The Tomb of Ligeia

1964

Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller

31
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 4307

Synopsis


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October 13, 2014 at 03:12 PM

Director

Cast

Vincent Price as Verden Fell
Frank Thornton as Peperel
720p.BLU
698.41 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 4 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ackstasis 8 / 10

"The eyes, they confound me… they do not readily yield up the mystery"

Roger Corman is often celebrated for his economies, but nobody ever told me that he was also a wonderful cinematic craftsman. 'The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)' is my second Corman film (after the throwaway cheapie 'The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)'), and I'm now intrigued by the prospect of seeing his other Edgar Allan Poe-inspired creations. Horror maestro Vincent Price stars as Verden Fell, a wealthy widower who becomes obsessed by the possibility that his deceased wife somehow survives. Inexplicably drawn to Verden's sinister charms, the lovely Lady Rowena (Elizabeth Shepherd) agrees to marry him. However, on their wedding night, she is tormented by the memory of her predecessor, who seemingly takes the form of an ominous black cat. Though one could argue that nothing much happens in this film, it is nevertheless exceedingly dense with atmosphere, almost stiflingly so, every frame an overwhelming banquet of garish colours. The darkness of the nighttime is vividly punctuated by the gleaming scarlet of blood, hellish yellow flames, and an invisible black enemy that skulks in the shadows.

While I don't expect that 'The Tomb of Ligeia' stays particularly close to the original story, the screenplay from Robert Towne (later to write 'Chinatown (1974)') emulates the gloomy Gothic overtones of classic Poe. Discomfort is gleaned, not only from the dialogue, but the silences between words. Not that Verden Fell is not given his fair share of dialogue; the film is so apparently entranced by the dark, charismatic tones of Price's voice that he often breaks off into superb, meandering monologues that give voice to the obvious. Not that the audience is complaining, of course – the way Price presents himself to the camera, with complete and utter conviction, is mesmerising. While the film, of course, owes a debt to Poe's literature, it is also an expansion of the Gothic melodrama sub-genre of the 1940s. Consider Hitchcock's 'Rebecca (1940),' in which young innocent Joan Fontaine is plagued by the "ghost" of her husband's previous wife; or Mankiewicz's 'Dragonwyck (1946),' which finds Gene Tierney harassed by her mentally deranged husband – played, appropriately, by Vincent Price.

Reviewed by Hullumaja Puffet 7 / 10

Morbid and creepy adaptation that end Corman's Poe cycle

Verden Fell (Vincent Price), a recently widowed man is convinced his wife Ligeia is still alive. Even meeting another woman Rowena (Elizabeth Shepherd who also fills the Ligeia's part) and marrying her, the man quite get over the death of his first wife. Eerie tale comes to tragic end when Vernon fights with the ghost and his own growing madness.

The film is visually rich with every inch of the screen filled with the ruins of abbey and spooky interiors of Verden's mansion. The bright outdoor scenes and dark rooms combines nice contrast that illustrate the Poe's words that end the movie - "The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends and where the other begins." The many usage of sunlit countryside scenery wasn't very usual in '60s horror films and some of the most haunting scenes take place in bright daylight. Constantly eerie mood flows through the film without giving much rest to the viewer.

Perfect finale to Corman's Poe themed series.

Reviewed by therosenpants 9 / 10

"Lately I seem to be slipping into reveries..."

I'm really not sure what people aren't seeing in this film. This is truly a magnificent film, the best of the Corman/Price collaborations. The atmosphere, visuals, and even the characters yield a fantastic experience from beginning to end. Some have said only Price's performance is worth anything, but I found Sheppard, Francis and Johnston to be just as convincing (Westbrook seemed the only weak link, but not enough to detract). Sheppard's coolness adds to the personality of her character-- Rowena is poised, curious, iron-willed and unpretentious. A great departure from normal damsels trapped in a technicolor horror.

And Vincent Price as the tortured Verden is a revelation. Remarkable in the way one pities his character, who has such depth that we are fully immersed in his world, from the obsession with Egyptian artifacts to the familiarity with his kitchen, to the loneliness that compels him to rest in cobwebs and darkness. His happiness on marrying Rowena and honeymooning presents such a stark contrast to his solitary life that one wishes they would have left the constrictive hold of the house and Abbey before they even wed.

Particular standouts include the dreamy exploration of Rome and Stonehenge, the actual dream sequence that foretells Rowena's fate (the puppet cat's shadow being the only laughably bad effect in the film), but the best is easily Rowena's journey to the bell tower. Price's narration here is brilliantly magnified by Corman's camera work, highlighting how similar--and in some cases dissimilar-- Rowena and Ligeia are.

I haven't read the source Poe story, but I'm going to have to now. This film is truly a work of art that lives up to the themes Poe wrote about the tragedy of the human condition. Like Rowena and supposedly Ligeia, some people walk through the darkness of life like a solitary candle, brightening all around it. But without darkness, we cannot have that light to guide us, so our goodness would be worthless without the potential for evil, even within ourselves. I really admire how this film subtly captures this idea, and Poe would be proud.

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