For the last of his cycle of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, Roger Corman asked screenwriter Robert Towne (Chinatown) to turn Poe s story Ligeia into another vehicle for Vincent Price, who once again plays a man so haunted by his past that he is unable to function in the present.
In this case the past comes in the form of his now-deceased first wife Ligeia, who casts a long shadow over an ill-advised second marriage to a woman who resembles her (Elizabeth Shepherd), particularly when he becomes convinced that Ligeia s spirit is returning to him in the form of a black cat. But is this actually a delusion on his part?
Although the doom-laden narrative and Price s tormented performance had become well established ingredients in the Corman Poe cycle, the film looks strikingly different from the earlier films, with much of it taking place in broad daylight, and shot in actual English locations (notably Stonehenge and Norfolk s Castle Acre Priory) instead of Hollywood
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Love this movie which received a wonderful Bluray transfer. Verden Fell (Vincent Price) is both mournful and threatened by his first wife's death. He senses her reluctance to die and her near-blasphemous statements about God (she was an atheist). Alone and troubled by a vision problem that requires him to wear strange dark glasses, Fell shuns the world. Against his better judgement, he marries a headstrong young woman (Elizabeth Shepherd) he meets by accident and who is apparently bethrothed to an old friend Christopher Gough (John Westbrook). The spirit of Fell's first wife Ligeia seems to haunt the old mansion/abbey where they live and a series of nocturnal visions and the sinister presence of a cat (who may be inhabited by the spirit of Ligeia) cause him distress. Ultimately he must face the spirit of Ligeia and resist her or perish. The climax of the film takes place when Verden has a showdown with Ligeia, now in the form of a cat. Verden is blinded by Ligeia, but gets the upper hand and strangles the cat, while the tomb around him burns down, due to an accident. Christopher and Rowena start a new life together, while Verden and his wife perish in the flames.
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