eye on them and this further endears him to the family. David is amiable and very polite towards the family, which leads to Laura asking the charming young man to stay. The young soldier integrates himself into their life and seems to have a positive and helpful influence on them. He helps the shy Luke, who is being bullied at school, to stand up for himself against his tormentors and himself deals out a violent beating on them to really make a point. He also tries to help Anna’s friends out when they need booze for a party without getting busted. To everyone else, David is a breath of fresh air and just an all round likable guy. The only person who he doesn’t manage to charm is Anna, who feels that there is something very suspicious about this stranger in her house. She can’t quite put her finger on it, but she knows that something is not right about the seemingly perfect guest. The Guest AnnaIt seems that she may have every right to be worried for herself and her family as a spate of bodies begins to pile up around town in gradually grisly fashion. And with a mysterious Major snooping around and knowing more than he’s letting on, it sets up for a showdown as David gradually begins to show a sinister side. But is it too late for the family to realise that David is capable of a lot of danger before death comes knocking? Because it’s only little time before they wished they had never opened the door to the handsome stranger in the first place.

Right from the start, Adam Wingard puts his own stamp on the movie, with a neon-drenched style and allusions to the 80’s. He just feels so in charge of this film and his command over the events is exemplary. Wingard really likes to play with the genres in this film and manages to incorporate thriller, killer action and creepy horror. The Guest DavidAnd the ounces of style he gives the movie(he was the editor as well as director) adds up to an enjoyably dark thriller with striking visuals. The highlights are an electrifying bar fight and a tense chase through the confines of a school that has been designed for Halloween. A word of warning to those who are fans thrillers with realism, The Guest isn’t the most subtle film out there. It’s boldly done with over the top, bombastic elements that actually add more to the film and make it more enjoyable. Depending on how you like your thrillers done, The Guest may divide you. But I was a huge fan of this film and the shifts in style and tone it had. And no discussion of The Guest would be complete without giving mention to the soundtrack. With an ominous synth coursing through the veins, the soundtrack to The Guest becomes almost a character due to its moody sound and sense of troubling atmosphere it conjures up.

Dan Stevens is a magnetic screen presence in this movie. Exuding charisma, smooth physicality and ice-cold steel, he is eye-catching to say the least. Dan Stevens The GuestWe may know from the beginning that there isn’t something right with David, but thanks to Stevens, there is still an aura of enigma surrounding him as carnage unfolds. There are even times when we slightly root for David, even though we know that he brings a whole lot of fatal trouble to those around him. One thing is for certain, it’s an effectively done change of his pace from his role in Downton Abbey. Maika Monroe; delightfully spiky and full of sassy attitude, portrays Anna, who is the only person who suspects that her new house guest is about to wreak havoc on their lives. Monroe balances a sarcastic personality with a genuine sense of concern for those close to her and she sells it all the way. Then we have Brendan Meyer playing the timid son who respects David and doesn’t for a minute see that there is something very wrong with him. Sheila Kelley and Leland Orser have a normalcy to them that highlights the way that they are clueless to the truth surrounding David and makes his infiltration all the more effective and shocking. These are decent people, grieving for their lost son, whose kindness is taken advantage of as David leads them on a merry dance of deceit. Lance Reddick adds deep-voiced mystery to his role as a shady Major, who has some sort

Bursting with action, thrills and oodles of stylish visuals, The Guest is one hell of a blast if ever there was one and boldly bad ass to boot.

 

 

Lyric Analysis – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue: Where the Wild Roses Grow

It’s time again for another one of my lyric analysis posts. This time I’ll be looking at the haunting murder ballad ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’ from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, also featuring the prominent vocals of pop superstar Kylie Minogue. Where the Wild Roses GrowThis song was one of those unlikely collaborations that came off really well and creating something memorably dark as two voices narrate a brief courtship that ended in death. To this day, the song remains a strange piece of music that has a sense of Gothic romanticism to it.

‘They call me the Wild Rose/ But my name was Elisa Day/ Why they call me it, I do not know/ For my name was Elisa Day’.

These opening lines are the chorus to the song and they put the listener into a haunted mood. The melancholy tone of her voice shows that she is narrating from beyond the grave as a ghost. She seems to be aware of her death, but unsure of why she is known as The Wild Rose. This will later be explained in later lyrics.

‘From the first day I saw her I knew she was the one/ She stared in my eyes and smiled’.

It is love at first sight for this man as he seems utterly besotted with her from first glance. Yet his vocal delivery suggests the darkness that is to come.

‘For her lips were the colour of the roses/ That grew down the river, all bloody and wild’.

He speaks of how beautiful she is and highlights the main feature of her lips. Yet while comparing her to the roses seems very romantic, the mention of them being ‘bloody and wild’ is a big example of foreshadowing her doomed fate at the hands of this man.

