The Maze 1953 and in 3D

I don’t know why I have just plucked this one out of my memory – certainly not a favourite or even very well known BUT it is quite interesting and keeps you guessing until the final ‘ludicrous’ frames.

A Scotsman named Gerald MacTeam played by Richard Carlson  abruptly breaks off his engagement to  Kitty when he learns that his uncle has died and he has inherited a castle in the Scottish highlands.

He moves there to live with the castle servants but his girl friend Kitty refuses to accept the broken engagement and travels with her aunt see him at the castle.

Gerald seems to have aged in this short time and somehow seems changed and odd.

Kitty and her aunt venture into The Maze – above.

There follows a series of strange events in around the castle and the castle maze. One night, Kitty and her aunt steal a key to their bedroom door (which is always locked from the outside) and sneak out into the mysterious maze.

There they discover Gerald and the servants out in the maze with …………..

Above – The Maze

Above characters look shocked

Well.   I had better not spoil the plot as the film moves towards its terrifying – not to say ludicrous – climax !!

 

I do think that this one could be remade today with a bigger budget and the benefit of today’s techniques -  it would be good. It is quite an unusual story and the fact that it is set in a Scottish Castle seems to give it an added eerie feel. It is very much a film where, on first seeing it, you are asking yourself just what is this all about – and I think that few would guess !!!

I hadn’t realised this but maybe should have known – this film was made in Hollywood.

I did rather like this comment about the film from someone who had seen it and had written this below :-

For most of its running time, “The Maze” is a nicely made chiller. Its well directed by William Cameron Menzies (who also made the cult classic “Invaders From Mars” and worked on “The Thief of Baghdad”), who creates a brooding and chilling Gothic atmosphere. There’s no shortage of horror stories set in old castles and while this film doesn’t add anything new to the setting,  it manages to use the familiar location quite well.   The screenplay is often very sombre, and the performance by Richard Carlson in the lead is quite accomplished.  Veronica Hurst is captivating and genteel in the role and still in love with Richard Carlson.   I won’t ruin it for you, but simply put the climax is one of the most  ludicrous things ever put on film.   The film was quite involving and then it completely spins around and gives us this bizarre ending.  The writers obviously put some thought into it, and it had  great potential to be a tragic conclusion.

The 3D story of a man  hiding a family secret in his forbidding castle -there are even bats in the belfry! It moves leisurely until the final extraordinary conclusion in The Maze.

 “The Maze” is  a decent enough movie.

Veronica Hurst

She was in Angels One Five, Laughter in Paradies and quite a bit later in the very scary ‘Peeping Tom’

The  old Regal Cinema at Wymondham in Norfolk  shows old films from time to time and in 2010  Angels One Five was the film and the star guest who appeared was Veronica Hurst.

Richard Carlson

He had previously appeard in King Solomons Mines 1950 with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr and later was to star in another Hollywood horror classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon – also in 3D.   I will always remember watching this late one night on TV and my daughter Karen, who was a little girl at the time,  woke up and came through to watch it with me.      It frightened her so much that she recalls it to this day.

He also was in It came from Outer Space again 1953 – almost a hat trick of horror films at this time in the fifties. He made a lot of films in his career.

He died in 1977 at the age of 65

Above – Richard Carlson looks for The Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954 – also in 3D

We will certainly come back to this film !!!

One person who wrote abount this film had been at a Hollywwod 3D event and described the film as being  so much fun to watch  with an audience, the print was excellent and the 3-D perfect.

The performances were described as being over the top which all  added to the fun, the surprise ending (that we aren’t supposed to share with fellow movie goers at least according to the movie trailer and poster) had people ………. - Well,  I had better not say or I might give away the ending

This is a classic old type horror film with the added dimension of 3-D (complete with cobwebs and bats coming out of the screen) 

It was descibed as ‘an entertaining romp into 50′s horror.’  Maybe that sums it up perfectly !!!

 

 

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