Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tower of London (1962)

Tower of London is a 1962 remake of the 1939 film by the same name. Both films have Vincent Price, but he gets the lead role in this one. Robert Brown (who was Lazarus in a ST: TOS episode) also stars. This 1962 version is directed by Roger Corman. It tells the story of King Richard III of England. The plot is inspired by Shakespeare rather than any real historical record.

It begins with a voice-over:
...He could never escape the ghosts of his conscience....
and there are actual ghosts.

Moria says it "proves modestly entertaining". 1000 Misspent Hours offers a lengthy description and then a closing defense:
Really, I suppose Tower of London’s main attraction is the sheer implausibility of a Roger Corman Richard III. What’s most surprising is that a director better known for movies like Attack of the Crab Monsters and The Little Shop of Horrors actually does a pretty good job with this lowbrow reinterpretation. It shouldn’t really be a surprise, though, when you think about it. Seriously, if you strip away the blank verse and the Elizabethan grammar, England’s most famous playwright has more in common with a B-movie shlockmeister than your high school English teacher would care to admit. Sex, suicide, Satanism, child murder, torture, toilet humor... am I talking about William Shakespeare, or am I talking about Joe D’Amato? And let’s face it, Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Brannagh have been known to ham it up every bit as outrageously as Vincent Price does here. So why not have Roger Corman’s Richard III?
From The Spinning Image: "An interesting take, but it needed better framing." TCM has an overview.

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