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CAMP DAVID FEBRUARY 2011: THE OVAL PORTRAITS OF VINCENT PRICE

By • Feb 15th, 2011 •

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“The Oval Portraits of Vincent Price”

Vincent Price in MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

I have always maintained that one of the more important reasons we still revere Roger Corman’s screen adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe in the 21st Century must surely rest squarely on the shoulders of Vincent Price, who created these unique screen portraits of Poe’s most famous characters in all but one of the films directed by Corman between 1960 and 1964.

The worldwide success of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1957 and then HORROR OF DRACULA in 1958 firmly established the market for literary adaptations of classic tales of terror. This fact was not lost on Samuel Z. Arkoff and his partner James H. Nicholson who were at the time the undisputed kings of the drive-in, zeroing exclusively on the lucrative teenage audience that flocked to see their monsterific double features during the late fifties and sixties. In calling their company American International Pictures or as it was better known among the fans AIP, Arkoff and Nicholson seemed more than the right choice to take the American literary genius Edgar Allan Poe and recycle his works for the consumption of the more than receptive teenager of the 60’s – the baby boomers. The circumstances of how and why this came about are now part of the urban legend that is AIP.

It is my belief that casting Vincent Price in the HOUSE OF USHER and then following that with PIT AND THE PENDULUM cemented Price as the new King of the Horror film, replacing Boris Karloff as the new master of the macabre. The mantle could have come much sooner, in fact right after another “House” film – the ultra 3-D sensation HOUSE OF WAX and yet it did not. so we now arrive at the year1958 when Price also took a gamble on a then-unknown producer named William Castle, making what else…another “House” picture this time the tongue-in-cheek HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. This film made Vincent Price a very rich man and still the crown of horror king was just out of reach, however his audience was beginning to identify him as a villain to relish with his unique brand of sinister performances enhanced by years of stage work, giving him style and polish. By the time Roger Corman came along with an offer to take a chance on a dream, Vincent Price was posed for greatness. His intuition to play Usher without facial hair, and with his face and hair bleached white, became a tour de force not seen in the cinema since the days of Conrad Veidt…an idol of Price’s…

Corman told me on several occasions that Vincent Price was his first and only choice to play Roderick Usher. The role established Price as the on screen voice of Edgar Allan Poe for a generation. I was one of those lucky 11-yr-olds who stood in line for that first matinee to see THE HOUSE OF USHER at the Pix theater in Hollywood during the summer of 1960. Not since 1939 had so many great films come out in the same year, not the least of which was Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. The impact of seeing Price for the first time as Roderick Usher, speaking in hushed tones, inspired one critic to refer to him as “decayed plush.”

David Interviews Vincent at Home, 1988

Many years later Vincent allowed me to tape one of his only on-camera interviews regarding his reputation as a “horror star.” The result is the now out of print DVD, “VINCENT PRICE THE SINISTER IMAGE”. During the taping I told him of my plans to do a book someday regarding his work with Roger Corman. As those who knew him well will tell you, his generosity was boundless when it came to the press, and especially to those he came to trust regarding his legacy. Vincent and I would sit down on six separate occasions to tape interviews regarding his career in films.

It is the result of one of those tapings that I am about to share with you now. These are what I like to call, out of deference to the Divine Edgar, the “Oval portraits” of Vincent Price’s Poe period. I asked him to comment on all seven films, which he did with pleasure. He generously commemorated the moment by autographing a still of himself from each film when we were through taping. I brought dozens of photos with me at the time to jog his memory. He enjoyed doing all this with that wicked sense of humor very much intact. So it is in honor of the one-hundredth anniversary of Vincent Price’s birth that we present for the first time his personal observations on his work with Roger Corman.

HOUSE OF USHER

“This film was a gamble for all of us and yet I was prepared to take a gamble because I believed in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. I felt audiences would enjoy seeing them on the screen. When I first read {Richard} Matheson’s screenplay I was a bit taken aback by the altering of relationships from Poe to what became the film HOUSE OF USHER. However, I have been down this road before with another film based on another American master, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES {1940} which I did over at Universal with a wonderful actress, Margaret Lindsey. In the novel they were brother and sister, in the film they were lovers… In both cases the spirit of Hawthorne was retained and I still feel Matheson did much the same thing when he decided to make Madeline Usher cataleptic, as well as in love with the young man who came to take her away. In Poe’s tale the man is his good friend who arrives at the House of Usher in time to witness its collapse, and has no romantic interest in the sister at all.

