Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Dark Secret of Harvest Home

1978. The Golden Age of "made for TV " movies!

I haven't seen this movie since then, but I remember it well. Bette Davis' performance as the Widow Fortune was powerful scary. (She reminded me of Mrs. Tennyson, my 7th grade Reading teacher at that time!) Later, when I was in 10th grade I read the Thomas Tryon novel Harvest Home on which this mini-series was based, and really enjoyed it as well. The great combination of Fall/Harvest imagery and ancient/pagan ritual made for a very evocative seasonal impression, that has stuck with me for all these years.

I have waited for years for this movie to be released, it is available on DVD only in bootlegs; some old VHS copies are still floating around for sale. It is available for viewing on YouTube and I think I shall watch it there. ( Might not be the best quality, but hey, after 32 years, who cares?)

Tryon also wrote another good book, The Other, which also had a memorable movie made from it, about a little boy on a New England farm, who is haunted by the spirit of his less than innocent dead twin . Reading Tryon, Stephen King, and H.P. Lovecraft at this time convinced me that it was a very good thing that New England was on the other end of the country from me!

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