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: Nightmare Alley (2021)  ( 2023 )
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« #15 : December 18, 2021, 04:11:24 AM »

Ok went to Nightmare Alley (2021) last night It looks great and is a good remake (of the original film). It does follow the book, showing (somewhat) Stan's origin story briefly with no explanation until a flashback later in the film.  However in 2021's remake instead of following the book, of which, Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan made such a big deal about during their recent interview  with Dave Karger, they do a cop out with the same safe MPPC/ Legion Of Decency ending that Nightmare Alley (1947) used.





"...In the film Stan convinces Molly to impersonate Ezra's lost love Dorrie. They do this in a darkened grove on Ezra's estate. Stan is with Ezra. They are gazing down two parallel rows of trees towards a distant fountain. Molly appears wearing a glowing costume of turn of the century clothing complete with floradora hat and a parasol. Ezra is beside himself with joy. When Molly gets closer to Ezra, he  begins to lose control spouting religious phrases that makes her feel sacrilegious and it freaks Molly out. She breaks character, and tells Stan that she can't do it. Outraged, Ezra grabs at Stan. Stan punches him and Molly and Stan escape.

In the novel....



First edition 1946 l book jacket




1949 paperback cover




it goes down like this.....

     When night had come there was a tap on the door and Carlisle entered carrying in both hands a votive candle in a cup of red ruby glass. "lets go to the chapel."
      Grindle had never seen that room before.... the entire room was hung in folds of dark drapery. If there were any windows they were covered.
     The clergyman led his disciple to the divian; taking his hand he pressed him back against the cushions. "You are at peace. Rest, rest."
     Grindle felt foggy and vague. The bowl of jasmine tea which he had been given for supper had seemed bitter. Now his head was swimming lightly and reality retreated to arm's length.....
     Carlisle was chanting something which sounded like Sanskrit, then a brief prayer in English which reminded Grindle of the marriage service; but somehow the words refused to fit together in his mind.....
     They waited.
     From far away, from hundreds of miles it seemed came the sound of wind, a great rushing wind or the beating of giant wings. Then it died and there arose the soft tinkling notes of a sitar.....
     Ghostly music began again. From the curtains before the alcove a light flashed, then a sinuous coil of glowing vapor poured from between them, lying in a pool of mist close to the floor. It swelled and seemed to foam from the cabinet in a cascade....
     The pool of luminous matter began to take form. It swayed as a cocoon might sway from a moth's emerging. It became a cocoon holding something dark in it's center. Then it split and drew back toward the cabinet, revealing the form of a girl, lying on a bed of light, but illuminated only by the stuff around her. She was naked, her head resting on one bent arm.
     Grindle sank to his knees. "Dorrie-Dorrie-"
     She opened her eyes, sat up and then rose, modestly drawing a film of glowing mist over her body. The old man groped forward awkwardly, reaching up to her. As he drew near, the luminous cloud fell back and vanished. The girl stood white and tall, in the flicker of the votive candle across the room, and as she gazed down at him her hair fell over her face.
     "Dorrie-my pet-my honey love-my bride..."
     He picked her up in his arms, overjoyed at the complete materialization, at the lifelike smoothness of her body-she was so heartbreakingly earthly.
     Inside the cabinet the Re. Carlisle was busy packing yards of luminous-painted China  silk back into the hem of the curtains. Once he put his eye to the opening and his lips drew back over his teeth. Why did people look so filthy and ridiculous to anyone watching? Christ!
     The second time in his life he had seen it. Filth.
     The bride and bridegroom were motionless now.
     It was up to Molly to break away and get back to the cabinet. Stan turned the switch and the rhythmic, pounding heartbeat filled the room, growing louder. He tossed one end of the luminous silk through the curtains.
     The quiet forms on the divan stirred, and Stan could see the big man burrowing his face between Molly's breasts. "no-Dorrie-my own, my precious-I can't let you go! Take me with you, Dorrie-I don't want earth life without you..."
     She struggled out of his arms; but the bridegroom seized her around the waste, rubbing his forehead against her belly.
     Stan grabbed the aluminum trumpet. "Ezra-my beloved disciple-have courage. he must return to us. The force is growing weaker. In the city-"
     No! Dorrie-I must-I-once more..."
     This time another voice answered him. It was not a spiritual voice. It was the voice of a panicky showgirl who has more than she can handle. "Hey, quit it, for God's sake! Stan! Stan! Stan!
     Oh the dumb bitch!
     The Rev. Carlisle tore the curtains apart. Molly was twisting and kicking; the old man was like one possessed. In his pent-up soul the dam had broken, and the sedative Stan had loaded into his tea had worn off.
    Grindle clutch the squirming girl until she was jerked from his hands.
     "Stan! For God's sake get me out of here! Get me out!"
     Grindle stood paralyzed. For in the dim flickering light he saw the face of his spiritual mentor, the Rev. Stanton Carlisle, it was snarling. Then a fist came up and landed on the chin of the spirit bride. She dropped to the floor, knees gaping obscenely.
     Now the hideous face was shouting at Grindle himself. "You goddamned hypocrite! Forgiveness? All you wanted was a girl!" Knuckles smashed his cheekbone and Grindle bounced back on the divan."

So much for following the book. I'll give it a 8/10

« : December 18, 2021, 04:17:30 AM cigar joe »

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« #16 : February 06, 2022, 01:45:16 PM »

http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/2022/01/black-and-white-version-of-guillermo-del-toros-nightmare-alley-vision-in-darkness-and-light-opens-in-st-louis-theaters-friday/

It's also playing this week in White Plains.



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« #17 : February 10, 2022, 04:23:16 PM »

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/bvhe-press-release-nightmare-alley-4k-uhd-combo.374933/

It seems it will be available in a steelbook as well. The b&w version, apparently, will not be included. A mistake--that would have been a deal clincher for me.



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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