Some may be haunted by a hangover after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day yesterday- but tonight on MeTV, you’re in for a haunting that might make some people turn green- when a dream house becomes the possession of a brother and sister- but there’s another type of possession in the place- thanks to “The Uninvited”!
The brother and sister -Roderick and Pamela Fitzgerald- are enjoying the sea shore when they stumble upon a vacant sprawling estate- and, feeling it’d be perfect for them,decide they should buy it. They meet the owner, Commander Beech, who is more than eager to give it to them at an amazingly low price- but his lovely young grand-daughter, Stella, does NOT want to see the place in the hands of others.
Regardless, the Fitzgeralds take possession – and, while any old house has its quirks, this place has some odd ones- the pets in the house will not go up the stairs to the second floor-and an upstairs studio room, destined to be Roderick’s den to compose music, has an odd chill to it- even if it’s warm outside! Then, nighttime becomes a nightmare, when disembodied crying echos through the house!
Though Commander Beech is against it, Stella wants to visit the house the Fitzgeralds have taken, since it’s part of her family history – her parents lived there until a tragic accident occurred there. She defies her grandfather, dropping in on the place – and finding herself getting romantically involve with Roderick. yet it seems this new association brings about more supernatural events within the premises. A chilling seance, a visit to an institution run by a cold,devious woman, and the power of ghostly apparitions add up to frightening situations that could bring death to one of the living!
This 1944 film was one of the first movies to actually treat the subject of ghosts seriously-and is a suspenseful classic cinema ghost story, starring Ray Milland as Roderick,and Gail Russell as Stella. We’ll fill you in on the rest of the cast,including an actor who appears almost every Super Sci Fi Saturday Night on MeTV! Plus, we’ll talk about the hit song that came from this film and became a standard- and bring you a sub-standard song of our own! Also, in keeping with the ghostly theme, we’ll bring back a parody of a dearly-departed commercial.
I feel it necessary to explain something regarding the length of this film itself. “The Uninvited” runs about 99 minutes in its original form. The time allotted in the show for the movie and our Sven segments, minus commercial and promo time, is about 93 minutes. Obviously, this movie – by itself- exceeds that length. That means two things- one, that we must limit the amount of Sven content in this show – and , two, that we have to edit the movie, as much as we hate to take anything out of such a classic. What that means is that we do our very best to carefully edit the film, and show it the respect it deserves. Some stations will haphazardly just cut whole scenes from a film to get it to the right length, regardless of how important some of the content in the scene might be. We take great pains to remove a few seconds here, perhaps twenty to thirty seconds there, etc. We try NOT to take out anything that is essential to the story. When a movie is exceedingly long, we might take out a short scene ( I can here the complaints now- ” but I love that part”!) but ONLY if the story can do without it.For example, fans who know this film well will see that we have reluctanty removed one very charming short character piece. Quite honestly, this type of editing takes much more production time- but our whole point is to not make the cuts obvious, not disrupt the story, and maintain the experience of the film. We wanted to be able to show you this movie on our program- not just give it a pass with the excuse that it’s a little too long. Most movies run on broadcast TV throughout the years have been shown in an edited form- in our home town Chicago, one station had a “3 O’Clock Movie” for years that was incredibly butchered in many cases to fit the time slot. I just want you to know that we try to avoid editing the movies whenever possible, and, when edits have to be made-it’s always done with very careful consideration. A viewer once took me to task for removing a ten second Lou Costello pratfall from one of their movies- done by Lou, in his typical fashion, just to make the crew laugh- it didn’t even really make sense with the action going on at the time- but , in any case, we took it out so we could bring the movie in at the correct run time, and NOT cut anything essential to the story. I know this explanation seems pretty long-winded, but I do want people to understand that we respect these films (okay, maybe not so much “Godzilla’s Revenge”)- and want you to be able to enjoy them without any obvious subtractions. And, yes, there are people who say “why not just run the movie without any Sven?” Well, because that isn’t the format of this program- and some viewers are here to see what stuff we add to the presentation. And, no, I never feel we’re more important than the film itself.
Now- while I put my soap box away- I’ll remind you that “The Uninvited” will manifest itself on MeTV tonight at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 central, or check for time and channel in your area in your local listings or at www.metv.com . Chicago viewers can take one more chorus of “Phantom of the Opera” at 11 am on our sister station, WCIU, the U!
Did you catch that funny moment on the “Jeopardy” show last Thursday? In the category of “Characters in Books”- the Jeopardy answer was – “This name of the hypnotist from the novel ‘Trilby’ now means anyone with a sinister ability to sway people”. The correct “question”, was, of course- “Who is Svengali?” – but the contestant- Gretchen, a librarian from Chicago- answered “Who is Svengoolie?”! I’ve never been prouder to be a wrong answer!We thank Gretchen for even inadvertently representing us- and hope to have her on the show in the future, if possible!
And tonight, the question is ” Who is ‘The Uninvited’?” Join us for the frightening answers!