Old Hollywood
Cinema
1900-1979

Nostalgia is a seductive liar - George Wildman Ball
The Tell-Tale Heart (1928, dir. Charles Klein) (via)
"Oh God! what could I do? I foamed —I raved —I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder —louder —louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! —no, no! They heard! —they suspected! —they knew! —they were making a mockery of my horror!-This I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now —again! —hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
'Villains!' I shrieked, 'dissemble no more! I admit the deed! —tear up the planks! here, here! —It is the beating of his hideous heart!'”
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart (1928, dir. Charles Klein) (via)

"Oh God! what could I do? I foamed —I raved —I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder —louder —louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! —no, no! They heard! —they suspected! —they knew! —they were making a mockery of my horror!-This I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now —again! —hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

'Villains!' I shrieked, 'dissemble no more! I admit the deed! —tear up the planks! here, here! —It is the beating of his hideous heart!'”

-Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian) (via)
"All things therefore seemed to point to this: that I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse."
-Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)

Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian) (via)

"All things therefore seemed to point to this: that I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse."

-Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)

Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in publicity still for Rebecca (1940, dir. Alfred Hitchcock) (via)
"Her voice dropped to a whisper. ‘Sometimes, when I walk along the corridor here, I fancy I hear her just behind me. That quick, light footstep. I could not mistake it anywhere. It’s almost as though I catch the sound of her dress sweeping the stairs as she comes down to dinner.’
 She paused. She went on looking at me, watching my eyes. ‘Do you think she can see us, talking to one another now?’ she said slowly. ‘Do you think the dead come back and watch the living?’” 
-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)

Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in publicity still for Rebecca (1940, dir. Alfred Hitchcock) (via)

"Her voice dropped to a whisper. ‘Sometimes, when I walk along the corridor here, I fancy I hear her just behind me. That quick, light footstep. I could not mistake it anywhere. It’s almost as though I catch the sound of her dress sweeping the stairs as she comes down to dinner.’

She paused. She went on looking at me, watching my eyes. ‘Do you think she can see us, talking to one another now?’ she said slowly. ‘Do you think the dead come back and watch the living?’” 

-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)

Fiona Fullerton in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972, dir. William Sterling)

Fiona Fullerton in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972, dir. William Sterling)

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, dir. Blake Edwards) (via)
"The ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino-blonde and yellow, caught the light. It was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker. For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast-cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanliness, a rough pink darkening the cheeks. Her mouth was large, her nose upturned. A pair of dark glasses blotted out her eyes. It was a face beyond childhood, yet this side of belonging to a woman. I thought her anywhere between sixteen and thirty."
-Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958)

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, dir. Blake Edwards) (via)

"The ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino-blonde and yellow, caught the light. It was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker. For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast-cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanliness, a rough pink darkening the cheeks. Her mouth was large, her nose upturned. A pair of dark glasses blotted out her eyes. It was a face beyond childhood, yet this side of belonging to a woman. I thought her anywhere between sixteen and thirty."

-Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958)

Julie Harris & Richard Johnson in The Haunting (1963, dir. Robert Wise) (via)

Julie Harris & Richard Johnson in The Haunting (1963, dir. Robert Wise) (via)

Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951, dir. Elia Kazan)
“Blanche is a woman with everything stripped away. She is a tragic figure and I understand her. But playing her tipped me into madness.” 
(via)

Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951, dir. Elia Kazan)

“Blanche is a woman with everything stripped away. She is a tragic figure and I understand her. But playing her tipped me into madness.” 

(via)

Jeanne Eagels in The Letter (1929, dir. Jean de Limur)
"My retribution is greater. With all my heart, I still love the man I killed."
-W. Somerset Maugham, The Letter (1925)

Jeanne Eagels in The Letter (1929, dir. Jean de Limur)

"My retribution is greater. With all my heart, I still love the man I killed."

