This is GREAT news. We have high hopes for this one with Hanks at the helm!
Released on May 13th, most likely prompted by the recent popularity of the Lifetime Channel’s Christina Ricci effort- the 1975 version with Elizabeth Montgomery can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lizzie-Borden-Elizabeth-Montgomery/dp/B00HZVX14O/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1394644302&sr=1-1&keywords=Legend+of+Lizzie+Borden
For many, this made-for-TV movie was the starting point for interest in the Borden case. Highly recommended viewing, as Montgomery gives a compelling performance in the title role and the script stays closer to the real story than the recent Lifetime Channel effort, even though some liberties are taken and some key figures left out. Youtube has had the film online, albeit chopped up in segments, for some time but it will be a treat to see it start to finish uninterrupted. The film’s signature musical theme is unforgettable.
The house on Second Street had a special weekend guest when horror-thriller actress Brinke Stevens was in town for a premiere of her latest film at Durfee High. Brinke is working on a new Borden-related film project where she will play Abby Borden. Today she visited her “namesake” at Oak Grove and had a whirlwind tour of all Borden sites and sights in the city including Maplecroft, the Fall River Historical Society and the Gray-Whitehead Fourth Street house. She went back to California tonight with plenty of reading material, leaving lots of new friends back in Fall River.
With LeeAnn back at the house
In Lizzie Borden circles she is best-remembered for her spot-on portrayal of Bridget Sullivan, the Borden’s Irish maid in The Legend of Lizzie Borden, but in years since the 1975 film, Flanagan has had an amazing career. The Dublin-born actress admits to the tough time she endured as an Irish actress in Hollywood in this article http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/insider-do-you-know-you-are-giving-a-reception-for-murderers-3009822.html and her perseverance to reach the top as a much-beloved star of television and the big screen. She will soon receive a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Film and Television Academy. To see her long lists of credits including current projects visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001217/ Borden house co-owner LeeAnn Wilber has met Ms. Flanagan and has invited her to spend a night in Bridget Sullivan’s room on Second Street.!
studio publicity photo
There’s always a silent hope among Borden case fans, when a new Lizzie film is announced, that somebody might get it right this time. Most know that sticking to the thrilling TRUE story of the crime will not be enough for Hollywood. Box office is the prime motivator, sad but true. Too bad that the “suits” feel they must dumb down the real deal and offer schlock that follows a tried and true formula. Audiences are underestimated. Even diehard “cheesy horror fans” deserve first class special effects, good casting and costuming and a decent script. There are surely elements in the Borden saga that would work very well for the horror movie genre, put in the hands of capable horror-thriller writers. Sadly none of these writers have been brought on board and the newest schlock-shocker in the arena, Lizzie The Movie, promises to be no improvement on the last endeavors, Curse of Lizzie Borden and Prom Night.
The trailer has been released, and pretty much says it all. Nothing new here. The web site and blog are still in development but have a little information to check out. Gary Busey and Corbin Bernsen are the “names” to draw the audience. Busey has had some brilliant onscreen moments, and Bernsen has good acting chops on TV and some big screen. Actors have bills to pay- that must be the reason for taking on the role in this latest Lizzie flick.
Someday, somebody will get over using black and red, hatchets, dripping blood, and other cliche tricks and see the real potential of the Borden case. Hold out hopes for the proposed Chloe Sevigny-Tom Hanks project. Maybe NEXT time. . . .
Lizzie: The Movie trailer at http://lizziethemovie.com/
“Abby & Lizzie” on the sofa during the filming for Ghost Adventures
The spirits were restless last week at the Borden house! My Ghost Story crew checked in on Sunday the 21st. This is a program featured on the Biography Channel. http://myghoststory.com/ Monday- Thursday morning, the well-known crew from Ghost Adventures were in residence with equipment for their “lock down”. Fans of host, Zack, knocked on the door of #92 and looked longingly through the windows hoping for a glimpse of the handsome host. Word has it that some interesting EVPs were captured by the team. This weekend, as hurricane Irene blasted the Northeast, Jeff Belanger, lecturer and author of paranormal books camped out for the weekend. http://www.jeffbelanger.com/ All in all, the old house on Second Street had an exciting time of it and weathered the hurricane without incident. Air dates for these programs featuring the Borden house have yet to be announced.
“Big Love is set to air its series’ finale next Sunday, and some of the cast is not waiting around to find their next projects. Ginnifer Goodwin is already signed for the ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time, and now Chloë Sevigny has joined the cast of HBO’s upcoming four-hour miniseries on Lizzie Borden. Sevigny, who has been the driving force behind the project, is set to star as Borden as well as co-executive produce.
Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce through their joint company Playtone, which also produces Big Love. The story will follow Lizzie Borden’s trial, from which she was acquitted of killing her father and stepmother with a hatchet. Chloë Sevigny will star as Lizzie Borden, as well as co-executive produce.
Bryce Kass is writing the screenplay. The miniseries will likely air in 2012. ”
The snows did fall and the wind did blow, but the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast had a busy winter and the month of March is jammed- packed with activities too. The first Murder Mystery Weekend was held over the Valentine’s Day weekend, followed by the Dead of Winter paranormal event with Chris Moon. The news, posted here earlier, detailing B&B visitor Chloe Sevigny’s proposed upcoming project of an HBO mini-series about the Borden case filming this summer was icing on the cake.
