Movie Diary 11/2/2020

The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944). Long time since seeing this Paramount ghost story. The curious blend of ectoplasm and light comedy is well managed by Ray Milland, Gail Russell, and Ruth Hussey, plus you get the very distinctive presence of Cornelia Otis Skinner. Also, shadows and a seaside mansion and “Stella by Starlight.”

The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (Joseph Stefano, 1964). What the hell? Intended as a TV pilot for an Outer Limits sort of series (and using the crew of that show), this thing was then padded out to 80 minutes for theatrical release. Or something. That would explain the deadly slowness and repeated shots. Martin Landau plays a paranormal investigator (an architect by day, he has a groovy mod house perched over the ocean), called in on a case involving a ghost making phone calls from a crypt. Diane Baker and Judith Anderson (reviving Mrs. Danvers) are also there. This was the only directing credit for the Psycho screenwriter, and it does not suggest a natural talent for the job, a few interesting shots notwithstanding.