I have posted about Vincent Price before. It is at this time of the year that Mr. Price’s incredible body of work seems to have its greatest impact. That being said, I want to point out my favorite Vincent Price Characters and the movies in which he plays them. Enjoy!
One of the most scary and mind numbing horror movies I watched as a youth had to be 1953’s House of Wax. An oft imitated movie that combines our fears of murder, paralysis, embalming, disfigurement and old dusty museums into a classic of the horror genre. Vincent Price plays the murderous Professor Henry Jarrod, who’s wax work figures are all too life like.
In 1956 Cecil B. Demille brought the story of Moses to the Silver Screen in the Ten Commandments in brilliant color. The scale and grandeur of this movie make it easy to overlook a masterful performance by a young Vincent Price playing an evil and malevolent taskmaster named Baka with gleeful and leering skill. I tried to find a good color image of Price playing Baka but none showed his character better than this black and white version.
Roger Corman is an Idol of mine. If you are not sure who he is then this should enlighten you. In 1960 the Edgar Allen Poe story The Fall of the House of Usher was brilliantly interpreted on film with a veritable triumvirate of film legend. Vincent Price portrays Roderick Usher with stunning skill, Mr Corman Directs, and Mr. Poe, well, his story is the basis for this fantastic movie.
Edgar Allen Poe makes another appearance on this list as the architect of the story The Pit and the Pendulum that when brought to film produced not one but TWO performances by Mr. Price who plays both Nicholas and his brother Sebastian Medina. Corman once again was the pilot here.
Vincent Price and Lone Chaney Jr. Come together (with Roger Corman) in a spooktacular film in 1963 called the Haunted Palace. Vincent again plays the dual roles of Joseph Curwen, a suspected warlock and Charles Dexter Ward his modern day doppelgänger.
The Raven (1963) is a B movie horror-comedy produced and directed by Roger Corman. The film stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff as a trio of rival sorcerers. Price plays Dr. Erasmus Craven
Vincent price had the opportunity to play puritan-like witch hunter named Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General (1968)
The abominable Doctor Phibes (1971) sees Dr. Anton Phibes, played in makeup by Mr. Price, a horribly disfigured genius supposedly killed in a car crash, is convinced that his beloved wife died a victim of incompetent doctors, and begins elaborate plans to kill them. Inspector Trout suspects Phibes, but finds little support from Scotland Yard. Eventually Dr. Vesalius, head of the team of doctors that operated on Phibes’s wife, begins to believe Trout and aids him in the hunt for Phibes.
I was born in 1973. By this time Vincent Price had done more than two dozen films. One I only recently had the chance to see Theatre Blood is the story of a spurned actor, Edward Kendall Sheridan Lionheart, who seizes on his unexpected and falsely reported death to exact his revenge on his detractors. Price plays a multitude of characters here killing his victims based on various stage plays.
In Madhouse (1974) Price plays Paul Toombes, a horror actor whose trademark role is ‘Dr. Death’. Years after a scandal ends his film career (his fiancee is murdered and Toombes ends up in an asylum, suspected but never convicted of the crime), the embittered Toombes revives his character for a television series. Cast and crew begin to die in ways that suggest scenes from Toombes’s films (which are represented here by clips of Price’s AIP efforts, including The Haunted Palace, The Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, The Raven, Scream and Scream Again, and House of Usher), and they all point to Toombes. Now, Toombes must find and confront the real killer, before he becomes the next victim.
In 1976 Vincent price was the special guest on the Muppet Show, episode 119. The show is filled with monsters, ghosts, vampires and spooky situations. A three-headed monster auditions for the show: “We sing!” “No, we dance!” “No, we tell jokes!”
Vincent Prices Final film appearance in Edward Scissorhands was a rather sad end. His lifelong smoking habit and late onset Parkinson’s disease had taken their toll and are clearly visible in his short appearance on screen. Even so his heartfelt performance shows why he was such a beloved actor. You will be missed Mr. Price. Happy Halloween to you!