Fall Fears at NYC’s Film ForumNews Tony Timpone
New York City’s Film Forum (209 West Houston;  727-8110) will be presenting a trio of classic genre films as part of its Halloween season repertory program that all respectable East Coast Fangorians should make an effort to see.
First up, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece VERTIGO will unspool in a gorgeous 4K restoration from Friday, October 24 to Thursday, October 30. Jimmy Stewart stars as a detective with a fear of heights who accepts a job to tail his friend’s mysterious (and beautiful) wife (Kim Novak). The troubled woman claims to be possessed by an ancestor who committed suicide years ago. When Novak decides to take a fatal plunge from a church tower, the vertigo-stricken and love-smitten Stewart can’t save her. While recovering from his own mental collapse, Stewart meets the lookalike of his late lover and begins obsessively molding the new woman into the image of the dead one… So plays out one of the most psychologically disturbing and compelling Hitchcock pictures ever, bolstered by emotional performances by its leads, colorful San Francisco location work and a hypnotic score by PSYCHO’s Bernard Herrmann. After your first viewing of VERTIGO you will become just as obsessed as Stewart’s character and want to watch this amazing movie (voted the greatest movie of all time by SIGHT & SOUND in 2012) over and over again.
On Sunday, October 26 @ 11 am the rep house will present the one-and-only ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (accompanied by a 3D Three Stooges short) as part of its award-winning Film Forum Jr. series. This quintessential 1948 horror comedy set the standard for successfully mixing mirth and monsters, as vaudeville comics Bud & Lou clash with Universal’s creature canon: Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Lon Chaney’s Wolf Man and Glenn Strange’s Frankenstein Monster.
Finally, on Friday, October 31, just in time for Halloween and running through November 6, Robert Weine’s 1920 masterwork of German expressionism THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (pictured top) rolls into town. No less than Robert Ebert called CALIGARI “the first true horror film,” and the silent movie’s unique style has been influencing filmmakers ever since. James Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN movies and the works of Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam, to name a few, owe CALIGARI a major debt. The film centers on a blood-thirsty mad doctor (Werner Krauss) who unleashes his somnambulist slave (Conrad Veidt of CASABLANCA) on a quiet town during carnival time. Step right up to the Film Forum to see CALIGARI’s stunning 4K restoration and be enchanted by a film that has inspired nightmares in audiences for nearly 100 years. The movie’s twist ending continues to be ripped off by Hollywood to this day.
So this Halloween season, make it a hat trick and catch three essential genre films at Manhattan’s indispensable Film Forum.
Photos courtesy Film Forum via Photofest