What's up with Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows, and can you name these movies?

Question: Is the Dark Shadows movie dead and, if not, is Johnny Depp still going to be in it? -- HCRD

FlickChick: Dark Shadows, a joint project between Johnny Depp's Infinitum-Nihil production company and producer Graham King's GK Films, is still in development, but it doesn't look as though a lot has gone on since mid-2007.

That's when they secured rights from the estate of Dan Curtis to base a movie on the 1966-1971 supernatural soap opera; Curtis developed the series, made two feature films based on it in the 1970s, and later went on to produce and direct a slew of supernatural films, mostly for TV. At this time, there's no screenwriter attached to the project, but it does have a distributor: Warner Bros.

Dark Shadows was briefly and unsuccessfully revised as a 1990s TV series, but there is a loyal fan base who could make a theatrical film successful, if and only if it got the tone and characters right. Depp is a longtime fan of the original series and would star as tormented vampire Barnabas Collins (originally played by Jonathan Frid), the show's most popular character. For my money, if anyone could make sure Dark Shadows got done right, it would be Depp. Fingers crossed.

Question: At least seven years ago, I saw a serial killer movie on cable and I've been searching for it ever since. All I remember is that the killer was taking body parts from his victims in order to create Jesus Christ's body. He may have been doing this so he could bring Jesus back to life, but I'm not sure about that, and there may have been a rooftop scene between the killer and the detective pursuing him. Thanks -- Monique

PS: I just want to take the time to say you're are my favorite on the podcast and my Netflix queue is filled with your recommendations. Keep up the awesome work.


FlickChick: Thanks! You're looking for Resurrection (1999), which reunited Highlander (1986) director and star Russell Mulcahy and Christopher Lambert, who also co-wrote the story. I happen to be a big fan: It's really sleazy and nasty, but it's pretty damned entertaining (and perhaps damned is the word, given the subject matter).

Question: Sometime, maybe during the 1940s George Brent, Barbara Stanwyck and Zackary Scott made a movie together, and I'm trying to find out the title. Stanwyck's character was in a train wreck and pregnant. Thanks for any suggestions as to how I might locate this movie. -- Ruth

FlickChick: I think you're conflating two or more films. With the Exception of 1944's Hollywood Canteen which was basically a showcase for Hollywood stars playing themselves -- Barbara Stanwyck never made a movie with Zachary Scott, and Scott never made a film with George Brent.

Stanwyck made five films with Brent -- including My Reputation (1946), in which Stanwyck plays a young, socially prominent widow who defies convention to take up with a soldier (Brent) soon after her husband's death -- but I don't think any of them is what you're looking for.

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of No Man of her Own (1950), based on the Cornell Woolrich novel I Married a Dead Man. Stanwyck plays Helen, who's pregnant and has been abandoned by her lover.

She decides to make a fresh start and buys a ticket on a west-bound train; she meets and befriends wealthy newlyweds Patrice and Bill Hazzard, who are en route to visit Bill's family; they've never met or even seen a picture of Patrice.

Just as Patrice lets Helen try on her wedding ring, the train crashes; Helen survives, Bill and Patrice both die, and because Helen is wearing Patrice's ring, the Hazzards welcome her as their widowed daughter-in-law. Complications inevitably ensue.

The novel has been filmed several times, most recently as Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), with Ricki Lake; it was appears to have been the uncredited inspiration for the 2001 TV movie She's No Angel.

Question: I saw part of a movie on a pay channel and would like to see the rest, but I can't remember the title. It was set in the 1800s and was about a man from England who marries a girl whose mother died in a fire; he later learns that the mother was actually crazy.

Also, they move to the girl's native country I'm not sure, but I think it was St. Dominique or some place like that. I would really be happy if you could supply the title. Thanks -- Cris


FlickChick: You're describing Wide Sargasso Sea, though I don't know whether you saw the 1993 theatrical feature or the 2006 made-for-UK television version. Both are based on the 1966 novel by English writer Jean Rhys, who grew up on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

Wide Sargasso Sea is a prequel to Jane Eyre, and in the '60s it was a very unusual undertaking to wrote prequels and sequels to literary novels it's more common now. The Englishman is unnamed, but he's clearly Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester as a young man, and his Jamaican-born bride is the madwoman in the attic the first Mrs. Rochester.

The novel tells her story, from troubled youth to sad end, touching on potent issues of race, class and colonialism without feeling the least bit agenda-driven: It's a terrific book in its own right and a fascinating companion piece to Jane Eyre. I think the 1993 movie is flawed but interesting, and I've read great things about the 2006 version, but I haven't seen it.

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