-W. Somerset Maugham, The Letter (1925)

Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian) (via)

Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian) (via)

Peter Wyngarde& Martin Stephens in The Innocents (1961, dir. Jack Clayton) (via)

Peter Wyngarde& Martin Stephens in The Innocents (1961, dir. Jack Clayton) (via)

Florence Bates escorts her guest out in The Brasher Doubloon (1947, dir. John Brahm), an adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The High Window (via)

Florence Bates escorts her guest out in The Brasher Doubloon (1947, dir. John Brahm), an adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The High Window (via)

The Innocents (1961, dir. Jack Clayton, based on the Henry James ghost story, The Turn of the Screw) (via)
What shall I say when he knocks on my door? What shall I say when his feet enter softly? Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor.

The Innocents (1961, dir. Jack Clayton, based on the Henry James ghost story, The Turn of the Screw(via)

What shall I say when he knocks on my door? What shall I say when his feet enter softly? Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor.


Catherine Hessling in publicity still for Nana (1926, dir. Jean Renoir) (via)
“She is a girl descended from four or five generations of drunkards, her blood tainted by an accumulated inheritance of poverty and drink, which in her case had taken the form of a nervous derangement of the sexual instinct. She had grown up in the slums, in the gutters of Paris; and now, tall and beautiful, and as well made as a plant nurtured on a dungheap, she was avenging the paupers and outcasts of whom she was the product.
With her, the rottenness that was allowed to ferment among the lower classes was rising to the surface and rotting the aristocracy. She had become a force of nature, a ferment of destruction, unwittingly corrupting and disorganizing Paris between her snow-white thighs.”
-Emile Zola, Nana (1880)

Catherine Hessling in publicity still for Nana (1926, dir. Jean Renoir) (via)

“She is a girl descended from four or five generations of drunkards, her blood tainted by an accumulated inheritance of poverty and drink, which in her case had taken the form of a nervous derangement of the sexual instinct. She had grown up in the slums, in the gutters of Paris; and now, tall and beautiful, and as well made as a plant nurtured on a dungheap, she was avenging the paupers and outcasts of whom she was the product.

With her, the rottenness that was allowed to ferment among the lower classes was rising to the surface and rotting the aristocracy. She had become a force of nature, a ferment of destruction, unwittingly corrupting and disorganizing Paris between her snow-white thighs.”

-Emile Zola, Nana (1880)

Myrna Loy & William Powell in The Thin Man (1934, dir. Woody Van Dyke) (via)
She grinned at me. “You got types?”
“Only you, darling - lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.”
-Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man (1929)

Myrna Loy & William Powell in The Thin Man (1934, dir. Woody Van Dyke) (via)

She grinned at me. “You got types?”

“Only you, darling - lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.”

-Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man (1929)


Bluebeard (1901, dir. Georges Méliès)
"King Bluebeard turned all the keys of the castle over to his wife, saying, ‘You may go anywhere in the castle, unlock everything, and look at anything you want to, except for one door, to which this little golden key belongs. If you value your life, you are not allowed to open it!’
'Oh no!' she said, adding that she surely would not open that door. But after the king had been away for a while, she could find no rest for constantly thinking about what there might be in the forbidden chamber. On the morning of the fourth day, she could no longer resist the temptation, and taking the key she secretly crept to the room, stuck the key into the lock, and opened the door.”
-Charles Perrault, Bluebeard

Bluebeard (1901, dir. Georges Méliès)

"King Bluebeard turned all the keys of the castle over to his wife, saying, ‘You may go anywhere in the castle, unlock everything, and look at anything you want to, except for one door, to which this little golden key belongs. If you value your life, you are not allowed to open it!’

'Oh no!' she said, adding that she surely would not open that door. But after the king had been away for a while, she could find no rest for constantly thinking about what there might be in the forbidden chamber. On the morning of the fourth day, she could no longer resist the temptation, and taking the key she secretly crept to the room, stuck the key into the lock, and opened the door.”

-Charles Perrault, Bluebeard