“The young actress who plays my sister, Myrna Fahey, was very good I thought…it was also very ironic that both she and Mark Damon looked like brother and sister. Their coloring and hair seemed to match in a truly uncanny way. Mark was prettier, of course, and I told him so every chance I got…. {laughs}

HOUSE OF USHER

“I prepared for the character of Roderick Usher by going on a crash diet before we actually started filming, the result was astonishing as I looked in the mirror I saw an albino version of Nicolas Van Ryn. I watch DRAGONWYCK on television no too long ago… I was struck by the similarities in the two characters. That was really no surprise, since Anya Seaton had placed references there in her novel in the first place. Our screenwriter Matheson is a great film buff and must have seen the film–it was obviously a reference he had in mind when he began to put the screenplay together. Roger had pitched the project to AIP as the house being the monster and it really is, especially when you see the matte work for the house itself and that coupled with Les Baxter’s music just invests the house as a living breathing entity of pure evil…looking back, Usher might be the best of all the Poe films we did, although I still think very highly of TOMB OF LIGIEA with those marvelous ruins to work with–as an actor, simply wonderful.”

PIT AND THE PENDULUM

David Del Vallel intro: As with USHER this film made a lasting impression on me as child of 11, I saw this one at the Fox theater in Sacramento. The theater itself was one of the last remaining movie palaces of the day, large and ornate in design. They placed a giant pendulum over the marqee that rolated back and forth much like it did in the film. The dual role played by Price in this film forever cemented his image as the on-screen voice of Poe for my entire generation. This one broke boxoffice records everywhere it played in 1961.

“PIT AND THE PENDULUM was a much bigger production and far more attention was paid to it in the press. I remember countless set visits from every trade paper in Hollywood and a few New York ones as well. The set and costumes were more elaborate than USHER and for once we had a pretty good cast. The young woman playing my wife was especially effective as she had this amazing face and presence that was tailor-made for this type of film. We got on almost at once. Barbara Steele was her name, although we didn’t get to know each other well; we certainly had fun making this one film together. I remember that she was rather shy and dear. She arrived on her first day barefoot…the opposite of what one would expect an Ingénue to be. She was without pretense and head over heels in love with Italy at the time.

PIT AND THE PENDULUM

“Roger had this one mapped out to perfection as far as what he was going to do with his camera and we rehearsed with the little time we had, knowing full well what was basically expected of us on the floor. Marge Corso found a beautiful dress for my wife while I wore the most uncomfortable collar since the one I had to wear over at Warner Bros years before when I was playing Sir Walter Raleigh with Bette Davis. I loved the cowl that I had to don when I was playing the evil father…that outfit is how I am remembered whenever the Poe films are brought up. I took a lot of flack for that performance with some members of the press at the time of the film’s release and even later on. It was of course my choice to go out like that, I imagine it was to be expected. Roger and I had discussed this at length and since my performance in USHER had been so mannered and fragile, I really needed to try something just the opposite in the next one. The screenplay was filled with all these grand gestures and florid dialogue…it seemed everyone was expecting this kind of performance from me…I simply let go whenever I could, hoping I was in the moment as it were.

“It was not lost on me that our writer, Richard Matheson, had done his homework, at least regarding my career. I now believe he saw LAURA in the fact that you believe my wife is dead only to have her return, and not from the dead mind you… The paintings and the harpsichord are right out of DRAGONWYCK, as is my character’s name – Nicolas. He {Matheson} did tell me during filming that he enjoyed HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, although there was none of that tongue-in-cheek humor present in his scripts during our films together.

“As I told you before regarding casting in the other two films, the real disappointment for me was trying to do period costume pictures with young actors who were simply too modern in their approach to really make these things work. The actress playing my sister {Luana Anders} was far too young in the first place and totally wrong for period films. She is a fine actress—but not in this type of film. I would say the same thing about Jack Nicholson and we all know how his career went! Once, during another interview, I was asked why it was so difficult to make pictures in this genre. I always remember something Boris Karloff used to say about being typed in horror films as he was…he said “I am grateful for the Frankenstein monster since he gave me what success I have achieved in this business, and I make the unbelievable believable. Bogart could not do what I do and neither could Gable.” I am in the same situation, you see. Jack Nicholson cannot do what I do and neither can Robert Redford, so we are all typed as to our different ways of speaking, and especially our looks.”