Last week, those who work at the house were thrilled to learn the TODAY show will be making a visit the end of the month to shoot a special on the fascination with the case. The timing could not have been better for the release of the eagerly-awaited Parallel Lives from the Fall River Historical Society. The authors will also be appearing on the morning televison special segment. The Second Street Irregulars will be descending on the 31st for a jammed-packed 3 days at the house and on the road, with some special guests and stops along the way. It looks like 2011 will be another banner year for Lizzie & Co.
If you missed it before, one of the best documentaries on the Villisca case is available on Netflix and Amazon.com for $19.99. Visit the website affiliated with the film at http://www.villiscamovie.com/story_01.htm and join in discussions on the Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Villisca-Living-with-a-Mystery/53695253512?v=wall
Here’s an interview and follow-up to the Chloe Sevigny story posted here earlier this month. Hopes are running high for an historically accurate script which will include John Morse this time around. The HBO mini-series, slated to run two nights, may be released at the end of 2011.
Tonight the popular Travel Channel program, Mysteries at the Museum, which features unusual artifacts from around the country, presented a segment on the handle-less hatchet found in the Borden cellar. The segment filmed at the Fall River Historical Society and the house on Second Street and showed excellent close-up footage of the hatchet head and break on the handle stub. The seven-minute portion was well-done and worth a look. It airs again tomorrow, December 1st at 3 p.m.
The last of the television projects filmed this year at the Borden house is set to air this Sunday. Barbara Borden Morrissey and sister Ellen Borden were interviewed for the episode which airs Nov. 21 at 10 on A&E, and on the 22nd at 2 a.m.
From the website: http://www.aetv.com/psychic-kids/episodes/
Actress Gloria Stuart, best known today for her role in 1997’s Titanic as the elderly version of Rose, passed away in her home in Los Angeles on Sept. 27th. Her birthday was last July when she turned 100 years old. Born on July 4, 1910, Her first appearance at Universal was in 1932. At the age of 87, the nomination – her first – made her the oldest person ever nominated for an Oscar. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000. Her biography “I Just Kept Hoping” recounts her 70 plus years in the film industry.
In 1975, she appeared in The Legend of Lizzie Borden at the age of 65, in the role of a lady shopper in a store where Lizzie is busy thieving.
The Travel Channel kicked off Ghost Adventures tonight with an episode filmed at the Lizzie Borden B&B this past May- one of several which will be airing between now and Halloween. This episode’s 7 minute clip from the shoot comes at the end of the show and features B&B guest interviews, comments from house co-owner, Lee Ann Wilber, seance highlights with Liz Nowicki, a local Fall River medium/psychic, and features house/museum employees in the roles of Abby and Lizzie. The Rev. Bob Richardson plays Andrew Borden. The episode will be airing several more times over the next few weeks. For the schedule, visit the link below.
Rev. Bob Richardson as Andrew Borden
On May 27th papers in the United Kingdom posted news that Stephen Griffiths of Bradford, North Yorkshire would be charged with the homicides of three women. ” ‘I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge Stephen Griffiths with their murders, and that it is in the public interest to do so,” ‘ said Peter Mann, head of the Crown Prosecution Service complex casework unit in the West Yorkshire. ” Body parts recently found in a local river are being examined to try and establish if they are from the bodies of the three women.
For the last six years Griffiths had been studying at Bradford University for a doctorate in criminology. His thesis was to have been about 19th-century murders. On his Amazon.com wishlist was Goodbye Lizzie Borden: the Story of the Trial of America’s Most Famous Murderess. For more on the story http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/may/27/bradford-murders-man-charged
For those who remember the film, could That House made so famous be a candidate for a B&B? Read all about what the Lizzie Borden B&B has to say about it. http://www.flashnews.com/news/wfn03100527fn19014.html
The new court house across the street is preparing to open in June, #92 should get its new Rhino Shield paint color applied this week, and rumor has it that the house on Second Street may receive a call from a very special guest soon.
New England Bites bloggers Laura and Diane ( a Mom and Daughter team) paid a visit to Second Street and had a great write-up with photos on their visit. The Fall River natives also give great tips on where to eat in the Fall River area. http://www.newenglandbites.com/2010/05/may-2010-vacation-goin-out-with-bang.html
For a to-die-for photo of Nance O’Neil and some interesting back story on The Legend of Lizzie Borden with Elizabeth Montgomery check this out http://www.filmsinreview.com/2010/05/18/camp-david-may-2010-gettin-lizzie-with-it/
And of course the month started with a bang with the publicizing of that Lizzie note found in a Massachusetts museum in Brighton –http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x2084248292/Local-historian-deciphers-letter-penned-by-Lizzie-Borden And it isn’t even AUGUST yet!!
“There’s no bizness like Lizbizness”
The weather was ideal for the Travel channel shoot in Fall River. Bursts of rain and bright sun were the order of the day and produced some wonderful silhouettes and shadows inside the house- a novel approach to the re-creations for a film crew.
Andrew Borden was played by the Rev. Robert Richardson, a Congregationalist minister. This was his first time out as Mr. Borden and Kathleen Troost-Cramer who usually plays Irish maid Bridget Sullivan took on her first turn as Lizzie. Both were superb in their roles. The filming is for an upcoming program on haunted hotels and bed and breakfasts, so the focus was on the paranormal. Thirty Odd Minutes’ Andrew Lake and Matt Moniz (also of Spooky South Coast radio show) were also on hand all day to serve as science techs for the shoot. http://www.30oddminutes.com/about.shtml http://www.spookysouthcoast.com/AboutUs/
Psychic and medium Liz Nowicki also made a call in the evening. What did they find? Stay tuned!