Friday, September 21, 2018

1942 film offers rare color perspective of fictional "Collinwood"

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has an interesting feature story on Lyndhurst Mansion, the Tarrytown, N.Y., location that served as the location of the fictional "Collinwood" in both 1970's HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and its 1971 sequel NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS. It's a well-researched, well-written piece that tells you just about everything you need to know about the historic mansion without ever once mentioning DARK SHADOWS. But that's OK. That's my domain.

The feature has a particularly juicy piece of bait on its hook, though: a rare 1942 color movie showcasing the Lyndhurst gardens. The backstory features a bit of gothic melodrama that proves to be mostly fictional:
"The discovery of this film is significant because it offers, for the first time, a tangible look at the landscape during the period when Lyndhurst was owned by Anna Gould. It had previously been understood that all staff, save for Lyndhurst’s superintendent, Robert B. Allan, were let go when Helen Gould died and that the gardens had consequently languished while Anna occupied the property only part-time. The film proves that this wasn’t the case — that in 1942, the Lyndhurst landscape still very much reflected Helen’s careful stewardship."
You can read the entire piece HERE and it's well worth the time of any DARK SHADOWS fan. There are also a a few little-seen photos of the property dating back to the 19th century. If you've already decided you know all there is to know about Lyndhurst, though, you can skip directly to the movie below. (And don't forget: both HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS will be airing on TCM next month.)

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