TALES OF TERROR

David Del Valle intro: This was an experiment on Roger Corman’s part to adapt three of Poe’s tales in one film. The result was uneven, yet it marked the beginning of a fascinating on-screen partnership with Peter Lorre that would last until Lorre’s untimely death in 1964. The wine-tasting scene is a classic moment in the cycle. My dear friend Joyce Jameson shines like a diamond in this one and her reward was to appear with Lorre again in COMEDY OF TERRORS this time with Peter as her lover!

The Morella Segmant - TALES OF TERROR

MORELLA…tale number one

“When Roger and I started to work on TALES I had already suggested earlier that we might try and include “The Tell Tale Heart” since it was the best known of Poe’s short stories and second only to “The Raven” in popularity. Roger felt it was much too violent for the screen and was usually done as a spoken word piece. Peter Lorre used to do it on the radio to great effect. All that remained of that idea, as it turned out, was the beating heart at the film’s beginning, which was a nice touch in the spirit of Poe shall we say {Laughter} I really worked on the character of Locke. Much like Usher he was trapped in his own torment and remained housebound in much the same manner. Marge Corso found me a marvelous robe with a pattern very much in the manner of Aubrey Beardsley. Marge was one of the shining stars of our little ensemble, along with Danny Haller and Floyd Crosby. They really created the atmosphere from which I was allowed to make these characters breathe. With USHER I was bleached white as a man who never saw daylight, so was Locke… I was inspired by the illustrations of Harry Clarke, a wonderful Irish artist who died much too soon and created some of the most stunning stained glass windows I have ever seen. A fan of mine sent me a book after USHER came out and it turned out to be the complete works of Poe all illustrated by Harry Clarke, who worked in both mediums. I was struck by the long shallow faces of the men he drew and I tried to make that the foundation for my character, with a long sullen face blacked out around the eyes just Harry Clarke envisioned them. Danny Haller’s sets were simply magnificent. He told me at the time that the dining room where the wedding party was to have taken place made him think of Miss Havershim in the David Lean film {GREAT EXPECTATIONS} which I also admired so much. We had a laugh at this point since this was our third film and those tarantulas were really worked into overdrive. One of the crew mentioned that we really should show more spiders, since tarantulas do not spin webs {laughs} The script was well done. Although not much of Poe survived, we did remain true to his spirit. The real problems with this particular piece was in the casting of the two ingénues. Now I had actually met Maggie Pierce. I think after USHER came out, as she was dating Mark Damon at the time. Maggie was very attractive but simply was not trained to act. Unfortunately we needed a proper actress in this role as the script was written for the two characters and the daughter needed to be strong. I complained to Roger but it was hopeless. The other woman who played my late wife had less to do, not to mention she was a stunning-looking woman and very funny. The make-up man put long vampire nails on her, turning her into his concept of a ghoul…which made us both burst out laughing. I really liked her as a person but again the role required someone like the girl we had in PIT {Barbara Steele} The segment simply could not hold up without solid performances from all of us, so the life just went out of it.”

THE BLACK CAT {tale number two}

“Peter Lorre was very depressed by the time we made TALES OF TERROR and there was very little I could do to make it otherwise. He had long ago abandoned any kind of respect for acting in films–it just paid the bills. I deliberately played Fortunato as the fop of fops because I knew it would bring out the devil in Peter. And it did. Our wine tasting scene is one of the most popular moments either one of us ever did in films, and this man worked for Fritz Lang, as I did, but years later and under less than stellar circumstances. Roger pretty much let us alone, so the kudos should go to us. Peter perked up when the professional wine taster turned up to train us in the art of wine tasting. We were both drunk by noon and having a ball. It was during this moment that Peter came up with his business of saying “it’s very good” that was an ad lib the way he did it. Personally I like to follow a script but with Peter you have to just go with the flow or lose some simply brilliant improv, as he was a master of the double take and a scene stealer of legendary proportions.”

