House of the Long Shadows House of the Long Shadows House of the Long Shadows
Inscribed by Cushing, Price, Lee and Carradine

House of the Long Shadows

London: Cannon Films, 1982

Screenplay, 285 x 225mm, pp. 122. Black faux-leather wrappers, title in gilt gothic to front wrapper, the whole secured by two gold screw-studs. Wrappers a little marked and worn, slight historical water damage to top edge of title page affecting one crew inscription, some dog-earing to a few pages. A used but very well preserved working copy. Hand-drawn map of Kensington one-way system to verso of p.1.

Original screenplay for House of the Long Shadows (1983), INSCRIBED TO CAST MEMBER LOUISE ENGLISH BY PETER CUSHING, VINCENT PRICE, CHRISTOPHER LEE AND JOHN CARRADINE, among many other cast and crew members.

The UK poster for House of Long Shadows proclaimed 'THE SCREEN'S MASTERS OF TERROR, TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME...'. Based on the Earl Derr Biggers novel Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913), it was the last film to be directed by Pete Walker, who began his career making 8mm stag reels and spent the 1970s making a long line of sex-and-slasher movies, leavened with pot shots at the powerful and a large dose of S&M. Many of them starred Sheila Keith, a distinguished actress and the gentlest of women who, thanks to Walker, enjoyed late fame as a psychotic murderess in films such as House of Mortal Sin, Frightmare and House of Whipcord. In House of the Long Shadows she plays the daughter of Lord Grisbane (Carradine), the severely disturbed housekeeper giving shelter to a peerless cast of horror legends.

This script bears the ownership signature of the film's camera operator John Simmons (listed as 'John Simmonds' in the film's credits), but was commandeered at the end of the shoot by cast member Louise English for signature by the cast. (Ms. English plays the pretty young backpacker seeking shelter from the storm. Things don't end well.) The inscriptions are plentiful and effusive: 'Louise, May God's blessing be with you always, In all sincerity, Peter Cushing '82'; 'To Louise, A thing of beauty and a joy forever, All good wishes, John Carradine'; 'To Louise, with love and lust, Christopher [Lee]'; and 'Dear Louise, How lovely working with talented you, Love, Vincent [Price]'. Other inscriptions are provided by fellow cast members Richard Hunter, Julie Peasgood and Ms. Keith, as well as a battalion of crew members.

An extraordinary constellation of signatures: featuring the greatest names of late twentieth century horror. Auction records offer up nothing comparable.

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