A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.
Some years after having buried his beloved wife Ligea, Verden Fell meets and eventually marries the lovely Lady Rowena. Fell is something of a recluse, living in a small part of a now ruined Abbey with his manservant Kenrick as the only other occupant. He remains infatuated with his late wife and is convinced that she will return to him. While all goes well when first married, he returns to his odd behavior when they return to the Abbey from their honeymoon. The memories of Ligea continue to haunt him as well as her promise that she would never die. —garykmcd
The best of the Corman Poe's.
There is an assumption among movie fans that the longer a movie series exists, the worse the later films will be. Although the films Roger Corman made of some of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe began well and continued with no obvious sense of decline, it is my opinion that the best was kept for last. The most overtly spectacular film in the series was 'The Masque of the Red Death' with its fine sense of colour and effective sense of homage to Ingmar Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal'. I have always enjoyed this film and in terms of a deliberate departure from the series norm, it is exceptional. However one enjoys any series for the familiar as well as the unusual, and in this respect 'The Tomb of Ligeia' is the most memorable for me in the way it builds upon and enhances what has gone on in previous films. The logical departure from the previous films which had been (very happily and effectively) studio-bound, was to move to location. Corman's choice of Castle Acre Priory in Norfolk, was an inspired one. An large amount of location filming was done there and this grounded the film in a realistic (yet unusual)setting. Gone were the fog machines and 'blasted heath' effects of 'House of Usher' and 'The Premature Burial'. Many critics have mentioned their disquiet at the absence of Barbara Steele, at that time undoubtedly the actress most associated with this type of picture. Wonderful though Miss Steele was in, say, the last thirty minutes of 'The Pit and the Pendulum', I feel that the presence of the English actress, Elizabeth Sheppard, adds to the sense of realisim, while taking little away from the shock effect of one actress playing both a good and an evil role. Roger Corman is on record as saying that he had to keep a written record as to when Rowena was herself and when she was Ligeia. All I can say that it is happily obvious on the screen when each side of the romantic coin is in evidence. I think that Elizabeth Sheppard's performance, grounded in reason, and when added to the inevitable polish that was being obtained by this stage in the series, showed a welcome extra sense of belief, to point out the advances and progression that had been made by this, the last film, in the series. Two scenes stand out : the entrapment of Rowena in the bell tower by the black cat (representing Ligeia.) I am also very impressed by Rowena's hynotism ; first to her own childhood and then to the persona of Ligeia. This film has not been available for viewing in the UK for many years. It is to be hoped that this situation will be reversed before long. I remember with affection the moment when great talents (from both sides of the 'pond') collaborated with great effcetiveness to come up with the ultimate 'Corman Classic'.
- May 11, 2000
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content