Monday, January 30, 2012

Costs Felled Dark Shadows

from The Waterloo Daily Courier, June 18, 1971
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As seems to be the general consensus among television "historians" the death of "Dark Shadows" was not only due to a drop in ratings but also the rising costs of producing the show. In this news clipping Mrs. Linda Magee of Cedar Falls wrote in to the entertainment editor bemoaning the end of the show while also trying to understand the corporate suits at the TV stations. She got a curt answer, a plug and a death knell for her efforts.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dark Shadows To Premiere

from The Herald-Mail, June 25, 1966
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This is the earliest clipping that I've come across and it's not the greatest advertisement for what the series had in store! Of course nobody knew what was really in the works for the show and if not for the arrival of Barnabas it might not have lasted out the year. At the time of the printing only Mitchell Ryan, Joan Bennett, Alexandra Moltke had guaranteed recurring roles or so the article seems to suggest. Collinwood was also being billed as Collins House which might be a result of journalistic laziness or suggests that the show was a rough work in progress.

As much as people want to slam the show for its fantastical plot lines, I thought that the first episodes were actually quite good. Of course I had the foresight of knowing what was to come whereas the audience at the time took it for what it was so that might have prejudiced my expectations just a bit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

House Of Dark Shadows: Come See How The Vampires Do It

from The Virgin Islands Daily News, May 15, 1971

This is a great advert from The Virgin Islands Daily News for House Of Dark Shadows with the "Come see how the vampires do it" slogan showing at the Cinema One movie theater.

Here's a trailer for the movie as well:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Canadian Vampire

The Montreal Gazette, April 4, 1969
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Here's an excellent interview/biopic of Jonathan Frid by David Cobb from the April 4, 1969 edition of The Montreal Gazette. This was at the height of "Dark Shadow's" popularity and Frid, as Barnabas, was as popular as Jackie Kennedy. In a completely difference sense, of course, but just the same they were pop icons in the truest definition of the word.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alex Stevens At Sardi's

from The Middlesboro Daily News, January 14, 1970

This is a short blurb concerning Alex Stevens, who played the werewolf half of the Chris Jennings character, and an outing at Sardi's in full werewolf regalia in January of 1970.  

I always found the werewolf to be quite hilarious when jumping around or crashing through a window to attack his victim though the snarling/growling recording drop was quite a good affect.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tricia Nixon Entertains 250 Children In Halloween Fete

from Jet Magazine, November 20, 1969

You'd probably never guess that Jonathan Frid's and Richard Nixon's paths ever crossed but apparently they did during Halloween of 1969. And at the White House of all places. To boot, that the mention would be in a publication geared towards "African-American" culture was kind of surprising. I guess with the show's popularity it must have crossed into all demographics.

At the event Barnabas entertained children with his fangs protruding and by biting apples off a string! How cool is that? Even though the kids look kind of suspicious of the not-so-realistic-looking witches cauldron and the clownish witch, I'm sure they had fun. Ah- who cares if they did or not because I was giddy enough for ten kids when I found this article!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vampire-Maker Dan Curtis Would Stop With 'Dracula'

from The Robesonian, May 20, 1973
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There was grumbling from the middle of the "Shadows" run on ABC that Dan Curtis wanted to be free of the show to pursue other things. In this article he proclaimed that his made for television production of "Dracula" starring Jack Palance would be his last vampire film endeavor and it proved to be so, although he did produce the remake of "Dark Shadows"on NBC in 1991.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Plain Roll For Nancy

The Pittsburgh Press, April 7, 1971

"Curse of Dark Shadows", otherwise known as "Night of Dark Shadows", is a return to the ho-hum for Nancy Barrett after Caroline Stoddard's fiendish coming out party in "House of Dark Shadows" the previous year. She jokingly bemoans this fact by stating that "All I'm afraid of is that when I kiss a guy in front of a movie camera, I'll forget and bite him instead."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hardly The Vampire Type!

The Daily Review, April 14, 1968

This article is one of the more intimate pieces that I've read concerning Frid. Not that it gives away any personal secrets but it does dish out the incidentals which seem to make idolatry thrive. Things like he ordered a Coke, loves California and that the crew listened to suggestions from fan mail and corrected them in the script. All right, so maybe it doesn't really shed any new light but I liked it anyway. Good job Jan Berentsen and Dot Clemann.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Joan Bennett -- Shining Star Who Lightens 'Dark Shadows'

from The Salt Lake Tribune, July 28, 1968
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For all the same reasons that I like Dark Shadows -- over-acting, ridiculous dialogue, staid mannerisms -- I detest old movies. Which would lend to the reason why I never heard of Joan Bennett before seeing her in "Dark Shadows." If not for the supernatural element to the show I probably never would have either. Which would have been a shame because she's not only a great actress but a MILF-GILF to boot!

I'm glad this article brings up the incident where her husband Walter Wanger shot her agent Jennings Lang because I had come across that story while researching Hollywood murders and didn't put the two together before now.

As for her lightening up the mood on DS: What? She was as grave and somber as the rest of the non-supernatural characters! Which is why I liked her and Roger so much. The damned Debbie-downers that they were.

Another thing of note here is that show was apparently running at 8AM in Salt Lake City at the time of this printing. I've read some places where it was showing as late as 11PM so it's amazing that the show ever caught on with the allotted time slots. It also lends to the fact that more than just giddy school-age children were watching the show and catapulting it to stardom. Mom must have been peeking in as well and not admitting to it.