As part of the BFI Southbank’s Girls Like Us: British Women and WWII Cinema season in April, the 1946 melodrama Piccadilly Incident, starring Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding, gets a NFT2 screening on Wednesday 19 April (6.15pm) and Sunday 20 April (5.40pm). Co-starring is Coral Browne, the third wife of Vincent Price.
But she’s not the only spouse of the beloved actor to be gracing the BFI, for Vincent’s first wife, Edith Barrett co-stars in the celebrated Val Lewton 1943 horror, I Walked With A Zombie, which screens on Sunday 2 April (8.40pm), as part of their Cult series.
In Piccadilly Incident, Wren Diana Fraser (Anna Neagle) returns to England after three years stranded on a desert island to find that Alan Pearson (Michael Wildling), the man whom she married in a London air-raid, had thought her dead and has remarried a woman called Virginia (Coral Browne). This hugely popular weepie teamed Neagle and Wilding for the first time, establishing them as top box-office stars in five more films, beginning with The Courtneys of Curzon Street and ending with The Lady with the Lamp in 1951. It also scored Neagle a Best Actress of the year nod by the readers of Picturegoer magazine.
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In producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Torneur’s famous voodoo chiller I Walk With a Zombie, Canadian nurse Betsy Connell (Frances Dee) arrives in the West Indies and soon gets involved in menacing goings on in the moonlight with Tom Conway’s zombie wife Jessica (Christine Gordon). Much better than its title would indicate, this beautifully made drama is a sort of Haitian voodoo offshoot of Jane Eyre. A little on the slow side, it nonetheless remained Tourneur’s favourite film, mainly because of its poetic qualities. It’s very moody, with a commendably firm central performance by Dee, and great support from Edith Barrett as the mysterious Mrs Rand, who harbours a dark secret.
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Nominated for four Oscars and winning one, this is the ultimate classic noir mystery.
Dana Andrews plays the detective who delves into the murder of Gene Tierney’s enigmatic Laura, with whom everyone is in love with. But it is Clifton Webb who steals the show as the titular ingenue’s creepily elegant social mentor, Waldo Lydecker.
Vincent Price, in a role he regarded as one of his all-time favourites, plays the polished Southern playboy Shelby Carpenter who loves the ladies and plays a mean piano. It’s just a shame that the scene of him serenading a party of lovelies is now all but lost…
Laura was released on 11 October 1944 in the US, while the UK had to wait until 15 January 1945 before the film could cast its spell on audiences on the other side of the pond.
As the sun set on Camp Vincent 2016 and a supermoon rose over the Malibu coast on Sunday (13 November), I feel so blessed to have spent the past 10 days celebrating the life and legacy of Vincent Price with a wonderful group of friends – and it ended so beautifully.
But first, on a surprisingly hot Saturday morning, Victoria Price escorted us, plus a handful of new recruits, on a tour of her dad’s old haunts and former homes.
First up was Hollywood Forever Cemetery where both Vincent and Coral Browne (Mrs Price No3), had their funeral services, and where Coral’s were scattered amongst the white rose bushes by the entrance gates.
After catching up with old friends like Cecil B De Mille and Peter Lorre (whose funeral Vincent gave the eulogy), we headed out to Pinks, an LA institution for hotdogs (Vincent’s fast food of choice) and Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood (where he hung out daily).
Then it was up to the Hills where we drove past Vincent’s former homes as Victoria gave us an insight of what it was like growing up in the glare of the Hollywood sign, before decamping at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel for cocktails and cake.
In the evening, we were Carson bound to the Phantom Carriage Brewery, where a special dinner was held to celebrate the launch of the reprint of Vincent and Mary Price’s Come Into The Kitchen cookbook.
This took the form of a four-course meal paired with the brewery’s craft beers, accompanied by screenings of The Tingler and Comedy of Terrors, which were introduced by Victoria and myself, and some horror movie-inspired music. It was a super evening, where we all made new friends with some LA-based Vincent Price fans.
And so we come to Sunday. Following lunch at Paradise Cove in Malibu – the setting for hundred of films and TV shows, including the Beach Party films – and where the Price family enjoyed coming to to eat and fish, we headed out to Nicholas Canyon Beach.
It was here where Vincent Price once owned several acres and had a beach house where his children, Barrett and Victoria, spent many a summer before the land was repossessed under the Reagan regime.
At the bottom of some ruined stairs (the only reminder of where the house once stood) our group created an altar of flowers, shells, rocks, kelp, and a drawing done by the ever talented Gregg Buxbaum of a baby seal wearing Vincent’s favourite straw hat.
As incense and a sage smudge stick – bought during our Southwest travels were set alight – were set alight, we held hands and vowed to go out into the world with love and hope. Then, just as we finished, a flock of pelicans soared above us – very slowly – in a V formation. Now, was that a sign or what?
This year’s tour was an opportunity for fans to ‘Explore. Savor. Celebrate‘ life just like Vincent – something both Victoria Price and myself plan to continue for the foreseeable future, beginning with organising Camp Vincent 2017, which will take place in Madrid, Barcelona and Sitges in Spain in September, as well as some pop-up events in the UK and the US.
