Friday, 8 November 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 329: Sun Nov 24

Night of the Eagle (Hayers, 1962): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.30pm


This film is screening as part of the Gothic season at BFI Southbank. The film is also being shown on November 18th. All the details are here.

Chicago Reader review:
Atmospheric and underplayed in the tradition of Val Lewton (I Walked With a Zombie, Cat People, The Seventh Victim), this British horror feature (1961) operates from the premise that witchcraft survives as an open secret among some women, in both benign and malevolent forms. A small-town academic (Peter Wyngarde) convinces his wife (Janet Taylor) to stop casting spells to advance his career; he doesn't believe in the occult, so he's taken aback by the various disasters that ensue. Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson are credited with the intelligent and efficient script, which adapts Fritz Leiber's American novel Conjure Wife to an English setting. Director Sidney Hayes can be needlessly rhetorical at times, relying on a campus statue of an eagle to create a sense of menace (the UK title was Night of the Eagle), but this is still eerily effective.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

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