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  • Many horror fans, and those who try to write such stories, understand that Stephen King has taken inspiration from the work of others. And there can be little doubt King was influenced by Thomas Tryon's outstanding novels "The Other" and "Harvest Home."

    The TV movie version of the latter book, titled "Dark Secret of Harvest Home," was the second and final adaptation of Tryon's work and was originally aired in 1978, two years after the big screen success of Stephen King's "Carrie." Unlike 1972's "The Other," "Dark Secret of Harvest Home" was presented as a mini-series with a superb cast headed by Bette Davis.

    Thomas Tryon wrote with an elegant style somewhat reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft's. His plots were engaging, his characters interesting and well developed, and his New England settings evoked the gloom and obscure anxiety traditionally associated with that region. So why has his work faded into obscurity while King's is heralded as the greatest in the history of horror?

    Regrettably, Tryon started writing rather late in life after a well-regarded career as an actor in such films as "The Cardinal," and died while his creative powers were on the wane. He also chose to explore genres other than the Gothic (with generally good results.) There is also a more staid, pre-World War II air about his work that might not appeal to the Baby Boomers and Gen-X'ers who form King's core audience. Nevertheless, Tryon's Gothic efforts translated wonderfully onto the small screen, and he deserves a well-deserved place in the pantheon of American Gothic writers. Thankfully, American Movie Classics has begun airing the TV movie version "The Other" again. Hopefully, 'Dark Secret of Harvest Home' won't be far behind.
  • I saw this in its original form during the first run on Television. Normally I think that most made for TV movies are really second rate. This one stands out as one of the best! A family looks to leave the rat-race of the big city for a simple quiet town. They found out that this town may be quiet, but it is anything but simple lving there. A particularly chilling performance from Bette Davis is of note in this one. If you are conditioned to think that every horror movie has to have a minimum of 200 severed heads and 10,000 gallons of blood in it to be good, you'll hate this one. The rest of you who still believe in great acting and a tense plotline will be THRILLED with Harvest Home. RATING: 10 out of 10!!!
  • Say what you will about the translation of Tom Tryon's fine gothic chiller Harvest Home into this TV film, Bette Davis' performance here is riveting and really nails home the creepiness of the tale. Unlike her sad farewell in The Wicked Stepmother (1989) where she was clearly having trouble focusing on her acting, here she is a powerful presence that (goose)fleshes out this telefilm the way it should be.

    Playing the Widow Fortune (a prophetic name if ever there was one), she is the matriarch of Cornwall Coombe, a small Connecticut village just on the other side of the Lost Whistle covered bridge where "the ways" hold sway over the villagers. What they do and how they do it is bound by tradition, one hundred percent, so when a city family comes to stay, culture clash is inevitable.

    Of course we all know this is a gothic chiller standard--sophisticated city couple/family comes to small quiet village only to find it mired in evil and horror, et cetera. Too true. But Davis' character is spellbinding enough that the viewer can overlook this tried and true plot point and enjoy the proceedings. Additionally, aside from some minor outdated bits of dialogue here and there, the script is actually pretty intelligent; a low stupidity quotient in the dialogue helps tremendously.

    Unfortunately the VHS release of this film was chopped considerably; the original five hour length was shown on TV but unless the viewer taped it (as I did), it's completely unavailable. High time for a DVD release.

