"By The Pricking Of My Thumb, Something Wicked This Way Comes..." - Ray Bradbury's Masterpiece
May 12, 2009
"And in despair I bowed my head, there is no peace on earth," I said. "For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men." Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail. With peace on earth, good will to men"...
With Shakespeare & Longfellow both quoted in the film & movie screenplay, penned and adapted by the author Ray Bradbury, how could you go wrong with this 1983 Disney Family great!
Set in the 1940's in a small idyllic town called Greentown, Illinois; it is the pseudonym for Ray Bradbury's own home town of Waukegan, Illinois. Waukegan plays quite a big role in most of Ray Bradbury's works, just as Bradbury had a pseudonym himself by the name of Douglas Spaulding.
Greentown is mentioned in passing several times in short stories, just for the reader to put a name to the place, but it is featured most prominently in "Dandelion Wine", a beautiful anthology Bradbury wrote concerning his childhood memories, and in the dark fantasy novel, "Something Wicked This Way Comes". So essentially, you COULD visit Greentown if you wanted to... Just be careful of the carnival "Autumn People" in October.
Jason Robards heads a stellar cast as the small town's middle-aged, midlife crisis cursed, librarian, Mr. Charles Halloway. Vidal Peterson plays Charles' son, the light, tow headed good boy, Will Halloway and Will's best friend, blood brother and alter-ego, the dark & brave Jim Nightshade, played by Shawn Carson.
This dynamically diametric duo get caught up in the carnival that literally blows into town, courtesy of a spooky black train, one fateful, autumn night. "Dark's Pandemonium & Carnival" to be exact & the name does apt justice to the goings on all along the carnival grounds.
All of the Greentown folk's deepest and most secret desires are met by the devilish denizens of the travelling fair and with dire consequences.
Take in the sights and sounds of Mr. Dark's (a deliciously evil & seductive, Jonathan Price) Pandemonium Carnival, such as the beautiful dancing girls, the spooktacular and haunted Ferris Wheel, the fortune teller, the confusing "House Of Mirrors", gambling tables, the "dust witch" (Pam Grier) and the demonically charged, Merry-Go-Round/carousel that will take you on the ride of your life... Literally!
Diane Ladd plays single mother, Mrs. Nightshade while Ellen Geer, daughter of the late Will Geer (Grandpa of The Waltons), portrays the mother of Will Halloway.
This Disney film is directed by the great Jack Clayton (The Innocents, The Pumpkin Eater & The Great Gatsby) and Academy award winning cinematographer, Stephen H. Burum (Hoffa, The Outsiders, The Bride & The War Of The Roses)
Someone HAS to save the citizens of small Greeentown from the "Autumn People" with their trickery, spells, evil powers and destructive ways. Who will "Step Right Up..." just like the carnival barker bellows???
Watch this gem of a film and find out for yourself!
Happy Watching & Unpleasant Dreams!
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About the reviewer
Sheila Chilcote-Collins (Sheila)
I enjoy writing my own reviews, listmanias, 'So You'd Like To's' on Amazon and love reading other people's thoughts. I own in excess of 1000 movies, 800+ albums, & 500+ books. … more
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