The Black Cat segment - TALES OF TERROR

THE CASE OF M VALDEMAR

“Valdemar was an intriguing concept and at least here we had one of Poe’s most famous tales to adapt, one I believe was never filmed until ours. The most wonderful aspect of doing this one was working with Basil {Rathbone} again after many, many years. When I was first starting out in Hollywood Basil was one of my idols. His reputation on Broadway was unsurpassed. Basil was a great star on the stage and later on the screen. For this film Basil gave a grand performance in it, really evil as only he could be, I brought up his performance in David Copperfield during what little rehearsal time we had and I think he tried a little of that stony resolve that had become his stock and trade as an actor. I think he steals the scenes he is in. We had a coach on this one, as well a doctor, who was brought on set and taught Basil the art of mesmerizing me …Basil was truly one of a kind.

“One thing I do remember about this film was the make-up as Valdemar begins to rot and literally melt away. Poe wrote some very specific prose describing just how Mr. Valdemar makes his untimely exit and we did our utmost to film it that way. The process involved covering my face with this substance that was very hot so I could only wear it for a short time. I just could not stand it more than a few minutes at a time.

“I am always given photos of myself in that make-up by the fans to autograph. The ones with Debbie Paget recoiling from me are hysterical because we just could not stop laughing at the sight of me with what looked like caramel oozing off my face…it was really too much.”

THE RAVEN

David Del Valle intro: I will always remember being somewhat taken aback the first time I saw this one as audiences had no idea this was a comedy until Vincent kept bumping his head on a telescope. By the time Peter Lorre arrives, as a voice-over on a live Raven, we are very much aware that this was as far from Edgar Allan Poe as AIP dared to get without placing the series at a beach party. Boris Karloff joined the cast, and then signed contracts for more films at AIP for the remainder of his life.

“THE RAVEN was a highpoint in making these films because it brought all of us together in one film. Boris was one of the most joyful men I ever knew and lived each day to the fullest. I began my career in films with him and was there at the end of his as well. We did a Red Skelton TV show the last year of his life and he was by then in a wheelchair. During rehearsal he sensed the pity from the crew at seeing him this way, so once we were about to do the show live he stood up and walked on to the stage to do his song, and believe me there was not a dry eye in the place. That man was universally loved, especially by me. Boris was in better shape when we did THE RAVEN, walking about even with arthritis, yet he was always a total professional, as we all were on that film.

THE RAVEN

“I remember LOOK magazine sent a reporter out to cover the film and he was planning to make fun of us. After two days on that set he was so impressed with our attitude and humor that he remained for the whole shoot and returned to New York a fan. You cannot make this type of film without a sense of respect, not just for the genre and its fans, but for yourself as an actor. Even Peter Lorre was a professional, he just got away with murder because he was so dammed funny and dear.

“Hazel Court is a close personal friend, as is her husband Don {Taylor} She knows how to do this type of film and has a range that is still untapped by directors, I think she was such a good sport on THE RAVEN since Peter loved his practical jokes and she was usually the object of most of them. I remember watching from the sidelines as she and Boris did their final scene together and it just broke me up to watch Boris stare unto her more than ample cleavage as she did her lines unaware…it was bliss…

“The film was of course a comedy, and we went with that, as it did not start out that way. I think the fact Peter and I had this chemistry, and our previous film for Roger was comic as well. It just seemed to the producers why mess with a good thing, and so we were expected to let history repeat itself. I think it did to a certain extent, although it was different to work with both of them at the same time. As Boris and Peter were like oil and water as actors…very different approach to their craft. By the time Peter and I did these Poe films he had simply given up trying to be a proper actor and just did Peter Lorre for the camera, and believe me nobody could do it better. And yet, he was disenchanted with Hollywood and his career by that point. It was a bit like Orson Welles really gaining all that weight and then lampooning what it was that made you famous in the first place. It is a real tragedy to observe, especially in someone you admire, since you are painfully aware of what they could be doing with that talent, yet they choose to throw it away. I have seen this happen over and over in this business.”

THE HAUNTED PALACE

David Del Valle intro: This film will always be remembered historically as the first adaptation of H.P.Lovecraft for the screen, and it remains one of the best. The thrilling score by Ronald Stein set the mood for one of Price’s best performances in the dual role of Charles Dexter Ward as well as his evil ancestor Joseph Curwin. Price achieved this effect with very little in the way of make-up, using mainly his voice and eye movement to denote which character was in control. Lon Chaney Jr adds so much in a small but effective role as a fellow warlock who remains painted green throughout the film.

