CineSavant Column

Tuesday July 10, 2018


Correspondent Edward Sullivan got snooping for web references to actress Marie Devereaux, the famed Hammer star we’ll be seeing later this month in Indicator’s expected Blu-ray of The Stranglers of Bombay. He first ran into her mention in the diaries of one Edward Jay Epstein, who explains that back in the early 1960s, he filmed a couple-days’ worth of battle scenes in Greece for a never-finished version of The Iliad, that apparently should not have gotten very far, but went forward because the investors and the Greeks thought Marlon Brando was signed up and on the way. It’s a good story; he names a lot of names, and even bad-mouths director Rudolph Maté, calling him a hack.

On his ‘ten years later’ page Epstein mentions that in one of his attempts to salvage the project, The Iliad was to be told from the POV of the Cassandra character — and Marie Devereaux was planned to play Cassandra. At that time she was apparently known as a stand-in for Elizabeth Taylor in the epic Mankiewicz picture Cleopatra, and may be seen in some of the long shots.

Maybe everybody knows about Devereaux and Cleopatra except me. Ed followed up, finding found these images on the IMDB that prove that Devereaux was indeed ‘standing in’ with Richard Burton and others … in full costume. Thanks, Ed !

Miss Devereux is still very much around — this is her facebook page.

New Kino discs just arrived. Billy Wilder’s Irma La Douce is reportedly his most popular picture, what with its bright color and co-stars Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon. David Selznick’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is prime ’30s Technicolor, and has a famous cave rescue scene (topical, huh?) designed by William Cameron Menzies. Also here and worth snooping into are the curious-looking Republic thriller A Strange Adventure, and some kind of crime picture I have never heard of called Tiger by the Tail, the poster of which touts, ‘…and Introducing CHARO.’

Finally, I’m heading straight for Kino’s release of a classic noir that’s been M.I.A. for ages, Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster in I Walk Alone. It’s directed by Byron Haskin.

And, courtesy of Joe Dante, here’s a link to the actual real estate page for the famed Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House. Yes, you too can purchase The House on Haunted Hill; all that’s required is a paltry $23 million dollars, the price of a single Trump trip to play golf. I see the Ennis house every two days or so — I shop at an Albertson’s supermarket just below the hill. I took this fuzzy picture a couple of years ago (gotta get a telephoto lens, I guess). In case the sticker price seems high, they say it comes furnished!

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson