The Dwight Stuff


Last Friday was Dwight Frye’s birthday, so we had a special Dwight Frye-Day over at Limerwrecks in honour of everybody’s favourite henchman.

Meanwhile, over at Electric Sheep, I peruse the peculiar LISA AND THE DEVIL, newly released on Blu-ray from Arrow Films. I like what I see!

6 Responses to “The Dwight Stuff”

  1. You make a very good case for Lisa and The Devil and many Bava fans swear by it. But I fund it listless, especially alongside a bizarre delight like Five Dolls For An August Moon Bava remains for me the Vincente Minnelli of horror — with everything both good and bad that parallel suggests. By rights Lisa should be his Yolanda but while close there’s no cigar.

  2. Listless isn’t a bad word for it — perhaps because the Spanish cinematographer forced Bava to slow down, something he hated. It’s transferred into the fabric of the film, which is floaty and diaphanous in the extreme. But I like all that about it, as well as the fact that it flings together all the filmmaker’s obsessions while transmuting them into this strange summer’s reverie.

  3. I saw the version called “House of Exorcism,” at Variety Photoplays on Third Avenue in Manhattan. It was so incoherent even the winos fled well before the end. At one point (I assume this is not in Bava’s original cut, but who knows) Telly Savalas chows down on one of his signature Kojack lollipops.

  4. All the Savalas stuff is Bava — and this is where he started his lollipop habit. He’d quit smoking (and he was great with a cigarette — check out his expressive smolder in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) but wanted something to do with his hands. Bava suggested the sweetie.

    The original edit is, in a more controlled way, pretty damn incoherent, but it makes a virtue of that.

  5. Dwight was a terrific gunsel in the original Maltese Falcon with Ricardo Cortez.

  6. Everybody in that is cast in a somewhat on-the-nose way, like cartoon versions of the ’40s cast. So Frye is like Elisha Cook turned up to 11, or beyond.

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