“You’re a strange girl, Lizzie, one minute as hard and cold as a grave so, next as loving as any father could wish. Wonder what goes on in that mind of yours, I guess I’ll never know.” Actually, he’s about to find out right quick. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they check out the representation of the most infamous crime involving the numbers 40 and 41 as depicted in The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975).
Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 177 – The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975)
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In 1893 Massachusetts, Lizzie Andrew Borden is put on trial for murdering her father and stepmother with an axe.
- Director: Paul Wendkos
- Writer: William Bast
- Selected cast:
- Elizabeth Montgomery as Lizzie Borden
- Fionnula Flanagan as Bridget Sullivan
- Ed Flanders as Hosea Knowlton
- Katherine Helmond as Emma Borden
- Don Porter as George Robinson
- Fritz Weaver as Andrew Borden
- Bonnie Bartlett as Sylvia Knowlton
- John Beal as Dr. Bowen
- Helen Craig as Abby Borden
- Alan Hewitt as Mayor Coughlin
- Gail Kobe as Alice Russell
- Hayden Rorke as Julien Ralph
- Amzie Strickland as Adelaide Churchill
- Robert Symonds as Andrew Jennings
- Gloria Stuart as Store Customer
The Legend of Lizzie Borden, an ABC Monday night movie of the week, is Bill’s pick. He’s always loved Elizabeth Montgomery and this film blew him away. He describes it as far creepier than most TV fare of the time and though the blood now seems understated, it was plenty enough for the time.
Learning it was a true story after hearing his mom recite the rhyme, Chad then watched The Legend of Lizzie Borden with his mom. It gave him nightmares as a youngster and though not as creepy now, it’s still a compelling thriller. Jeff points out the emphasis on women’s plight – their position in society of the time – given in The Legend of Lizzie Borden. He also loves the well-known character actors in the cast – Katherine Helmond, Fionnula Flanagan, Bonnie Bartlett, Ed Flanders, and Don Porter – and the first reappearance of Gloria Stuart after a 29-year absence from film.
The 70s Grue Crew gives unanimous praise to Elizabeth Montgomery for her Emmy-nominated performance and gives the movie a strong recommendation. As of this writing, The Legend of Lizzie Borden is available to stream from Amazon Prime.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule, in a departure from what was originally announced, will be Creature from Black Lake (1976) starring Jack Elam and Dub Taylor and featuring the cinematography of Dean Cundey.
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