We are also working on some cool online swag. So, if you’re interested in hearing and seeing any of Victoria’s presentation, Vincent Price: Master of Menace, Lover of Life — then you can sign up right here to receive more information. There are lots of personal family photos and behind-the-scenes pictures and stories. But mostly, this gives you a glimpse of the glorious life philosophy of Vincent Price. We will also have a live virtual Q&A, which we plan to roll out in the new year.
I do hope you will join us.
Peter Fuller (November 2016)
Check out these fun snaps of Hammer legends Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith happily posing with bottles of Black Cat, the first officially licensed Vincent Price Ale, at the recent film fair in Camden, London.
Munro and Smith had the honour of appearing in the Vincent Price classics The Abominable Dr Phibes and Theatre of Blood, while two-time Bond girl Beswick appeared in the 1980s anthology From a Whisper to a Scream – Vincent’s last horror film.
These scream queens were all good friends with Price and loved the concept of a British ale made in honour of the horror icon and self-confessed Anglophile who called UK his second home for over 20 years, beginning in 1964 when he came to London to film the Roger Corman Poe film, Masque of the Red Death.
For the purr-fect Halloween tipple order Black Cat VPA now online at ALES BY MAIL
Illustrator Graham Humphreys, who designed the Black Cat label, is also working on a series of fab retro-looking limited edition Tees dedicated to some of Hammer’s leading ladies, beginning with this homage to Dracula AD72. You can order it online here.
The Curzon Canterbury is proud to bring you a Vincent Price evening, screening Theatre of Blood, with a special Q&A with poster artist extraordinaire Graham Humphreys (who designed the original UK quads for pretty much every iconic horror film of the 80s and also created the fab label on the Vincent Price Ale, Black Cat), and Peter Fuller, curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK!
Join us for a classic horror, unique competition prizes, a great panel discussion and an unforgettable evening – and let’s not forget some Vincent Price Ale.
Tickets ON SALE NOW
Victoria Price was in London, UK this week giving an inspirational talk on her legendary dad and his legacy. The event, at the BFI Southbank, which followed a screening of the rarely-seen 1960s western The Jackals, also gave her the opportunity to give her seal of approval to the first-ever British-made Vincent Price Ale, which has been especially created by Kent brewers Hopdaemon in honour of the Horror King, and whose label has been designed by the equally legendary Graham Humphreys (aka The Quadfather).
Black Cat, so named because of Vincent’s brush with meddlesome moggies in the film classics Tales of Terror and Tomb of Ligeia, is now available to order online. So if you fancy stocking up the perfect Halloween tipple, then check it out now: www.alesbymail.co.uk
Have you ever wanted to meet Dr Phibes’ beloved Victoria (aka Caroline Munro) in the flesh? What about Theatre of Blood‘s Rosemary (Madeline Smith) or From a Whisper to a Scream‘s Katherine White (Martine Beswick)?
Well these three lovely ladies, who have all been co-stars of Vincent Price, will be appearing at the Film Fair in Camden, London, on Saturday 22 October.
Mark your diaries now!
The Vincent Price Legacy UK is proud to announce the release of the first officially licensed Vincent Price Ale in the UK which will be launched during Horror Channel FrightFest in London over the August Bank Holiday (25-29 Aug).
When he wasn’t hosting ghoulish parties in haunted houses, preserving maidens in wax, or filling his Theatre of Blood with the corpses of his critics, legendary horror film actor Vincent Price (1911-1993) liked nothing better than to sit back and imbibe a wicked brew – the darker the better, of course. Although hailing from the American mid-west, Vincent was a lifelong Anglophile, and that classic British combination of pie and ale were firm favourites of the Missouri-born actor, art expert, raconteur and epicurean.
In honour of the Master of Menace, the Vincent Price Legacy UK and Kentish ale brewers Hopdaemon have conjured up the first Vincent Price Ale (VPA), which we’ve called Black Cat – a name that’s a fitting tribute to Vincent’s frightful encounters with meddlesome moggies and possessed pussies in the cult classics Tales of Terror (1962) and Tomb of Ligeia (1965).
This specially-crafted VPA (which has a 4.6% alc vol) maybe wrapped in a dark cloak, but it tastes like a crisp Indian Pale Ale, which will certainly surprise your taste buds. Currently available only in 330ml bottles with a fantastic label designed by legendary British poster artist Graham Humphreys, Black Cat gets its launch at this year’s Horror Channel FrightFest where it has been especially invited to be one of the sponsors.
For information on how to order and stockists e-mail: email@example.com
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On 21 May 2016, a live musical performance showcasing the velvet voice of Vincent Price was held at the historic King & Queen pub in Fitzrovia.
This collaboration between London-based band The Core and Peter Fuller, curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK community project, took inspiration from the Master of Menace’s performances in his best-known 1960s Gothic chillers and Poe’s classic poem, The Conqueror Worm, to conceive of two ‘Poe-gressive’ compositions utilising sythns and Theremin.
Ahead of the group’s studio recording of these two compositions later in the summer, here are the live recordings of the ‘jam’ sessions.
Do feel free to share and if you’d like to hear us perform live again, then do let us know.