THE HAUNTED PALACE (Price as Charles Dexter Ward)

“At the time we were making it, I know Roger felt we were starting to exhaust the catalogue of Edgar Allan Poe stories available to us. I had always admired the short stories of H P. Lovecraft and even included a few in the horror anthologies I used to put together over the years. I know Boris {Karloff} admired them enough to do the same thing when he was asked to put together his collections of terror tales, as he always liked to refer to them. You know Boris was originally to have been in the film but he had a conflict so we were lucky to persuade Lon Chaney Jr. to do it. Chaney proved to be a pro in every sense of the word. I had known Lon for years, yet on that film he was not well and kept to himself quite a bit of the time. I did what I could to bring him out of his depression but it proved hopeless in the end. We had Elisha Cook on that film as well and he had known Lon from the old days when they were both contract players, yet he could not bring him around either. Lon did, however like to cook, as I do, and loved to make his own style of chili, so we did have one or two bright moments watching him make his specialty – which by the way smelled to the high heavens, as he liked it to be as pungent I must tell you. I liked him enormously, a talented actor perhaps at odds with that giant shadow his father cast over his life who was indeed a true genius in our profession…very sad he could not overcome this obstacle emotionally.

“I adored Debbie Paget. She was such a beautiful creature. You have no idea what a great beauty she was at that time…somewhat like Gene Tierney, in that the camera was in love with her. She really should have been an enormous star because that girl could act. We were in the DeMille film {THE TEN COMMANMENTS} although I did not get to know her well at the time. But all the men were simply in love with her and why not? What’s not to love?

“We had a ball making THE HAUNTED PALACE and Roger got very cross with us for breaking up so often. We had a couple of scenes in this giant four-poster bed and every time she got under the covers I would goose her causing her to laugh, as she was insanely ticklish. I really could not resist doing this to her — very wicked of me. This became her last film, you know, She actually did her last two films with me and then left the film business forever marrying Mr. [Louis} Chun King, the successful oil mogul. {King and Paget divorced in 1980}

“Roger had some great people, not to mention talented writers, on these films. Danny Haller was amazing with his designs and with what he did for so little money revamping existing sets on a soundstage…remarkable. Marge Corso made wonderful costumes–even my wife Mary admired her craftsmanship. Our cameraman, Floyd Crosby, was a genius. From day one on USHER he always set the tone, especially with the way that camera moved with each individual set up. Any success we with the Poe films was because of the them.

THE HAUNTED PALACE (Price as Joseph Curwen)

“I really enjoy the acting process; you know — leaving yourself in the make-up chair, and then stepping into these fantasy roles. In playing the warlock {Joseph Curwen} I had some real help from our make-up man, Ted Coodley, who created a green skin tone which also hardened my face a bit especially around the eyes and mouth. This allowed me to develop the character as Curwen, who was ruthless and cruel. I certainly got into character while wearing such a ghoulish make-up. Poor Lon Chaney had to stay in that make-up throughout the filming. I remember the young woman {Cathie Merchant} who played my mistress in the film causing me no end of amusement. She had this great buxom figure to begin with, but the wardrobe heightened her already ample cleavage giving her more room than the Rocky Mountains, and every time that I would glance in her direction my eyes would head down that mountain along with my concentration. She proved to be a great sport. I kidded her once as she remarked that she had no dialogue so I told her with what she had going for her there was very little that needed to be said, which made her laugh. I will always remember these films with great pleasure, even though they were hard work, we all had such a good time making them.”

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

David Del Valle intro: We owe a debt of gratitude to Charles
Beaumont for coming up with the concept of Price as a Devil worshipper
in his first draft of MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. Vincent shines as the evil Prince Prospero whose faith is shaken by a peasant girl whose beliefs rival his. Hazel Court is stunning as his consort whose own pact with the devil creates a fantastic moment in the film due in part to the camerawork of Nicolas Roeg.

My transcript for this film was unavailable for this article yet it will appear in my forthcoming book on the Corman/Poe cycle “SEE TO THE CRYPT” due out in early 2012.

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (note the goatee on the statues drawn by price)

TOMB OF LIGEIA

David Del Valle intro: Vincent always said this was his personal favorite in the cycle…filming it out of doors gave a breath of freshness to the proceedings. Yet it proved too late in the game for Corman to film another one, ending one of the most successful cycles of Horror films since the golden days of Universal studios. Eliizabeth Shepherd became a close personal friend later on in my life and we had a moment late one evening when she came to see me, allowing me to come to my front door dressed in a black dressing gown. When I opened the door I got to say Vincent’s line to her as Verden Fell would have done: “Never,Never come here unannounced!!” she was taken aback to say the least.

