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Fox Horror Classics Collection, Vol. 2 [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Audio commentaries
  • Featurettes
  • Dragonwyck Isolated Score track
  • Vintage Dragonwyck
  • Radio shows
  • Restoration comparisons
  • Still galleries
  • Chantu the Magician - Commentary by Bela Lugosi biographer Gregory William Mank
  • Masters of Magic: The World of Chandu featurette
  • Restoration comparison
  • Still gallery
  • Dragonwyck - Commentary by author Steve Haberman & Filmmaker Constantine NASR Isolated Score track
  • A House of Secrets: Exploring Dragonwyck featurette
  • Two vintage Dragonwyck radio shows performed by Vincent Price
  • Restoration Comparison
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Dr. Renault's Secret
A remake of the 1927 horror melodrama The Wizard (which, alas, no longer exists), 20th Century-Fox's Dr. Renault's Secrets packs a real wallop in its brisk 58-minute running time. The scene is a remote French village, where the murder of drunken tourist Austin (Jack Norton) coincides with the arrival of young doctor Larry Forbes (John Sheppard, aka Sheppard Strudwick). It develops that Sheppard is the house guest of the outwardly benign Dr. Renault (George Zucco), who lives with his pretty niece Madeline (Lynne Roberts) and his bizarre manservant Noel (J. Carroll Naish), who possesses more than a few apelike tendencies. Several more murders occur, and the clues point in a number of directions. Upon learning Dr. Renault's secret -- which is something straight out of H. G. Well's The Island of Dr. Moreau -- the audience is able to discern the killer's identity. Alas, it may be too late for heroine Madeline, at present being kidnapped by a local hooligan (Mike Mazurki) and thus apparently at the mercy of the rampaging murderer. Dr. Renault's Secret was frequently shipped out on a double bill with Fox's other 1942 horror piece, The Undying Monster. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Chandu the Magician
Based on the radio serial of the same name, Chandu the Magician is a veritable rollercoaster ride of thrills and terror, boasting some of the best special effects of its period. Edmund Lowe stars as suave Frank Chandler, better known to his enemies as Chandu the Magician. Though he tries to keep his supernatural powers a secret from his beloved sister Dorothy (Virginia Hammond), niece Betty Lou (June Vlasek, aka June Lang) and nephew Bobby (Nestor Aber), Chandu's hand is forced by megalomaniacal villain Roxor (Bela Lugosi at his ripest). Holding Dorothy's scientist husband Robert Regent (H. B. Walthall) captive, Roxor hopes to force Regent to reveal the secret of his death ray (created, of course, "for the good of mankind") by kidnapping the scientist's wife and kids. Chandu manages to remain one step ahead of Roxor, performing all manner of miraculous magical feats to confound his enemy, but even our hero temporarily falls victim to the villain's machinations when Roxor abducts Chandu's sweetheart, Princess Nadji (Irene Ware). The production-design expertise of co-director William Cameron Menzies is never so obvious than when Chandu and his friends are subjected to the various serial-like perils imposed upon them by Roxor; some of these cliffhangers would seem to have been the inspiration for similar situations in Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Counterpointing the excitement is the comedy relief of Herbert Mundin, cast as a bibulous valet who is bedeviled by a remonstrative, pint-sized "alter ego." Two years after Chandu the Magician, the film's villain, Bela Lugosi, was offered the rare opportunity to play the heroic Frank Chandler himself in the exhilarating 12-part serial The Return of Chandu. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dragonwyck
Years before he became the leading star in horror movies, Vincent Price starred in this gothic thriller based on the best-selling novel by Anya Seton. Nicholas Van Ryn (Vincent Price) is a wealthy feudal heir of Dutch ancestry living in New York's Hudson Valley in the 1840s. Nicholas has come to hate his wife because she has been unable to give him a son; their only child is a daughter he doesn't care for. Miranda Wells (Gene Tierney), a distant relative of the Van Ryns, comes to live at their estate and work as an au pair girl; Nicholas becomes infatuated with her and eventually poisons his wife so they can marry. However, while Miranda gives birth to a son, the boy is sickly and does not live to adulthood. Nicholas begins to slip into insanity, moving to the attic of his mansion and drowning his sorrows in drugs. A distraught Miranda seeks the counsel of the local physician, Dr. Jeff Turner (Glenn Langan); Dr. Turner falls in love with Miranda, and he eventually discovers that Nicholas killed his first wife to be with her, and that Miranda might be next on the madman's list. Dragonwyck was the directorial debut of screenwriter and producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • J. Carrol Naish
    J. Carrol Naish - Mr. Noel
  • Lynne Roberts
    Lynne Roberts - Madeline Renault
  • George Zucco
    George Zucco - Dr. Renault
  • Bert Roach
    Bert Roach - Hotel Proprietor
  • Eugene Borden
    Eugene Borden - Coroner
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