Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

A team of psychic investigators moves into a haunted house that destroys all who live there.
Release Date: September 18, 1963
Release Time: 114 minutes
Julie Harris as Eleanor "Nell" Lance
Claire Bloom as Theodora "Theo"
Richard Johnson as Dr. John Markway
Russ Tamblyn as Luke Sanderson
Fay Compton as Mrs. Sanderson
Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs. Dudley
Lois Maxwell as Grace Markway
Valentine Dyall as Mr. Dudley
Diane Clare as Carrie Fredericks
Ronald Adam as Eldridge Harper
Uncredited roles
Pamela Buckley as First Mrs. Crain
Janet Mansell as 8-year-old Abigail Crain
Amy Dalby as 80-year-old Abigail Crain
Rosemary Dorken as Abigail Crain's Nurse-Companion
Verina Greenlaw as Dora Fredericks
Claude Jones as Garage Attendant
Freda Knorr as Second Mrs. Crain
Howard Lang as Hugh Crain
Paul Maxwell as Bud Fredericks
Susan Richards as Nurse

Hill House was built 130 years ago by a textile baron for his wife and children that they would never have. Instead it was filled with stories of tragedy and ominous tales of death that left the house uninhabited...or so it seemed. A century later, Dr. David Marrow discovers the house and, intrigued by its history, he invites three of his patients to the house as part of a sleep disorder study. Theo, Luke and Nell come to the sudden realization that sleep will not be on the agenda when ghosts of the past manifest in terrifying visitations and the house seems to take a particularly strong interest in Nell as Dr. Marrow''s study evolves into an examination of human fear.
Release Date: July 23, 1999
Release Time: 114 minutes
Lili Taylor as Eleanor "Nell" Lance
Liam Neeson as Doctor David Marrow
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Theodora "Theo"
Owen Wilson as Luke Sanderson
Marian Seldes as Mrs. Dudley
Bruce Dern as Mr. Dudley
Alix Koromzay as Mary Lambetta
Todd Field as Todd Hackett
Virginia Madsen as Jane Lance
Tom Irwin as Lou
Charles Gunning as Hugh Crain
Debi Derryberry, Jessica Evans, Sherry Lynn, Miles Marsico, Courtland Mead, Kyle McDougle, Kelsey Mulrooney and Hannah Swanson as the voices of the children

Author Bio:
Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, "The Lottery" (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, smalltown America. In her critical biography of Shirley Jackson, Lenemaja Friedman notes that when Shirley Jackson's story "The Lottery" was published in the June 28, 1948, issue of The New Yorker, it received a response that "no New Yorker story had ever received." Hundreds of letters poured in that were characterized by, as Jackson put it, "bewilderment, speculation and old-fashioned abuse."



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