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DVD Review: It! (1967)

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It!  (1967)

Directed by Herbert J. Leder

DVD Review: It! (1967)At the time of this review It! only seems be available as part of a double feature and shares disc space with The Shuttered Room (reviewed here).

Roddy McDowall stars as assistant museum curator, Arthur Pimm, and Jill Hayworth plays the curator’s daughter Ellen Grove, who also works at the museum and is the girl of Pimm’s dreams. Unfortunately for Pimm it is a love that can never be because Ellen sees him as a friend only. The third major player in the story is a man named Jim Perkins—played by the Canadian actor Paul Maxwell, who usually made British movies and nearly always played an American. This movie is no exception because Jim Perkins is supposed to be representative of the New York Museum.

It! (1967)

The movie begins by showing some London firemen fighting a losing battle against a blazing warehouse, and the viewer soon learns that the warehouse contained valuable museum artefacts. As soon as the museum is informed about the fire, the museum curator, Mr Grove, rushes to inspect the damage and Pimm accompanies him.

The warehouse has been reduced to a pile of rubble and everything has been destroyed except for one rather sinister-looking statue. Grove wishes to take a closer look at the statue so Pimm returns to the car to find a torch. Pimm never makes it to the car though, because he hears the Mr Grove scream and rushes back to find him lying dead at the feet of the statue, which seems to have moved its arms since Pimm last saw it.

The statue is taken to the museum, but when a museum worker is found dead at its feet the media begin to call it a cursed artefact and, fearing anymore bad publicity, the museum's  management committee decide to get rid of it.

By this time Pimm has discovered the statue is the famous Golem of Prague, created in 1580 by Rabbi Loeb. Pimm is determined to learn how to control the clay monster and use it for his own benefit, so as soon as Perkins arrives at the museum Pimm tries to convince him that the golem is a fake. Perkins is not so easily swayed though. He knows more about the statue than Pimm does and it is he who reveals the secret of controlling the clay monster. Perkins tells Pimm that there was originally a scroll of parchment that had to placed under the golem’s tongue. Pimm later discovers the scroll’s hiding place and becomes the golem’s new master, but power often corrupts and one of the first things that Pimm does is order the golem to kill the museum’s new curator.

Not long after this Pimm takes Ellen to lunch and tells her he can do incredible things. Ellen is not convinced, so he points at the Thames Bridge and tells her that he can knock it down, “Just like that,” and snaps his fingers to illustrate the point. If this statement was meant to impress the young lady it fails miserably because her reaction is to thank Pimm for lunch and then leave.

Roddy McDowall, Paul Maxwell and Jill Hayworth in It!(1967)

With a little help from the golem Pimm makes good on his promise and the bridge comes tumbling down later that evening, but he is soon filled with regrets for his recent actions and needs someone to confide in. Of course it is Ellen that he turns to, but when he rings her, and asks her to meet him at the museum, Perkins goes to the museum in her place. He already has a good idea of what is going on and he warns Pimm that the golem was not designed to serve selfish needs, but Pimm is already beyond reasoning with and it is not long before it is a case of Pimm and his golem versus the British Army.

I found It! a little slow moving and to be honest the story is pretty basic at best, but I enjoyed watching it just for Roddy McDowall’s performance. He is great as the uber efficient Pimm who, at the beginning of the movie, appears to be a very straight-laced and intelligent man. Appearances can be deceptive, however, because Pimm is, in fact, a pretty strange guy. He has been borrowing jewellery from the museum and taking it home for his mother to wear for a while before he sneaks it back again. Not ethical, I’m sure you will agree, but not so strange either until you discover that his mother has been dead for so long that she is now no more than a desiccated corpse sitting in a rocking chair in Pimm’s living room.

DVD Review: It! (1967)

Buying & Rental Options

The movie has a runtime of about an hour and thirty-five minutes and although It! may not be one of the best movies ever made, it is, at the very least, a watchable one; especially if you are fan of the late Roddy McDowall. To be honest, I have always been a Roddy McDowall fan, but I had never heard of this movie. I only bought the DVD because The Shuttered Room is on the same disc, and I have to say The Shuttered Room is, as far as I am concerned, a much better movie by far.

CAST

Roddy McDowall
Jill Haworth
Paul Maxwell

Aubrey Richards
Ernest Clark
Oliver Johnston
Noel Trevarthen 
Ian McCulloch
Richard Goolden
Dorothy Frere
Tom Chatto
Steve Kirby  
Russell Napier 

Frank Sieman
Brian Haines 
Mark Burns
Raymond Adamson 
Lindsay Campbell
John Baker
Alan Sellers 
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Arthur Pimm
Ellen Grove
Jim Perkins

Prof. Weal
Harold Grove
Curator Trimingham
Insp. White
Detective Wayne
The Old Rabbi
Miss Swanson
Young Captain
Ellis (Electrician)
Boss
  
Museum Workman
Joe Hill (Museum Guard)
First Officer
Second Officer
Policeman
Second Museum Guard
The Golem

~Buying & Rental Options~

 

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