Thursday, October 9, 2014

Case Study No. 1627: Ilona Carr

Real Screamer
Boy can this guilty beeyotch belt one out.
Tags: Evelyn Ankers bitch panties wad vagina cream pie scream queen weird woman voodoo Nancy Pelosi Hillary dyke
Added: 7 years ago
From: HorrorHag2
Views: 2,345

[scene opens with female librarian Ilona Carr tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep due to guilt, when she gets up and turns on the radio]
NEWS REPORTER: The Monroe College student body will be excused from classes tomorrow, to attend the funeral of David Jennings, who died yesterday morning from a gunshot wound received--
[she quickly changes the channel, to a commercial already in progress]
MALE VOICE: How long this may last, so take advantage of this new offer, and remember only eight more days left to get your--
[having been told that "the woman who lied" must confess or else she will die "in thirteen days one minute after midnight" (and realizing it is now eight days until that predicted death), she turns off the radio in terror]
[cut to Ilona walking down the street, when she stops and sees a poster for a school play ("Last 7 days, The Lady Lies"), causing her to gasp and quickly run off]
[cut to Ilona sitting at her desk at the library, when a female student worker approaches while absent-mindedly twirling a spool of thread in her hands]
FEMALE STUDENT: Miss Carr, I'd like to ask you about the reference cards ...
[cut to a closeup of the thread, as Ilona (remembering that the vision of her death included the wrapping of thread around the neck of a voodoo doll) slaps the spool out of the student's hands in fright]
[cut to Ilona walking around campus, when she passes a construction worker using a hammer to nail some boards together, and becomes startled by the noise]
ILONA: Don't do that!
[the worker gives her a confused look, so she puts down her head in embarrassment and runs off]
[cut to Ilona at home opening a package, containing some yarn and a card reading "6 Skeins Yarn", when (realizing that there are now six days left) she throws the box to the floor while putting her hand to her throat]
[cut to Ilona tossing and turning in bed again, with only one day left until her "deadline", as she talks in her sleep]
ILONA: [whispers] Five ... four ... three ... two ...
[an apparition of Millard Sawtille appears before her]
MILLARD: [whispers] One!
[she awakens, then sees the form of the deceased David Jennings next to her]
DAVID: [whispers] One! One!
[he disappears, then the disembodied head of Millard returns on the other side of her]
[that disappears, then David's head returns]
[that disappears, then the form of Norman Reed appears]
NORMAN: [whispers] Why do you want to destroy Paula?
[the form of Paula Reed appears]
PAULA: Why do you hate me?
[the form of Margaret Mercer appears]
MARGARET: [whispers] Why did you kill David?
[the form of Evelyn Sawtelle appears]
EVELYN: [whispers] Why did you kill Millard?
[they all disappear, then Millard's head returns]
[all of the apparitions begin speaking in unison, as Ilona bolts up in bed and screams]




Le Borg, Reginald (Director). Weird Woman. United States: Universal Studios, 1944.

Starring: Evelyn Ankers (Ilona Carr, College Librarian); Lon Chaney [Jr.] (Prof. Norman Reed); Anne Gwynne (Paula Clayton Reed)

Based on the Novel: Lieber, Fritz. Conjure Wife. New York: Award Books, 1953. (First appearance in Unknown Worlds, 1943.)

"Universal presents An Inner Sanctum Mystery"

Librarian as delusional lover. Librarian as evil manipulator. Librarian as villain. These are not typical roles for librarian film characters. Weird Woman's title overtly refers to the young bride that Professor Reed (Lon Chaney, Jr.) brings back from the South Seas, but better fits the conniving librarian who wants them destroyed. Pretty wife Paula (Anne Gwynne) secretly practices voodoo, purportedly to protect her husband from the evil she feels all around them. As he is an authority on the rational mind, he poopoos her voodoo and the doodoo flies when he destroys her talismans. College librarian Ilona Carr (Evelyn Ankers) is a beautiful woman, statuesque, blond, articulate, fashionable and cultured. Also greedy, intense, and she won't take no for an answer. She works in a sterile office and the "library" consists of a few book cases and a prominent (industrial) wood ladder. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect that this character is not a librarian in its source novel or in the later remake, but serves as an excuse for the Professor to have his prime enemy be a female colleague. Also the position gives her knowledge about a plagiarized thesis that she uses for blackmail. Rather than a service provider or obstructionist, this character wields information like a weapon. Carr plays puppet master over Prof. Reed's colleagues and staff, causing him to be blamed for a suicide and an accidental shooting. This character couldn't be more anti-stereotype short of tattoos and a nose ring.



