By Richard Flood, Director of Special Projects and Curator at Large
I love great houses/apartments in movies. The best tend to turn up in ‘40s noir, a genre suffused with moisture. Here are some of my favorites for when the rain is pounding on the window pane.
The Uninvited, 1944, Lewis Allen. Simply the best looking haunted house in the genre. Watch out for the scent of mimosa.
Dragonwyck, 1946, Joseph L. Mankiewicz. A fantastic Dutch castle on the Hudson ruled by a bonkers Vincent Price. Cowering wife courtesy of Gene Tierney. Beware the oleander.
Secret Beyond the Door, 1947, Fritz Lang. A gloomy Westchester estate with a wing devoted to a collection of rooms in which murders were committed. The word “felicitous” will forever give you a chill and think twice before you start arranging the lilacs.
The Velvet Touch, 1948, Jack Gage. This one’s set in the apartment I thought I’d rent when I moved to New York. Best urban real estate ever. Meanwhile, Rosalind Russell wants to play “Hedda Gabler” and things go really wrong.
Caught, 1949, Max Ophuls. Barbara Bel Geddes is tortured by Robert Ryan in the mansion as prison tradition. Brutal, beautiful film as only Ophuls can deliver.