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The Uninvited (1944) – Episode 18 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here… and sea fog… and eerie stories…’’ Oooo, that’s some pretty scary stuff! (Channeling a little Second City TV) Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew — Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr — as we journey to the haunted shores and brave the classic ghost story, The Uninvited (1944).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 18 — The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is based on Uneasy Freehold, a novel by Dorothy Macardle, and adapted for the screen by Frank Partos and Dodie Smith. It is considered to be the first real ghost story that isn’t predominantly a comedy and includes genuine supernatural elements.

The story follows Pamela Fitzgerald (Ruth Hussey) and her brother Roderick (Ray Milland) as they fall in love with and purchase a house on the haunted shore. It doesn’t take long for strange sounds and manifestations to spook the siblings. They try getting answers from the house’s previous owner Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell) but to no avail.They are then introduced to the enigmatic Miss Holloway (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who only creates more questions without providing any answers. They soon band with the local doctor (Alan Napier) and the three strive to solve the mystery of the house’s haunting. The main cast receives marvelous support from Barbara Everest as Lizzie Flynn, the domestic help; and Dorothy Stickney as Miss Bird, an eccentric resident of an insane asylum.

The film benefits from not only a stellar cast and source material but an equally stellar crew. Director Lewis Allen’s first feature, The Uninvited  sports a crew that includes Oscar and other award winners such as Charles Lang (cinematographer), Victor Young (music), Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté (art directors), Edith Head (costume designer), and Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings (visual effects).

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew mad each of these statements:

  • “(She) was the kind of dame that didn’t like film noir.”
  • “It’s like the old Ed Sullivan Show with the plate spinner …”
  • “She’s got the big neon sign.”
  • “Viva la Lucha Libre!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70), hosted by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.