Monroe College professor Norman Reed is worried about the superstitious beliefs of his young bride Paula, an orphan who was reared on a South Seas island by Laraua, the high voodoo priestess of Kauna-Ana-Ana. An old friend of her late father, Norman discovered Paula on the island, and the two then fell in love and returned to America. While he is congratulated on his marriage and completion of a new book, Superstition: Reason and Fact , by many of his Monroe colleagues, Norman receives only bitter jealousy from librarian Ilona Carr. When Norman later rejects Ilona's adulterous advances, the librarian begins a campaign to destroy the professor's marriage. Ilona first sends love-struck college student Margaret Mercer to work for Norman, then tells Margaret's jealous boyfriend, David Jennings, that the professor has a special interest in the young girl. Later, when Norman's book becomes a sensation, Ilona tells her friends that Paula is a "witch-wife" whose voodoo practices have led to the book's success. Most convinced of this is Evelyn Sawtelle, the wife of Millard Sawtelle, Norman's rival for the chairmanship of Monroe's sociology department. Later, Ilona discovers that Millard has stolen the basis of his new book from the unpublished thesis of a deceased student, and she falsely tells the meek professor that Norman intends to use this information against him. That night, Norman follows Paula on her nightly pilgrimage to the local cemetery, where she practices her voodoo rituals. Norman catches Paula performing a ceremony over an effigy of Ilona, but he stops her before she can finish. They return home, where, despite Paula's warnings, he insists that they burn all her voodoo accouterments. Soon thereafter, Millard commits suicide, and the hysterical Evelyn accuses the Reeds of murder. After Millard's funeral, Paula warns Norman that they are now in danger from evil, as he has broken their "circle of immunity" by destroying her artifacts. Later, Norman is forced to fire Margaret as his secretary when she makes her romantic intentions known, which leads to a brief fight between Norman and David. Paula, in turn, is tormented by death chants from an unknown caller. After Margaret and David falsely accuse Norman of sexual harassment, Grace Gunnison, the dean of women, suggests that Norman go to a gymnasium to work out his problems. He is confronted there by an armed David, and when the two men struggle over the gun, David is accidentally shot and critically wounded. After he is released on bail, Norman learns that Ilona is behind all the deceptions. When David later dies in the hospital, Norman calls upon Evelyn to help him prove his innocence. That night, Evelyn calls Ilona to her home, telling the librarian that she was visited in a dream by her late husband, who told her that he died "because a woman lied," and that woman will be choked to death in thirteen days unless she confesses. The guilt-ridden Ilona slowly goes crazy over the next thirteen days. With minutes to go unilt Evelyn's "deadline," Ilona rushes to the Sawtelle home where she confesses all, only to learn that she has been tricked by Norman, Paula, Grace, Margaret and Evelyn. Unnerved, Ilona rushes out of the house, where she trips on the catwalk and is strangled to death by hanging vines, just as was predicted in the dream.



Weird Woman (1944), one of Universal Pictures' Inner Sanctum Mystery entries, stars one of the best-known actors in "B" horror and mystery genre films of the 1940s, Lon Chaney Jr. The story focuses on Norman Reed (Chaney), a professor of ethnology at Monroe College; Paula Reed (Anne Gwynne), his wife; and their problems with antagonist Ilona Carr (Evelyn Ankers), the college's librarian.

Ilona expected to become Mrs. Reed when Norman returned from a research trip to "the islands," but is distressed and embarrassed when he arrives back on campus with Paula, his new bride. Ilona, angered by Norman's rejection, begins a campaign to destroy the newlyweds. She convinces Evelyn Sawtelle (Elizabeth Russell), wife of Professor Millard Sawtelle (Ralph Morgan), that Paula - with her "witchcraft and island magic" - is a "wife witch" and will prevent her husband from being appointed chair of the Sociology Department, a position for which Millard and Norman are candidates.

Millard's new book has just been published, and Ilona informs the professor that Norman will soon disclose the book is plagiarized from a student's thesis. According to Ilona, Norman plans to disgrace Millard in order to obtain the vacant chairmanship. It is Ilona, however, who discovered Millard's plagiarism; Norman is unaware of Millard's misuse of the student's paper.

Millard commits suicide rather than face academic disgrace, and Ilona assures Evelyn that Paula and Norman are responsible for her husband's death. Ilona also manages to arouse the ire and jealousy of the boyfriend of Norman's student worker; the irate young man decides to shoot Norman, but the plan goes awry. As he struggles with Norman, the young man is wounded when the pistol discharges and he dies several days later in a hospital.

When Norman finally deduces that Ilona is the scheming troublemaker, he develops a plan (with assistance from Evelyn) to expose Ilona. Fearing a prediction of the evildoer's death that Evelyn supposedly received from Millard in a dream, Ilona admits her guilt. When she realizes that she has been tricked into a confession, Ilona bolts out a second story window and (as she runs across a lattice cover), the wood breaks and Ilona falls, only to have the vines wrap around her neck, hanging her at the precise time of the prediction.

Ilona, an attractive young blonde (ringlet curl bang; pompadour front; bun at nape) is stylishly clothed in dresses, modish suits, and formal evening attire throughout the film. She fails to project visual characteristics of the stereotype; the costume jewelry that she wears in most scenes is as outlandish as that worn by Maisie in Maisie Was a Lady (1941).

Three scenes occur in the library and Ilona's office, which opens into the library. As in Gentlemen Are Born (1934), the sets are minimal. Visible in the library are a small study table with two chairs; two walls of built-in shelving with books; a tall ladder; a dictionary stand with an unabridged dictionary; and on a third wall, a large world map hanging above a small display table with books. The door to Ilona's office is next to the wall map; the office contains a desk and chair, one visitor's chair, three vertical file drawers, a hat rack, a vase stand with plant, and a small four-shelf glass enclosed bookcase. Ilona's office appears to be almost as large as the library, which is drastically inadequate for any college but (for cinematic purposes) establishes the illusion of a library.

Earlier librarians worked toward improving their own positions in life. The sheer mean-spirited, calculating, and jealousy-driven personality of Ilona is unique to reel librarians. Ilona directs her energies toward ruining the lives of Norman and Paula; her passion to destroy Norman is an unrelenting obsession. To ensure Norman's downfall, she designs and executes a dastardly plan. She repeatedly lies to Evelyn and to Millard, resulting in the professor's suicide. She gleefully utters innuendoes and insinuations about Norman to the boyfriend of his student worker, resulting in the death of the young man. Ilona demonstrates that deceit can be masterfully exercised by reel librarians. Filmgoers undoubtedly believed that Ilona's misdeed justified her death, a fitting end to an evildoer.

No comments:

Post a Comment