Twice-Told Tales (1963)

Article 1809 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-26-2006
Posting Date: 7-26-2006
Directed by Sidney Salkow
Featuring Vincent Price, Sebastian Cabot, Brett Halsey

Three tales based on the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne are presented. In the first, a doctor inadvertently discovers the secret of eternal youth. In the second, a man concocts a scheme to keep any man from taking advantage of his daughter. In the third, a woman marries a man whose family line suffers from a curse.

For those looking for a good companion piece to AIP’s TALES OF TERROR , this should suffice; an adaptation of three tales from Nathaniel Hawthorne. In fact, for me, this has one advantage over TALES OF TERROR; whereas I’m extremely familiar with the Poe stories used in that anthology, I have never read the Hawthorne stories that served as the basis for this one, so there was more of an element of surprise for me. The movie itself is pretty good, if not great, with solid acting and interesting stories. I enjoyed the first two stories the best; for one thing, I have read enough Hawthorne to know that his favorite theme is sin (whereas Poe’s favorite theme is madness), and this is apparent in both of the first stories. I’m less taken with the third, an abbreviated version of “The House of the Seven Gables”. I’ve never read the novel, but I remember that the earlier movie version of the movie I’d seen had only slight horror elements. Not so this one; what with ghosts and blood pouring from paintings, cracks in the walls, lockets, etc., this story is given the full horror treatment, but it feels grafted on, and it is this episode that most feels like an imitation of the AIP Poe series. Still, I liked the anthology overall, especially the middle story.

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