Dragonwyck - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dragonwyck Reviews

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November 5, 2015
In was so impressed with the mood and performances in this. Everyone is at the top of their game. Byington is a scene stealer, much like Anderson's Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca. Tierney is gorgeous and Huston is forceful. But Price has the hardest job of all, walking the tightrope of love/hate/hero/villain with a dexterity I couldn't predict. Price got by on charisma in a lot of movies, particularly in his later years. This one is a star-making turn.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2015
Vincent Price is the very definition of a star in this interesting tale from turn of the century New York. Gene Tierney is a adventurous farmer's daughter aching to see beyond the protective wings of hard-as-nails Dad (Walter Huston in perfect casting) as so is receptive when a distant cousin (Price) asks for a governess for his daughter. Price is wealthy, entitled, and uber-aware of that, letting everybody know, but stymied by the reality of no heir and so he eyes Tierney as a vehicle to solve his problem. Watching him chew scenery with wry if wanton abandon is the reason to see this.
June 24, 2015
a very good drama noir movie
February 11, 2013
While the book has a more complex story, and in my opinion, better ending than the film, the film has Vincent Price. Ergo it' a hand's down victory for the film!??Basically the story follows the life of a young girl who hears word from her mother's cousin at Dragonwyck (the name of a huge gothic estate), the letter announces the cousin, VanRyan (Price) would like for his cousins daughter to come to him and see what life is like for the upper class as well as perform the duties of a carer for his daughter.?Originally she is drawn in by the beauty of his home and by his charm. But slowly realises that VanRyan is a loveless man, wholly obsessed with his goal of having a son to carry on his name.?Price, as always, delivers a phenomenal performance, especially in one of the later scenes when we see how, due to his secret drug abuse, his mind has began to wither, leaving him fanatical and increasingly bitter. He, as per usual in my opinion, outshines all the others who act with him. The story is interesting, and is based on some truly great literature, nowhere near as popular as it deserves to be.?I didn't care for the borderline supernatural element of the film however. If your involving curses and ghosts etc, I find myself being in the all or nothing camp. PLus the bible bashing father was annoying, and I really didn't understand the problem everyone had with VanRyan! He owned some land and din;t want to sell it to the farmers that worked it? IT'S HIS LAND! Why the hell should he? If some one walked into your house and said, this room is my now, here's some money, you wouldn't think 'huh, guess I'll have someone to talk to all the time now' you tell them to leave!?There's little more that I can say without giving the plot away, while it isn;t the best film ever made, I think it's a lot better than some people believe, and a great movie if you want to see Vincent in one of his rare 'not cheesy' horror performances. Four stars.
½ January 28, 2013
Excellent early Price in a brilliantly Gothic mood piece--An evocative atmosphere of a Hawthorne's tale!!
½ April 26, 2012
This movie was based on a popular but second-rate novel by Anya Seton.

Seton set a Gothic melodrama, obviously inspired by 'Jane Eyre' and 'Rebecca', within a historically accurate account of the Anti-Rent Wars that took place in upstate New York during the 1800s. The result is a mess. The historical information is boring (it reads like something copied from an encyclopedia) and the melodrama is equally boring (it reads like something copied from a 'Cliff's Notes' version of 'Jane Eyre'or 'Rebecca').

But there are some good things in the novel, just as there are some good things in the movie. Unfortunately they are not the same things.

The best thing in Seton's novel is its Byronic antihero, Nicholas Van Ryn. Nicholas is a blond and handsome Greek god, and Miranda, the heroine, naturally falls in love with him the moment she sees him. Unfortunately her hero is tied to a selfish and whining invalid wife.

As in 'Jane Eyre' and 'Rebecca', the death of the wife frees the hero and heroine to marry. But unlike 'Jane Eyre' and 'Rebecca', Dragonwyck's hero is also its villain.

When Miranda discovers that Nicholas murdered his first wife, she runs away. Nicholas pursues her, presumably to prevent her from revealing his secret by killing her, just as he killed his first wife. But when their steamboat catches fire, Nicholas rescues Miranda, and dies while rescuing other passengers. He is a complex character, both villain and hero.

