Tuesday, October 20, 2009


If you haven't seen the 1946 movie "Dragonwyck", you can watch it this Friday, Oct. 23 at 10pm on Turner Classic Movies (available on Netflix). Dragonwyck is a dark, suspense-filled gothic romance set in Hudson, NY in the 1840's - the era of the Dutch Patroons and the Anti-Rent War.

The movie stars Gene Tierney and Vincent Price (as the Patroon), and has Harry Morgan and Jessica Tandy in supporting roles (they're so young you might not recognize them). Ignore the fact that the 1946 NY Times called it "the most grandiose and obvious repetition of the Bluebeard story that we have seen" and check it out.

After you've seen the movie, I highly recommend reading Anya Seton's book "Dragonwyck". (I linked to Amazon, but don't read their Editorial Review - it gives the whole plot away and spoils the end - try this spoiler-free Customer Review). The book is available through the Upper Hudson Library System, and is worth reading - you can decide which has the better ending - it was changed for the movie.

Perhaps inspired by the Fatal Hudson River Steamboat Race of 1852, the book also has great descriptions of steamboat races on the Hudson (imagine engines working so hard that ashes and burning sparks rained down on the passengers). There were no hair-raising steamboat races in the movie though - that must have been beyond their special effects budget.

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