Roger Corman didn’t have big-budget hubris on his side, and we respect his earnest efforts (as well as those of director Daniel Haller) to adapt the notoriously unadaptable work of H.P. Lovecraft. But their version of The Dunwich Horror — reimagined through the psychedelic transcendentalism of the late 1960s — is a hot mess. At least it’s an interesting hot mess, with a shamelessly mugging Dean Stockwell as sinister cultist Wilbur Whateley and Sandra Dee as his would-be victim. (If you look close, you can also spot a pre-star Talia Shire in a bit part; her brother Francis Ford Coppola was part of Corman’s crew.) Anyhoo, it opened today in 1970.
We’re leaving the classy one for last: Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands, the beautiful story of the romance between author C.S. Lewis (Anthony Hopkins) and his American paramour Joy Gresham (Debra Winger), opened today in 1994.