The movie cuts most of the historical background, and what little remains of it is confusing. But the worst change is the movie's Nicholas Van Ryn. As played by the saturnine Vincent Price, he is obviously a villain, and Gene Tierney's Miranda seems stupid for not recognizing him as a villain the moment she sees him.

There are some good things in the movie as well. The lush music and elaborate period decor are enjoyable, and Tierney does her best with a plot that gets more and more ridiculous the further it deviates from the novel (instead of dying bravely rescuing passengers from a burning steamboat, Price's Nicholas goes mad and is hunted down, like Frankenstein's monster, by irate villagers).

This movie is worth a look, but don't expect too much.
April 24, 2012
I find this to be one of the movies that I go back and watch when I don't know what I want to see. It's so deep and dark. Gene Tierney is a bright spot in the movie and you keep wondering what her fate is. Vincent Price is perfect in his portrayal in this movie. I'd recommend this movie to anyone looking for a good classic thriller!!
February 2, 2012
Miranda (Tierney) is a country girl who is overjoyed by the fact that she gets to work at the notorious Nicholas Van Ryn's (Price) mansion as a servant in the 1800's. Just soon after she starts, Nicholas becomes quite obsessed with her, and soon enough they get married. As the two actually get to know each other though, Miranda learns some pretty sinister secrets about her husband-- some of which are scarier than she would ever imagine. "Dragonwyck" is a stylishly done gothic thriller mystery that has moments of genuine beauty and suspense, but unfortunately has too many unintentionally funny moments for its own good. Filmed when legendary director Joseph L. Mankiewicz and cult actor Vincent Price were just getting big, "Dragonwyck" is definitely not a film that I would show if someone were to ask what their best movies are. Though I did enjoy this film, it's just too hard to take it seriously. Mankiewicz achieves a creepy atmosphere perfectly, but it's just another case of style over substance. Obviously the cinematography and even the score were put on higher ground than the script, which is so bad that we get to hear the treat of Gene Tierney yelping "golly", which can't be pulled off by someone as classy as her. And with Price's funny performance, the film becomes even more campy, which really doesn't help it so much. On the plus side, Walter Huston does give a very good performance, and the cinematography creates some serious eye candy, but other than that, "Dragonwyck" is a forgettable thriller that barely even gets three stars from me.
October 6, 2011
A suitably atmospheric gothic drama, featuring Vincent Price before he became a cultural icon in this style of film. The pace may be a little slow for todays audiences but, the craftsmanship at work on this film, from the set designs to the cinematography mark this out as a gem waiting to be discovered.
March 23, 2011
Interesting gothic tale, I just bet Tim Burton is a fan of it. It's a Gene Tierney film and she's fine in it but really it's all about the mysterious Nicholas Van Ryn, brought to life by the always watchabe Vincent Price.
½ February 5, 2011
Slow to start but really getting into it towards the end. Have no idea why Miranda agreed to marry Nicholas when she knew full well he was a complete tool from the start. She should have married the doctor.
½ February 1, 2011
Charismatic, gothic melodrama with Vincent Price at his 'charming yet sinister' best. Doing the rounds on Film4 at the moment, worth a look.
½ January 29, 2011
Dragonwyck has a haunting melody throughout. This melody captured the tragedy and mystery of Dragonwyck. Gene Tierney was amazing as Miranda. Walter Huston and Vincent Price were both excellent as well. The screenplay was well written and had good thrills. Joseph Mankiewicz did a great job directing this film. I enjoyed this movie because of the drama.
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2010
This is one of my all time favourite movies! I know some people don't think it's that great, but personally I love it. I read the book afterward, it's even better than the film, but the movie's got Vincent Price, so I watch it over and over again. If you're a fan of his, you need to see his performance in this movie.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2010
overwrought gothic worth it for vincent price's fun performance as the aristocratic and megalomaniacal master. can u say ott?
August 14, 2010
A classic staring the youngest Vincent Price that I've ever seen, Dragonwyck is about human desires, whether they be good like love, or bad like prejudice.

