Movie Diary 7/27/2022

Picture Mommy Dead (Bert I. Gordon, 1966). Gaudy color (fun to look at, in other words), dopey storyline, paycheck-collecting performances. Don Ameche, Martha Hyer, and Maxwell Reed are conniving after a fortune in different ways, but the key rests with Ameche’s daughter, who is played by Bert Gordon’s daughter Susan, and she is off her rocker. Zsa Zsa Gabor plays the dead mother, and she is very Zsa Zsa; Wendell Corey has one scene as a lawyer, and looks like he’s in bad shape (he would be dead in two years, at 54). There’s a falcon that does its job well, presumably shoehorned in because Gordon had seen The Birds. Uninspired overall except for the interiors of the house, and at least Martha Hyer seems to understand the kind of horror-melodrama they’re making. Is this the earliest use of “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out” in movies?

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