    This is a great way to spend an evening with a roaring snowstorm outside. And the ending really is a shocker.
  • solitaryman28 February 2000
    This film really shocked my infancy and I'll never forget it. I saw it when I was 7 or 8 but I vividly remember many of its sequences: the pagan rites of the Harvest Home, the tongue cut, the protagonist made blind by the terrible widow ... Bette Davis is charismatic as always and in this role she's really unforgettable; Rosanna Arquette lets us see some of the qualities which will lead her to be an important actress in the 80's and some minor characters are well refined. Briefly, it's one of the best TV movies I've ever seen.
  • A truly "delicious" and engrossing film. This richly textured and atmospheric offering was made for TV in two parts (I believe) because it is quite long. I remember it as being in black and white, but I may be wrong about that. It used to come on late at night and though I sometimes had to go to work the next day I always watched the entire film all the way to the end -- because you have to. Makes the "Blair Witch Project" of the same genre really look like amateur hour. It stars the late, great Bette Davis, in a low-key performance, as a kindly old witch-like lady and David Ackroyd, a darned good actor of the "old school" -- meaning lots of talent and sex appeal. Ackroyd eagerly takes his family to their new home in rural Harvest Home... to an old, charming, quaint farmhouse that they find very desirable in today's hectic world. One-by-one, as the townspeople's quaintness reveals itself to be something beyond the norm, the family detects a supernatural, if not evil, undercurrent to everything they say and do. Harvest Home, as the title implies, is much more than it seems. Bits of the mystery of Harvest Home unravel bewitchingly and languorously as the story of this most unusual town and the people who live there unfolds. Like all exceptional movies, this one does not have one lame or wasted moment of film. It also has great production values, a great story, a great cast, a great director, and great scenery and photography. It's spooky and intelligent, not obvious and gross. There is so much going on under the surface and the performances so on-the-mark that it keeps your attention. It is a thoroughly enjoyable movie experience and you should jump at the chance to see it -- if that day ever comes.
  • A Very good adaptation of the novel HARVEST HOME by Thomas Tryon. Bete Davis stars as The Widow Fortune. The seemingly kindly matriarchal leader of a quiet New England puritan-like village. Funny thing is they actually LIKE outsiders??? Joanna Miles, Bradford Dillman & Roseanna Arquette play the NEW folks in town. Rene Auberjonis gives a wonderful turn as the local JUNK dealer who may know TOO much. Just exactly WHy are these homely folk SO interested in NEW blood? Keep an eye out for the

    Harvest Home Festival itself. And once it starts...HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS!!! One word of advice...this was originally a four hour mini series for NBC. The videocassette version is a severly edited version that leaves out HUGE chunks of the original story. If you can catch it on the Sci-Fi channel they always show the entire mini series. It's worth the wait!
  • This was originally aired in England on the Sci-Fi channel back in 1996. It was shown quite late on at night, so I taped all the episodes and watched them later. Today, I still have the recording!

    A young married couple with a daughter go out in their car one day to get away from the city. The wife's father has recently been buried, and she needs to escape. They blow a tire just beside the Lost Whistle Bridge, which thus leads into the small village of Cornwall Coombe. After putting on a spare tire, they venture into it, and are instantly charmed by the inhabitants, and a grand old house. The neighbours to this house, the Dodds, say that its owner will never sell it. However, once they get back to the city, they receive a phone call from the Dodds, telling them that the house IS up for sale, and that they will have to talk to the Widow Fortune (Bette Davis). The house is surprisingly cheap, and they take it, and move. It seems absolutely great at first, but then the husband starts getting suspicious about the folk of Cornwall Coombe, especially when he learns of a recently deceased woman, who apparently fell in love in the village, but somehow 'fell from grace', and committed suicide by jumping off the Lost Whistle Bridge. As he starts to unravel the mystery, however, horrors that seek beyond the imagination start rising, and suddenly, the nice calm little village begins to show its true colours...

    Bette Davis gives what must be one of her best performances EVER in this chilling mini series. It's a shame that it isn't available on DVD. The out of print VHS version was drastically cut, and its never been released uncut. Try and catch this on TV some time. The Sci-Fi Channel always shows the full series, so if you ever get the chance, make sure to watch this. You won't be disappointed!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First off..Why isn't this movie on DVD!?!