TOMB OF LIGEIA

“This film was a shared passion between Roger and me. Early on we had fantasized about shooting one of the Poe films in a ruin, an actual location for a change of pace. He found the perfect location in Norfolk, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I enjoyed making these pictures with Roger because he had a real understanding of the material and was an absolute genius at getting the most out of his actors and crew. In this particular film we were fortunate to find a real actress to play both Ligeia and the Lady Rowena, Her name is Elizabeth Shepherd, a classic English beauty but more importantly a very fine actress with a solid background in theater, which is something that I can appreciate so well. In Hollywood there is a stigma against theater by film actors because they don’t really understand that it is all part of the same craft. However I do understand the difference in learning a part for the stage as opposed to doing a film, acting out of continuity in bits and pieces with long breaks between. The concept of creating a part and acting it on your own in front of a live audience can scare an actor to death, and yet it can also take that same actor to paradise if the magic is there for you, and then nothing can take the place of that applause.

“The Poe films we did in Hollywood were small casts, and sadly the younger actresses were just not up to it. Of course I am not referring to our friend Hazel or your pal Barbara, both of whom we know did beautiful work in those films. I still remember what a performance Elizabeth gave during the scene where I mesmerize her in front of the fire. In rehearsal she was as always spot on so when we came to shooting that sequence she did the whole thing in one take, playing both personalities. She was absolutely wonderful to work along side. Now our Elizabeth was saddled in the film with a dual role, and if I could show you my shooting script you would see a riot of notes as to who was playing who at any given point. We could not keep track.

“Now of course script confusion is one thing, but almost catching fire is another. Roger had this notion to simply burn the set at the conclusion of LIGEIA, and even through I have been through many on-camera fires in my career, and most of them with Roger {laughs} Elisabeth and I barely escaped with our lives in that one. Not to mention that poor black cat. We went though at least a dozen cats before it was over. The poor thing would just disappear never to return, so the animal wrangler we had would have to locate another one.

TOMB OF LIGEIA (with top hat)

“As far as LIGEIA being the last Poe film with Roger, well I could see it coming even after we did THE RED DEATH. Roger was still young enough to want to do more and was getting offers left and right. It was for him the right thing to do, of course, and he certainly deserves his success. I felt remorseful at the time when we came to the last one since no one could do these films quite like Roger. I did a few more after LIGEIA…all of them in England as a matter of fact. I found myself regretting making more than a few of them to be sure. Even the English locations cannot prevail against bad scripts. By the last days of filming LIGEIA the light was about to leave the tower signaling the end of one period and the beginning of another for us both. I shall always consider the films I made with Roger to be among the highlights of my career in film.”

Vincent Price 1911-2011….shall be lifted nevermore…..POE.

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6 Responses »

  1. Bravo, David! This is pure gold. Let’s see some more – perhaps on Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General, Scream and Scream Again or Madhouse.

  2. Leaving out MASQUE (the BEST of the bunch!) but using it to plug your forthcoming book?!?!? You dog!!! LOL!

    Wonderful interview with a wonderful man. I had the honor to meet him VERY briefly at college when he did his Oscar Wilde tour in the early 1980s. It was basically “You can shake his hand, exchange greetings & move on. No autographs or extended conversation.” But for us star-struck college kids, just being in the presence of Uncle Vincent was enough!

  3. Thank you David. Looking forward to the new book.

  4. I just discovered this site today, and already consider it one of my very favorites! David Del Valle somehow manages to tap into my own intimate memories of films and performers I have somehow always thought were mine alone…everything from Vincent Price to Michael Greer… For some reason, I’m craving more of this. When he talks about these Price films, I can remember where and with whom I was with when I saw each of these, and apparently at the same as age David himself. Whatever he writes about, I feel like I was sitting right next to him when he experienced these things. Maybe I was.

  5. Marvelous post, David; looking forward very much to your book. I’m sure you give those films much more comprehensive coverage than I was able to in RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN in the larger context of Richard’s overall career.

  6. David, you have a virtual Vinny Musee. Fantastika.

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