Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tower of London (1962)

Tower of London is a 1962 historical drama and horror film, starring Vincent Price and Michael Pate. The film is a remake of the 1939 film of the same name, starring Price, Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff. Directed by Roger Corman, the film was produced by Edward Small Productions. The film also contained scenes that had been edited from the 1939 film.

Richard, the duke of Gloucester (Vincent Price), murders his way to the throne and becomes King Richard III of England. But the ghosts of those he murdered still continue to haunt him as his surviving victims band together against him, ultimately raising an army and killing him in the Battle of Bosworth Field.


Close in on a castle in the distance and welcome to the world of THE TOWER OF
LONDON. The only reason I would watch a movie from 1962 called THE TOWER OF LONDON would be because Vincent Price was in the house, playing a ruthless Richard Plantagenet. I realized with a shock when Richard put that guy in the vat of acid that I had seen this movie as a kid! I remember almost dying of fear and excitement when that happened,
and I donʼt think I finished the movie. The only reference I have to the story of Richard III is the Shakespeare play and this movie wasnʼt following that story line. Is this the true story then, historically accurate or Hollywood style fiction? After watching Richardʼs hijinks for a bit, I relaxed on the accuracy questioning and I began to see this movie as an awesome Shakespeare mash-up. I caught references to
a number of Shakespearean plays and I wasnʼt even trying that hard. Here are the Shakespearean references I got, you should watch it and see how many you spot!

from MACBETH: Richard (Vincent Price) washes his hands multiple times to remove
the blood” ; he sees the ghost of his brother AT DINNER; Lady Anne, his wife, plots and
encourages her husband to kill those in his way.
from KING JOHN: Richard plots to kill the young princes.
from RICHARD III: Subtle hump on Richardʼs back; boils people in a vat acid, wears a shiny black cape (in the movie at least!)
from OTHELLO: Richard wears a moorish-looking hat, his main counselor plays him Iago-style.
from HAMLET: Richard sees more ghosts, sees his brotherʼs ghost OUTSIDE; heʼs moody, lurks around and always wears black. I did feel sympathy for Richard though. Heʼs mean, has Betty Page bangs with a page boy haircut, a hump and an oversize ego. And maybe Iʼm a sucker because I sympathize with the Richard of RICHARD THE III as well. His ambition is all he has and no matter how hard he tries he just canʼt connect with anyone. And he has some really good speeches.
My favorite line from this movie came from Richardʼs mother after he had killed his brother.
“I brought this curse upon our house when my womb conceived you!”

Poor Richard. -  Kirsten Mccory

79 MIN

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