This movie is all about a farmgirl (Gene Tierney) who is unexpectedly contacted by a very, very distant relative (Vincent Price) who wants her to visit him in his mansion. The woman begins to fall for the wealthy aristocrat, but discovers that the mansion has a history and people's inner selves can be darker than they first appear. Frankly, this movie had a lot to work with, especially with such a great cast of Tierney and Price, but the story was a bit flat. It didn't end up being the gothic thriller that it built itself up to be, and instead covers issues like politics and personal demons and prejudism, which wasn't that exciting.

But none the less this movie does have it's moments, and though it was a bit slow the real attention getters were Tierney and Price who delivered fantastic preformances. The movie had a nice big ballroom set to work with among other sets and some pretty good costumes.

This movie wasn't what I expected, but it wasn't that bad either. It was an interesting character movie where you don't know exactly what people are thinking. The best part of this movie were the actors, so if your a Vincent Price fan like The Michael then you should check it out.
½ August 14, 2010
Guess I never realized how tall Vincent Price was! Pretty obvious in this gloomy tale of a wealthy pompous man who hires a young woman as a governess for his child...she comes to live in his dark mansion thinking she is the luckiest girl but her dreams are soon shattered.
½ August 1, 2010
Even a little bit of evil cannot be good

Miranda Wells is a country girl from Connecticut. One inauspicious day her family receives a letter telling them one of their relatives from New York City has passed away. They are invited to attend the funeral events where they meet a rich distant relative, Nicholas Van Ryn. Nicholas invites them to his estate, Dragonwyck, across the Hudson River. Miranda goes to the estate and discovers her relative is crazy. Can she escape the household before she becomes too engulfed in the life style of the rich and famous?

?Are you the tavern keeper??
?This is not a tavern and I am not a keeper, my good man.?
?And I?m not your good man!?

Joseph Mankiewicz, director of Escape, The Ghost of Mrs. Muir, No Way Out, Julius Caesar, Guys and Dolls, Cleopatra, and The Honey Pot (1967), delivers Dragonwyck. The storyline for this picture is solid and well delivered. The character development was wonderful and the acting was outstanding. The cast includes Vincent Price, Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, and Anne Revere.

?I will not run with the pack.?

Dragonwyck is a film I recently encountered while looking for Vincent Price movies. This is a classic Price picture where he plays a sinister villain that is both smart and conniving. This is an underrated film and RT should be ashamed of themselves that this is not in their movie database. I strongly recommend seeing this picture if you are a fan of Price pictures.

?Everything is what no man should ever want.?

Grade: A-
½ July 29, 2010
Not exactly a smashing debut for Mankiewicz, but a fine film nonetheless. Tierney is quite good, as usual, and I was surprised at how adept Glenn Langan was for his role. Vincent Price brings the goods in certain scenes, but I feel that he comes up short when the genuine drama comes to the fore. And Walter Huston is a joy as usual. I think Mankiewicz was really finding his feet as a director, and that's even evident in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which has more stylistic flourishes than his best work, but ultimately serves to be half-hearted and distracting.
April 6, 2010
A spooky house on a dark and stormy night and Vincent Price looks upon a portrait of a dead wife....sounds like some good gothic fun. Vincent Price is commanding in this role, as he would be in later classics such Fall of the House of User and Tomb of Ligiea. The production design is quite good and the supporting cast is very strong, especially Harry Morgan and Walter Houston. The story has its plot holes, but Price's melodramatic performance is sure to please any fan. Price is all over the place reaching a melodramatic appex in the scene where he admits to being a drug addict while magnetically charming when he asls Tireney to dance in the ballroom sequence. The story carries some interesting subtext with Dragonwyck's resistance to not only the political progress of the day, but also his conflict with his last wife on religion. This is an easy reccomendation for Vincent Price fans
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