Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Other White Massey

I am most familiar with actress Anna Massey -- who was born on this day in 1937 -- thanks to two thrillers she made for two of my favorite directors. There's Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy in 1972 and there's Michael Powell's Peeping Tom twelve years the previous, which is the one we're here to actually talk about. Actually we're not here, we're over at The Film Experience, where her performance is the topic of this week's "Great Moments in Horror Actressing" series -- click on over for it. But since we technically here right this second before clicking over, and...

... I did just bring up Frenzy, let me add that I consider Hitch's treatment of Massey's character (named "Babs" because of course she is) in Frenzy to be the most misogynistic thing he ever put onscreen. Which, considering some shit Hitch got up to, is saying a lot. He paints Babs as just awful and unlikable every second she's on-screen, and after she's murdered her body becomes a comic prop for some of the pitch-blackest mad-cappery of Hitch's career -- I don't like watching it, to be frank. Thankfully Massey fares better in Powell's Peeping Tom, a stone-cold masterpiece with a truly fascinating character to play, and one who should be considered, as I argue in my piece at TFE, Film's First Final Girl.

1 comment:

Laramie Dean said...

Have you ever seen her as the gaunt vampire (alongside her brother Daniel) in THE VAULT OF HORROR? Gooney but delightful. :) (Also, I recently realized she was Nanny Tess in the 1995 Aiden Quinn-o-rama HAUNTED, where she was, yes, gaunt and spooky!)