    The "cut" version is the only one I can find in existence & that really takes away from the atmosphere that this movie is trying to purvey...Granted, the book is much better - but this is still one helluva movie! Acting, dialogue and the story itself put this flick far beyond other TV movies of this era (Remember - this is a "made for TV" flick!)Bette Davis (as always) is at top form as the Widow Fortune...the ending (SPOILERS) where the same fate becomes our main character is amazing!

    Please someone, somewhere bring this movie to DVD - Uncut please!

    PS: Check out the amazing voice of Donald Pleasance on the "audio books" the blind man is listening to...also, check out the content...Edgar Allen Poe!
  • This was a terrific mini-series with just the right mix of fantasy and horror. The reverence the people of this matriarchal town holds for its main crop, corn, is nearly as creepy as the out of control little girl who foresees things. Nice touches were the long sharp scissors Ms. Davis wore on a cord hanging from the belt of her long black dress, the shunning of the old couple and the suitable cluelessness of the menfolk.

    This was an edge of your seat, can't wait to see what happens next movie. Anyone who missed it one its first run should try to get a copy--it's a truly excellent creepshow.
  • Stars like Bette Davis were not getting the big roles for the big screen that they were in the days of the big studio system so many like Davis turned to the small screen. One of her better choices was The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home where she actually went back to her New England roots to play the Matriarch in a special matriarchal society that has developed in an isolated corner of Connecticut.

    David Ackroyd with wife Joanna Miles and daughter Rosanna Arquette think they've found this picturesque relic of a town where time seems to have stood still. Even the fact that they find a house in need of a bit of repair seems to be inviting them to stay. What they don't know is that the family is being auditioned by Davis known to one and all as the Widow Fortune who rules the roost there. In fact if this were a beehive Cornwell Coombe would have the men either as worker bees or worse drones.

    The women acclimate quite quickly, but Ackroyd starts developing suspicions. Sad to say they prove to be right. These folks have their own kind of religion, Christianity with pagan fertility rites. There's one male among them who is the Prince of the Harvest and what perks come with John Calvin's office. But what a price he has to pay for them.

    The kid who is scheduled to be Calvin's successor wants to commit the unpardonable heresy of leaving. Michael O'Keefe plays him and it's his story that makes Arquette start to question 'the ways'.

    Bette Davis really was born to play the Widow Fortune, I cannot imagine another actress doing justice to the role. O'Keefe as the young man who thinks there just might be something more to this old world than a New England farming community that has some strange ways is very touching in his performance.

    I'm not a big fan of these kind of horror novels and the films that come from them. But author Tom Tryon did a wonderful job in creating some real three dimensional characters, not just meat waiting to be slaughtered by some guy waving an ax.

    The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home is more than horror film fans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know if I was not paying to much attention here or that it was the movie itself that threw me off but there were a few things in this movie that I just could not understand. This movie did have some good acting in it, although I do not care much for Rosanna Arquettes (spelling) acting. Betty Davis did do a good job in her acting as she always does in her horror roles but there are a few things that questioned me: What are blind men doing listening to audio tapes of Donald Pleasance? What really happened to Grace? I mean we see the doctor with x-rays of a mongoloid with a huge head and supposedly 7'0" body and nobody knows where she is buried? The old preacher has a coffin that supposedly has her remains and when we open it all we see is corn? And what are these people supposed to be? Christians that practice pagan festivals? Can they make up their minds what religion they want to worship? And why do we have the blond guy as the "God Sacrifice" to the harvest? What was so special about him? And what happened to his wife? Did she commit suicide or was she "done in" as well as the man that got his tongue cut out? Good movie but a lot of holes.
  • I recently finished reading the book "Harvest Home" by Thomas Tryon. The book was extremely well written and a really great read. I would strongly recommend it to anyone.

    Out of curiosity, I checked out a VHS copy of "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" from our library system. It was a cut down version of the mini-series, and was only 1 hr. 58 min. in length. The first hour was very confusing because so many scenes were obviously chopped. Even though I never saw the full length mini-series, from what I did see, it doesn't seem that even the complete series could do the book justice.

