Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dark Mansions

"Dark Mansions" (1986) is an ABC made for TV movie starring , , , and that is a Gothic thriller / soap opera brought to you by Aaron Spelling Productions.

The Drake family runs a large shipping business in Seattle, Washington.  They live on the picturesque Drake Point just north of Seattle.  Drake Point has two family mansions that loom over the crashing ocean.  Shellane Victor (Purl) is hired by matriarch Margaret Drake (Fontaine) to be her secretary and write the family memoirs.  On the day of her arrival the family learns that the patriarch has died after the family was out testing a boat in a thunderstorm.  There are two sons that run the family business, Jason (York) & Phillip (Shenar) and their families live in the two mansions.  All is not well between the brothers and the families as there is constant bickering over the family business.

It turns out, Shellane is the spitting image of Jason's recently deceased wife, Yvette.  The family takes a liking to Shellane and start telling her the family secrets.  What she is really interested in is discovering the truth behind the death of Yvette.  Each family member has a different tale of what happened the day she fell, jumped or was pushed off the bluffs on a picnic on the family estate.  Noelle (Anderson), Phillip's daughter, was blinded after witnessing the death of Yvette and she now seems to have a sixth sense and is also trying to find the truth and help her family.

The family fights, intrigue, secret romances and the mystery behind the death of Yvette make for an interesting story set in a beautiful old mansion.  The music is very dramatic and the almost constant thunder and lightning storms at night add to the tension and mood.  This is a great escape movie for a rainy afternoon or evening.

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