On Saturday, The Wizard of Oz was on television. It had been ages since I had seen it, so I watched a good portion of it. I was even on the treadmill singing along with the Lollipop Guild. The show has always been been one of my favorites. The special effects amaze me, considering the film was made in 1939. Anyway, I watched Dorothy take her trip through Oz and finally get back to Kansas.
Yesterday, I was on Facebook. I did a little farming in Farm Town and baked some cakes in YoVille. I then read through some of the posts. I'm a big fan of Anne Rice and she had written several comments during the day. In one of them she said that she had "watched Curse of the Demon with Dana Andrews, just one of the scariest old black and white movies I've ever seen." I kept thinking that if Anne Rice thought it was scary, it must really, really be scary.
I then started thinking about which old black and white movies scared me. When I was younger, I loved scary movies. I would sit in the dark on Friday night and watch a local program called Creature Feature. Each week there was a movie about Dracula or the Wolfman or Frankenstein or some other poor frightened and frightening monster. So which one did I think was the scariest?
I remembered a movie I had seen years and year ago. It was about a man who had no arms or legs. He lived in a mansion with his sister. Strange murders started taking place and of course he was never a suspect, because it would have been impossible for him to go commit the evil deeds.
I could not remember the name of the movie, but thought that James Mason or Claude Rains had played the main character. I searched under their names, but found no movie credits that matched my memory of this film. So I searched Google and part way down the page was a description that seemed familiar.
I read several of the summaries and it was the film I remembered. The movie was called Night Monster. The lead character was not played by James Mason or by Claude Rains, but by a man named Ralph Morgan. Yes, this was the film that scared me; it was made in 1942.
So I brought up images of Ralph Morgan. He was an older, nice looking gentleman. He didn't look like James Mason or Claude Rains, but he did look very familiar. I wondered why.
As I read through a mini biography of his life, I suddenly realized why he looked so familiar. It turns out Ralph Morgan was the older brother of Frank Morgan.
And who is Frank Morgan? Why, he played the wizard in The Wizard of Oz.
(You knew this story was leading somewhere, didn't you?)