    What I saw just didn't capture the feel of the book at all. Most of the cast of characters seemed "off". The acting was very wooden. The dialog clumsy. The lighting always seemed too bright. An attempt was made to make the mood mysterious right from the beginning, where in the book the story was quite cheery to begin with and then very, very slowly turned dark. Some characters were completely minimized in the movie, that were quite pivotal in the book. I don't understand how this could go so wrong.

    The only mini-series that I have seen that came close to the original book, was "Shogun". This series doesn't compare to the quality of that project.
  • Dark secret of harvest home is a really interesting movie.

    The good points include a really nice atmosphere, bizarre plot twists, and some pretty fun dream like imagery.

    The bad points include holes in logic, for example why doesn't anyone, in surrounding towns, realize how pagan their festivals are?, and the fact that this film is far too predictable, we all know that Widow Fortune is the bad guy, whe all know that the town is pagan, etc... because we have all seen this movie before in many forms, The Witches aka The Devil's Own (starring Joan Fontaine) comes to mind.

    And then there is the issue of Bette Davis' false teeth...Number one, what kind of person who lives simply would have fake teeth? number two, who decided that bette davis needed fake teeth, and number three, can't bette davis afford false teeth that don't look like chicklettes?

    But all in all this is an entertaining, if somewhat frustrating, and very campy film.

    7 out of 10 stars
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So last night's entertainment was a YouTube viewing of "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home," which scared the collective crap out of the girls in the eighth grade at Bridger Junior High School when it was aired in the fall of 1978, or at least all the ones I knew.

    Adulthood is a blight at times. I sat there last night picking apart the plot holes like the Widow Fortune would have picked apart an improperly tatted doily to start it over. "Dark secret"? "What no man may know nor woman tell"? Huh? The dude who gets elected Young Lord, then Harvest Lord, never comes back after his gig in the seventh year. This has supposedly been happening over and over for decades. No woman may tell, but the men have eyes, don't they? No wonder young Worthy Pettinger took off rather than fulfill his role as the Young Lord. I'm surprised every man in town didn't take to his heels over that. LOL Heck, the only really scary thing about the movie was when Jack Stump showed us his tongue had been cut out, and we didn't even get to see that happen, just the results, this poor scared dude in a cabin in the woods, growling and cringing like a whipped dog. Bette Davis, who played the Widow Fortune, was probably steamed that they DIDN'T put the part where she cut out Jack Stump's tongue on camera. Now THAT would have been her type of scene. LMAO

    Also, yeah, at the end, Nick Constantine has been blinded and had his tongue cut out because he saw what happened when the Harvest Lord and the Corn Maiden .... uh, planted. LOL But he's a grown man. He can still WRITE! He was a writer after all ... so, what, no sequel?
  • robeykr27 October 2002
    Warning: Spoilers
    An interesting work from a man's point of view; the people of a remote, New England village rooted in pagan rites, are weak, in-bred, and in need of new blood. They find what they need in the protagonist's daughter. This film shows the obvious and the not-obvious at the same time. That the women of this pagan community could ensnare the man's young daughter is one thing -- but that they also ensnared his wife is a shock that stuns both him and the audience.

    This film is horrifying in the way it takes the concept of feminism and turns it into something evil. The fate of the protagonist is most unsettling (this film still gives me nightmares, even 30 years later). The ending disappointed me. This so called SECRET is no secret -- and the men just let it go on and do nothing about it! The rage I felt in that final scene when we see that the protagonist is alive (both his eyes and tongue cut out) and fully degraded to this day still has me screaming: THIS FILM NEEDS A SEQUEL!

    After all, they did make REVENGE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES.
  • A great mini series from the 70s which was Emmy nominated. Starring Bette Davis in one of her most diabolical characters. BUT! it has never been released on DVD or even replayed on Streaming channels or channels like Sci Fi channel. I wish someone woul re-release this one.
  • I remembered seeing this on TV back in the 80's, and recalled how depraved I thought it was back then (and I was a typical, liberal, 20-something back then). I would probably vomit if I saw it now! It's like the author tried to think of the most revolting things to combine into one story! It's kind of pathetic that some of the most depraved movies are "made for TV" movies, such as this. I guess it wasn't too popular, because I don't think it's ever been aired on TV again. The acting was very good (why I gave it a 3 rather than 1), so that probably added to the almost believable aspects to the behavior of all involved. I'm glad the passage of time has mostly erased direct memory of most of this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Looking much like Whistler's Mother with a broomstick close by, Bette Davis dominates the screen once again as a mysterious small town matriarch who welcomes several newcomers from New York City and slowly involves them in the town's mysterious harvest festival which seems to be demonic in nature. David Ackroyd and Joanna Miles play the wary newcomers, with a young Rosanna Arquette as their teenaged daughter, falling in love with the quaintness of the community which begins as soon as they cross a beautiful old fashioned covered bridge. Ackroyd and Miles compare it to Brigadoon, but in what contrast will it be as mystic? What appears to be a Flemish farming community is much more than it seems, and it takes some time for them to realize just exactly what is going on. But by that time, will it be too late? Will some of them be caught under the nasty secret?

    This takes some time to get going, with the daily doings of the townspeople taking up much of the screen time. Michael O'Keefe ("Caddyshack", "The Great Santini") is charming as the young lord of the harvest who longs to get away, with a variety of familiar character actors popping in and out of the action and a few chills popping up as well. All eyes are on Davis and her B.D. eyes, her clipped speech charming and reassuring at one moment, and seemingly deadly and sinister the next. What's it all about? It takes over two hours for it really to come together, but sometimes, like a great novel, the exposition is necessary to bring the plot to a dramatic boil. I was glad to find that the TNT broadcast I found is not the highly edited version, although a few chops here and there might have enlivened it a little. But like any good horror story, it's the quiet moments before the frights that really cause you to jump right out of your skin.
  • Directed by Leo Penn (father to Sean, Christoper and Michael and director of many, many TV shows), the near 5-hour movie moves as slowly as the book at times, but it's definitely worth watching. Broken into two nights, the real craziness doesn't really start happening until the second part.

    Nick Constantine (David Ackroyd, who played Dr. Nicholas Conrad in the 1970's TV movie ripoff of Iron Man, Exo-Man), his wife Beth (Joanna Miles, Bug) and their daughter Kate (Rosanna Arquette, Desperately Seeking Susan) are living the kind of dreary life that I imagine everyone in New York City does. Nick cheats on her and drinks away his problems as he struggles in the advertising industry. Beth stays in therapy every day of the week. And their daughter has such a bad case of asthma, she can't even stay outside for long. Yet they decide to relocate to a Connecticut village called Cornwall Coombe after falling in love with it on a trip.

    Sure, the villagers only do things the old ways, not using modern farming equipment or communicating with the outside world. Sure, they celebrate weird festivals all year long and are obsessed with corn. But come on — the couple's romance is back, Kate is cured and everyone is just so nice!

    Kate even has a love interest — Worthy (Michael O'Keefe, Caddyshack), who wants to leave the town behind and go to college. He's been saving money so he can escape, but as Kate becomes more and more part of the town, he sees that their love can't survive.

    Then, there's Robert and Maggie Dodd, their neighbors. They once lived in the modern world and have also decided to come here. Robert is blind and listens to Donald Pleasence reading from several plays. And oh, hello, here's Justin and Sophie Hook, who will be this year's Harvest Lord and Corn Maiden in the Corn Play. And most importantly, here's Bette Davis (if I have to explain who she is, stop reading now) playing Widow Fortune, the town's herbal healer and most important person. Davis claims that she wanted this role since she read the book and she's a force in this — perfectly sweet at times and infused with menace at others.