‘When he knocked on my door and entered the room/ My trembling subsided in his sure embrace’.

She feels comfortable with him as her fears melt away. She doesn’t realise what will eventually become of her at this point and sings lovingly of his gentle demeanor that calms her. The presence of a bell ringing as she begins to sing foreshadows the fact that she is not of this world anymore and a ghost.

‘He would be my first man, and with a careful hand/ He wiped at the tears that ran down my face’.

The mention of the first gives the impression that she is virginal and not at all used to romantic love. Like with the last lines, she is under something of an illusion as he seems to be the perfect man comforting her. There is an innocence to these lines as he is the first man in her life and will be the last tragically.

Chorus

The melancholy chorus is sung again, as the sound of the music intensifies and the lead up to the tragic murder looms nearer.

‘On the second day I brought her a flower/ She’s more beautiful than any woman I’ve seen’.

He brings her a flower as a present in the custom of old-fashioned courting. He is now completely overtaken by his passion for her. The fact that he compares her to a flower and also brings her own ties the two together.

‘I said, “Do you know where the wild roses grow/
So sweet and scarlet and free?”

Here he asks her if she is aware of the roses on the riverbank were he will eventually kill her. The words he describes the roses as are ultimately what she will become as she will be free of life and scarlet will be the colour of her blood. Lines like this make me believe that the reason he kills her is because of her beauty and how he wanted it for himself, and no one else. By killing her, she was still his.

‘On the second day he came with a single red rose/ Said: “Will you give me your loss and your sorrow”.

We now go back to her recollection of the events that paint a more romantic picture of what transpired. She remembers the rose that he brought her( that probably gives an indication of why she became known in death as the Wild Rose) and how his words seemed reassuring and not threatening, when in reality the truth of his intentions was darker.

‘I nodded my head, as I lay on the bed/ “If I show you the roses will you follow?”

Her innocence is once again highlighted here as she has no idea of what will happen when she comes across the roses. She remembers him asking her to follow, and she becomes the sacrificial lamb in the end as he leads her to death. Her innocence is what makes her nod her head to his question as she is in love with him, but unaware of what will become of her.

Chorus

The sadness and darkness once again build with the second rendering of the ghoulish chorus, sung by her.

‘On the third day he took me to the river/ He showed me the roses and we kissed’

This is the day of the murder and she sets up the scene vividly. Even at this point her somewhat naive personality shines as she admires the roses and the soft kiss he gave her. The kiss can also be read as the kiss of death rather than something romantic that it seems to be for her as she unwittingly heads towards her fate.

‘And the last thing I heard was a muttered word/ As he knelt above me with a rock in his fist’.

Her last memory is the one of her death at the hands of her beloved. She was too in love with him to remember the word he muttered. The mention that he knelt above her portrays him as a predator and the fact that she doesn’t see what happens highlights the tragedy. He is almost giving her back to nature as he does describe her throughout the song as like a flower. The roses become her deathbed that she haunts.

‘On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow/ And she lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief’.

Now for the last time, we hear the man’s perspective as he kills her. He paints a haunting image of her dead on the bank with the wind gently blowing her way. Even in death, she is beautiful to him and this is the main reason he murdered her, so her beauty wouldn’t belong to anyone else.

‘And I kissed her goodbye, said “All beauty must die”/ And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth’.

He says goodbye to her in a romantic way that is very dark as she is now dead because of him. The muttered words that she spoke of earlier are probably the words he utters here, backing up the idea that he murdered her because of his obsession with not allowing anyone to gaze upon her beauty. The planting of the rose between her teeth makes her at one with nature and paints a very ghostly image. Although he killed her because of her beauty, he leaves the rose as a way to remember her.

Chorus

The last chorus is given haunting edge by the fact that she repeats the last lines three times, still unsure of why she is known by a name that wasn’t hers. These last deliveries of the lines make me believe that she is now a spectre floating on the riverbank where she was killed, consumed by melancholy questions over her demise.

 

 

 

 

 

Courage Under Fire

Film Title

Courage Under Fire

Director

Edward Zwick

Starring

  • Denzel Washington as Lieutenant Colonel Nat Serling
  • Meg Ryan as Captain Karen Walden
  • Lou Diamond Phillips as Staff Sergeant John Monfriez
  • Matt Damon as Specialist Ilario
  • Michael Moriarty as Brigadier General Hershberg
  • Scott Glenn as Tony Gartner
  • Tim Guinee as Warrant Officer Rady
  • Seth Gilliam as Sergeant Altameyer

A gripping drama, with the Gulf War as the main backdrop, Courage Under Fire examines how elusive it can be to get to the bottom of the truth and the haunting spectre of war. With intelligence and effective performances, Courage Under Fire becomes a story driven by emotion rather than just a generic war drama.

