Attention Myrna Loy fans, the classic horror/thriller Thirteen Women is finally available on DVD! I had never seen this 1932 RKO classic, but had heard about it on blogs and in books, so I decided to pick it up. I am glad I did, it is a bizarre horror film that while it might not play well to some of today’s PC obsessed audiences, is well paced and well acted. So much so that I think with a little bit of rewriting, it would make for a fine modern horror film and with its broad female ensemble cast, it could make for an interesting project.
The film should also be noted because it had Peg Entwistle in it who is legendary, not for acting, but instead for her tragic suicide. Here is a scene with Entwistle that hints at her talent.
A shame that her life was cut short, who knows where she might have gone.
A little about the film itself:
Shortly before shedding her snakeskin vamp persona for good by wrapping herself in the ermine confines of Nora Charles, Myrna Loy terrified and terrorized as the murderous mesmerist Ursula Georgi in the pre-Code horror show Thirteen Women. Following a racist sorority’s cruel rebuff, half-caste Ursula embarks on a blood-thirsty trail of deceit and murder until only one woman (Irene Dunne) is left to face her. Aside from the allure and interest of its two leading ladies – each on the cusp of their ascension into cinema legend – Thirteen Women’s delights are rather more diabolical and devastating than the more domestic concerns of a traditional “Women’s Picture.” From its breathless and terrifying (and arrestingly staged) opening aerial atrocity through its stabbings, suicides and hidden bombs, Thirteen Women’s relentless pace startles and astonishes, ever driven by Loy’s portrayal of Ursula’s unalloyed and unapologetic evil.
Interested? Why not pick up a copy of this classic and enjoy some tension and “horror” from Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Thirteen Women on DVD [@] Warner Archive