    Nick increasingly becomes obsessed with learning the secrets of the town, particularly why one grave — that of a suicide victim — is outside the cemetery. Things get worse when Worthy busts into church and curses the corn and someone called Mother before running away. And then he gets seduced by Tamar, a widow who has a clairvoyant daughter who picks each year's Harvest Lord (she's played by Tracey Gold from TV's Growing Pains).

    So what is Harvest Home? Its "who no man may see nor woman tell," a pagan fertility rite connected to the earth mother. Nick is now obsessed with it and his marriage is falling apart all over again. His wife just wants to get pregnant again and he can't figure out why.

    Worthy is hiding, but a letter to Nick is intercepted. A posse goes to get him and they hang his corpse in a field as a scarecrow before burning it on Kindling Night. At this point, there's no normal in this town. Nick tries to escape and turns to his blind neighbor Robert, who tells him that Harvest Home is happening. He explains that he was blinded trying to learn the secret and that Nick should just run.

    Instead, he goes to save his wife and daughter. The ritual scene that follows is lunacy and worth sitting through this entire movie. To Nick's horror, he learns that his daughter is the new Corn Maiden. He is forced to watch as the Harvest Lord has sex with her, ending with the man's throat being cut as he is sacrificed to the earth. Nick is caught, blinded and his tongue is cut out, much like his friend Jack Stump (Rene Auberjonois, Eyes of Laura Mars and so many other roles). He is trapped in the town now, forever stuck, his virility reduced to being dependant on his pregnant wife and daughter, who are now part of the pagan secret that is Harvest Home.

    There's a cut down commercial release of the film, but there's no way to get this on DVD without finding a bootleg. It's worth the search, however. The last ten minutes of the film are perfect.

  • I only watched this movie because the brick house that the family moves into is located just around the corner from my house. (It was filmed in NE Ohio).

    Unfortunately, the movie wasn't scripted too well, and although they kept it moving, it was rather boring. Some of the stuff wasn't explained either.

    Basically, Here's what happens.

    A family visits New England and the parents fall in love with a quaint little town, a far cry from the New York City that they are used to. They fall in love with a brick house, and buy it for $30,000. Dad decides to do a coffee table picture book about the town, and while doing so, uncovers a mystery.

    Dispite quilting bees, husking bees, and bonfires, the town isn't as peaceful as one might think, and Dad finds himself escaping from the town holding cell on the night of Harvest Home to rescue his family.