Dedicated Lieutenant Colonel Nat Serling served during the Gulf War were he experienced something that will haunt him forever. Courage Under Fire PosterWhile engaged in combat, he gave an order to shoot what he thought was an enemy tank. It turned out that the tank was in fact one of his own and in effect he killed one of his closest friends. Reeling from this, Nat struggles to cope with this burden, while the army covered up the knowledge of friendly fire. Nat falls into sorrow and can barely hold it together when he is then given a new assignment. He is to evaluate the posthumous candidacy of Captain Karen Walden, a pilot who helped save the lives of many men whose helicopter was shot down, for the Medal of Honor. Although she saved the lives of many, Karen in turn died during later events that crumbling Serling attempts to piece together. He goes about this assignment by talking with members of her team. But Nat soon learns that no two stories are the same. The traumatised medic on the mission Ilario paints Karen as a heroic woman who wouldn’t give up, whereas the Staff Sergeant Monfriez bitterly denounces her as a coward who endangered those around her. The other two people who were there, Warrant Denzel Washington Courage Under FireOfficer Rady who was brutally injured and Sergeant Altameyer both are in no fit state to talk as Rady was unconscious for most of the time and Altameyer is slowly dying. With all these discrepancies and inconsistencies surrounding this, it isn’t going to be easy getting to the bottom of this case. Matters aren’t helped by Tony Gartner, a journalist who is skulking around and Nat’s superior General Hershberg putting pressure on him to finish the job. Nat must now piece together the final moments of Karen’s life to determine if she deserves the award and also confront the possibility of a cover up surrounding her untimely death.

A lot of the gripping power that is derived from Courage Under Fire comes courtesy of director Edward Zwick. Through his deft direction, he presents many plausible angles to the unraveling case that Nat must contend with in order to get to the truth. Zwick brings the intelligently written screenplay to life, capturing the destructive effects the war can have on people’s minds and themes such as self-honour, bravery and deception. And I must commend the film for managing to balance intense scenes of war with drama, and keeping it all together. Courage Under Fire has a lot of power going for it and the structure of it, which allows us to see differing perspectives that could be lies or the truth. Meg Ryan Courage Under FireIt’s only in the last half of the movie that the emotional parts begin to get a bit out of hand, but throughout the majority of it, Courage Under Fires manages to keep you invested and not go overboard on things. The overdoing of emotions in the last half is the only real flaw in a film that is done with clarity and control. The cinematography provided by Roger Deakins is exemplary in its use of colours, from the orange hues of the desert to the grey that suggests the emotional fracturing of minds and the damaging fallout from war, the visuals are a highlight of style here. A slowly building score from James Horner underpins the search for the truth and Nat’s personal demons that he can’t let go of.

Courage Under Fire is given a whole lot of power and heft due to the strongly assembled cast. In the lead role of the troubled Nat, Denzel Washington excels. He never overplays his emotions but lets us glimpse the way that his experience in war has torn him apart and how being assigned this case is a way for him to do something good. Washington exudes a sympathetic decency that is hard to deny and the need to bring the long-buried truth to the surface. In a particular difficult role, Meg Ryan is excellent as the deceased Karen who is portrayed through the eyes of others as many things. Ryan delves into the part and shows us the sides to this tough woman that others witnessed, that could be the truth or lies. Thankfully, instead of over complicating the part, Meg Ryan lends each side of what the character may be plausibility that rings true. Lou Diamond Phillips makes his mark as the arrogant, macho Monfriez who often thinks of himself as higher than his rank. Matt Damon Courage Under FireIt is Matt Damon who really caught my eye in this movie as the traumatised and drug-addicted Ilario. It has been well-documented the physical transformation that Damon made for the part that lead to health problems for him at the time. But as physically convincing as Damon is, with his gaunt face and emaciated physique, it’s the emotion that he puts into the part that really stands out. In supporting roles, Michael Moriarty and Scott Glenn are well served as Serling’s superior and an opportunistic journalist. Tim Guinee and Seth Gilliam are less well served as two of the men who were in rescue with Karen, but both of them still give credibility to their parts.

An intriguing war drama that is well-paced and acted with power by the cast, Courage Under Fire is filled with a deep sense of urgency to compliment the deep themes it covers and grips you with.

What Makes a Good Bum?

This will be the last bum post of mine for a while as I’m going to concentrate on my reviews a lot more. But I thought I should do one last one(at least for the time being) for all of you out there, as they have been popular with you guys. Today I’m asking everyone, what makes a good bum? Is it the shape? Or the size? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear your opinions. For now it’s goodbye for the bum posts, but they could make a comeback in the future.

