Dr Crippen and The Raven

We are in the Sixties now but I could not resist this one when I came across the Double Bill advertisement below – I am pretty sure that I saw this programme at the local cinema at the time.

Dr Crippen was a very good film – mainly a love story and I remember hoping that the two lovers would get away even though I knew the outcome.

Dr Crippen with Donald Pleasance as the doctor and Samantha Eggar as Ethel Le Neve

Donald Pleasance – brilliant as Dr Crippen – to me one of the best roles of his career and he had a good and long career at that.

Coral Browne as Crippen’s wife and Samantha Eggar as Ethel. Plus one of my favourite actors – a larger than life stage actor featured on this Blog before at some length – Sir Donald Wolfit.

Dr Crippen and Ethel are obviously in love.

James Robertson Justice – not my favourite actor – playing the Captain of The Montrose with Samantha Eggar and Donald Pleasance – both of these actors in a different league to him

Donald Pleasance gives a wonderful performance as the down trodden Dr Crippen alongside the shrew-like performance of Coral Browne as Belle Elmore – even from the screen you can feel the tension of their relationship.

Then his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, who is played with a quiet calmness by the very pretty Samantha Eggar.

If you’re a fan of dramas then this could be for you – and any genuine film buff really has to watch this film. Excellent.

The second half of the Double Bill was The Raven with Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre in a film that was shot in just 15 days – a kind of semi comic Horror Film

A young Jack Nicholson was a supporting actor playing Peter Lorre’s son – however in real life it was reported that these two did not get on at all well during the making of the film – however I have come across other reports of Jack Nicholson saying that he admired all three of these leading actors, and sat around picking up tips from them with their vast film experience.

This proved to be Jack Nicholson’s big break in films

Hazel Court enjoyed working on the film particularly with these veteran film actors and, although she said that he was not in the best of health, she enjoyed the company of Peter Lorre

Hazel Court appeared in  three of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe screen adaptations in the 60s: The Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964).

However before this she  was in Terence Fisher’s The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the film that launched the Hammer horror series.

In it, Hazel, whose life is threatened by the monster (Christopher Lee), played the naive cousin-fiancee of Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing).

Nice posed Publicity still with Hazel Court and Boris Karloff – ABOVE

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