    What happens? I guess you will have to rent the movie and find out!
  • whtdimds-2156420 May 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    For any of you who only saw the "chopped" version, my sincere apologies for missing out on a great suspense chilling movie. The best last older Bette Davis film IMO> The original many hour version, which I actually recorded on VHS on in October 1986, is outstanding. For overly avid gore fans who think tons of blood and separated body parts make a great horror movie, this is not for you. This is a thinking movie. I was caught up along with Nick, and desperately wanted to know what happened to Grace Everdeen, why would she leave the Coombe and what did Jack really know and could no longer tell? Where did the Widow really get her medical knowledge? I finally consolidated my VHS version to DVD in order to preserve it and it now comprises one of my Halloween favorites, along with Amazons, Hocus Pocus, Hammer Film's rendition of Bram Stoker's Jewel of the Seven Star-Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, The Raven with the Great Vincent Price and Peter Lorre and Salem's Lot, the original version. Like all great true horror films, it's how you scare yourself not the amount of entrails that matters and what makes this an awesome movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" concerns Grace Everdene and what became of her and exactly why her grave is separate from the cemetery. "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" concerns a certain ritual or what goes down when all womenfolk in this little community get together at night, leaving all the men at home, with all car keys taken. The film begins with New Yorkers David Ackroyd, his wife (Joanna Miles) and daughter (Rosanna Arquette) discovering an old-fashioned Mennonite-like community, where the people work the land and live without modern day conveniences. David and family like their simple life so much, they decide to make "Harvest" their "home." And, added as an bonus, writer David now something to write about for his next book with the discovery of the mysterious Grace. But he is told to let sleeping dogs lie. And, Joanna falls into the mold as a dutiful unquestioning citizen. Bette Davis is a revered senior member, known as "Widow." This is a very well-made, hypnotic and disturbing film. I saw it in two parts in two nights, which might have broken up the spell of plausibility a bit. Part 2 seemed a bit hokey, because of it. But all actors were good, even a young Tracey Gold (of "Growing Pains" fame,) as a girl who is attributed to having a strange sixth sense. Norman Lloyd had a memorable understated role, and Rene Auberjonois has a terrible fate. Don't make these people mad! By the end, though, despite its well intentions, it all seemed a bit bizarre to me, but well worth discovering if you like Bette Davis' 1970 TV movies. She had better luck in finding good movie vehicles for her career than her peers who loved to work, no matter what. This is one of the better ones.
  • Okay folks, I am not one to get scared by movies, but this gem still haunts me at times today. As a young, newly-married airman in '78 (still waiting for my bride to join me) I am thinking might as well watch this since nothing else is on (wasn't hooked to cable). It starts a bit slow as characters and the village's odd nature are reveal. It's pace keep you hooked. However, I was caught totally unaware at the climactic scene. I actually did one of those silly crab-walks away from the TV while attempting to stop gasping (and resume regular breathing). I slept little that night and intermittently for the next couple of weeks.

    As another rater posted ~ this is not your excessive blood & gore movie. However, the twists and psychological impact are definitely going to stick with you.

    Now, I sure most are thinking "aw, he was just a wimpy zoomie", but I have watched A clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Misery, Play Misty for Me, Psycho, Saw I & II (bored after the 2nd), The Shining, The Wicker Man, etc, with nary a flinch. This one may have impact me more since I grew up in the and the isolation rang true with me. Not to mention I grew up around some pretty superstitious people ~ one of my Aunt's claimed she was born a soothsayer (& people believed her). I knew primitive Baptists, Pentecostal snake handlers, and many more "unique" individuals. This movie exposed my "inner-hick" and had me thanking God I moved away from my root.

    I would definitely recommend this if you like being startled (does that make me evil?). And I recommend you stick around for the whole ride.
  • pagan rituals are missed here by a few other reviewers. The festival center of this film is the reason that the village has its secrets.

    The festival of Bacchus, wine, food and bounty was also another form of worship. In this TV mini-series there is a group, a coven. Bette Davis is (as usual) excellent.

    Good cast with Norman Lloyd ( star from "St. Elsewhere", established Hitchcock essential actor, starting with "The Saboteur") , the mystery of a villager affected with acromegaly (giantism). Michael Brandon (father who brings his family into the middle of this dark village).

    Also with a young Rosanna Arquette, Tracey Gold and a few other now well-known actors in the group. The series may be due for a re-make. The story, written by former actor Tom Tryon is intriguing and dark, and thanks to Miss Davis, meets the mark for horror. Watch her also in "The Nanny" and "Burnt Offerings" also starring Karen Black and Oliver Reed for satisfying Gothic horror. 8/10.
  • bearfist20 November 2015
    I was surprised, at first, with Thomas Tyron, former cowboy/actor/hunk turned out to be such a great writer. I read this book and I was grateful for the adaptation for network TV. Having read the book first I was expecting a network TV censorship that would have snipped it to a much weaker story--but they didn't. Bette is fabulous, of course, and the cast, script and filming were all also great. A great treat if you've never seen it or read the book. Tom Tyron's other great book into movie was, of course, The Other. I only wish he'd written more books. Strongly suggest his books, too. I would never give away any spoiler to this great movie. I sincerely hope others will find this who are not familiar with the story and enjoy it. Please get a full copy, not some DVD store cut up. Enjoy.