Kylie Minogue

David Haye

Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Film Title

Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Director

Robert Aldrich

Starring

  • Bette Davis as Charlotte Hollis
  • Olivia de Havilland as Miriam Deering
  • Joseph Cotten as Doctor Drew Bayliss
  • Agnes Moorehead as Velma Cruther
  • Cecil Kellaway as Harry Willis
  • Mary Astor as Jewel Mayhew
  • Bruce Dern as John Mayhew

A heady and creepy psychological thriller, Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte may be overblown but that almost adds to the fun of the unusual mystery and watching stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood show off their chops in this ghoulish affair.

We begin in 1927 Louisiana. The eponymous Charlotte is a young girl of a prominent family. She has been conducting an affair with married man John Mayhew and they plan to elope. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte PosterBut Charlotte’s father gets wind of this and tries to put a stop to it, for fear of his family name being tarnished. On the night they plan to elope at a party, John is brutally murdered in the summer house, decapitated and with one of his hands cut off . Charlotte discovers his corpse, which leads many to believe that it was her who murdered John after he tried to break off their affair. We then fast forward to many years later; Charlotte’s father has died and she has inherited his Antebellum mansion. But the memory of John’s murder and the knowledge that everyone believes it was her who killed him, has driven Charlotte to near madness. She lives as a recluse in her old house, with only her slightly kooky but loyal housekeeper Velma Cruther as company. Events for the near mad and extremely traumatised Charlotte come to a head, when it comes through that her house, due to her ignoring the eviction notice, and the Highway Commission wants to tear the house down to make a road. Bette Davis CharlotteThe increasingly disturbed Charlotte is against this and violently refuses to leave. Secretly though, Charlotte is worried and it is here that she calls upon the help of her cousin Miriam Deering, who grew up with her as a child. Yet as soon as the almost saintly Miriam arrives and reconciles with her old boyfriend Dr Drew Bayliss(who himself sometimes checks on Charlotte), strange events begin to unravel around the house and in particular Charlotte. Yet while Drew and Miriam write off Charlotte’s ramblings about seeing things in the house, could something sinister aimed at the emotionally distraught Charlotte really be afoot? Is Charlotte just haunted by her past? Or does her demure cousin Miriam have something dark to hide? And most of all, who was it that killed John Mayhew?

After the success of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, it seemed only fitting for director Robert Aldrich to return to the Gothic atmosphere of that movie. Yet while there are similarities in the two, Sweet Charlotte has more of a mystery to it(as well as psychological thrills) which makes for spooky viewing. All the conventions of Southern Gothic are here; near crazed southern belles haunted by the events around them, sinister shadows and a Louisiana setting. It’s all a very well done brew with Aldrich confident in his direction. The black and white visuals are ghoulishly effective and create a real atmosphere of suspense and unraveling horror.Velma Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte As I mentioned earlier, Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte is overblown to be sure as emotions run wild between the characters, in particular Charlotte. At times the melodrama can creek a little and become a bit too much, but for most of the time, it is still devilishly good and deviously twisted. In fact the melodrama sometimes adds to the cauldron of twisted mystery and due to the stars in the film, is very well done. There are a few moments of unexpected gore which surprised me for a film of the time this  was released, but at least it added to the unpredictability of the piece. Most of the chills however stem from the atmosphere conjured up throughout. A slithering score that hits the crescendos of terror and the bristling sense of menace is marvellously scored.

The cast of acting greats is a real delight and they all sink their teeth into the questionable characters of the film. Miriam and CharlotteThe excellent Bette Davis fully unleashes a gamut of emotions as the terrified and traumatised Charlotte. In almost ever scene of the film, the talents of Davis when it comes to unrestrained acting are second to none as we sympathise with Charlotte because of the horror she endures, even if some of it may not actually be there. Olivia de Havilland on the other hand is more subtle but still very effective with her performance as the seemingly kind and ladylike Miriam. I like the way that de Havilland establishes a nice aura around Miriam, but then little by little gets us to question what darkness may lie beneath her respectable persona and what she knows about the ghoulish events. Joseph Cotten does similar work to de Havilland as the doctor of the town, seemingly jovial and good-hearted, but with the knowledge that something is not quite right. Stealing the show is Agnes Moorehead as the housekeeper who becomes the first to suspect foul play. With a ragamuffin appearance and theatrical glee, Moorehead throws herself into the part with great results. Cecil Kellaway exudes upper-class and well-educated upbringing as an insurance investigator who is most curious about the murder case and the monetary value of it. In what was her last film role, Mary Astor is suitably enigmatic as the ailing widow of John, who has her own secrets lurking around. A young Bruce Dern has the small but pivotal role of John, whose murder is the catalyst for all the chaos that engulfs the fragile Charlotte.

So if you can handle an occasionally over the top and wild psychological thriller, tinged with growing mystery and Southern Gothic elements, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte is the film for you. And plus with the classic actors featured, it all adds up to a dark and mysterious film, powered by their performances.