Thursday, September 3, 2009

Carol Lynley & Jamie Lee Curtis; The Princesses of 70s Horror

Following my post about the queen of 70s horror, I'm giving you two more wonderful 70s horror actresses to follow, as I call them, "The Princesses of 70s Horror."

Carol Lynley,67 years old.

“Weekend of Terror”
“Beware! The Blob”
“The Poseidon Adventure”
“The Elevator”
“Death Stalk”
“The Shuttered Room”

Night Stalker
Night Gallery
The Sixth Sense
Great Mysteries
The Magician
The Evil Touch
Quincy, M.E.
Fantasy Island
The Love Boat

Carol Lynley is the second woman I think of when I recall 70s horror movies (just after the “Queen” Pamela Franklin - in my last post). Whereas Franklin was intense in the 70s, Carol was also into the 60s horror, spilling into the 70s decade. She, too, had the huge blue eyes and delicate features that made her seem quite child-like. She was the ideal candidate for movies about women being stalked and tormented because of her extremely feminine and delicate manners and cultured speaking voice being an ideal counterpoint to a rough and angry male character. One of my favorite horror movies for made-for-tv was “The Shuttered Room” from 1967. Admittedly, it was no hit when television aired it and was easily overlooked. In fact, I never saw it until it was reshown well into the 70s. Although I admit to an intense crush on one of the leads in this movie (Oliver Reed), the setting, the plot, and the ambiance of this movie was such that it became one of my favorites. Whenever I feel like a movie with a spooky house, strange locals on a New England isolated island, and maybe the suave Gig Young, this is the movie for me.

Jamie Lee Curtis, 50 years old

“Halloween II”
“The Fog”
“Prom Night”
“Terror Train”
“Escape from New York”

Quincy, M.E.
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Series
Charlie’s Angels
The Love Boat

Whereas Ms. Lynley was from the 60/70s horror (suspense/disaster) era, Ms. Curtis was part of the 70s/80s (stalker/slasher) horror era. She’s probably the single most recognized 70s horror actress of all time. Anyone should be proud of that title alone, but admittedly she went on to do an impressive body of work (many of them without screaming or running away, well, except maybe "True Lies."). Once again, her appeal was one of an innocent good girl who gets put into a bad situation and has to find her inner warrior woman. She'll always be remembered as Laurie Strode from "Halloween," but I personally liked Ms. Curtis best in "Prom Night."

Both of these women have left an impressive trail of horror from the 70s that will withstand the test of time as classic works that started the genre into the mega-industry it is today.


  1. both of these ladies I know, and now that you bring them up I'm surprised to find that they're "princesses" of the horror film genre in your eyes. After reading both of your posts, I can see how Franklin, Lynley and Curtis could all be considered queens of the respective decades when they reigned. Adrienne Barbeau I could see as a princess though....

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  3. The Halloween Movies have been playing recently. It's fun to have them on when I'm painting gets me in the spirit! It's that unforgetable music! :)

  4. Too many spelling errors so I deleted the last comment and decided to repost. My head is so clogged up from allergies that I can't think straight.
    Now here are a couple of well known names. I have seen almost all the movies in their lists. Carol Lynley for me will be most remembered for The Posiden Adventure. I have not only seen Jamie Lee in most of her horror flicks but many others as well. I really like her. Her and I are the same age and still look fabulous at 50. I'm just a month older.

  5. Courtney;
    I had thought of breaking them up into their own decades, but some are just simply built for horror and didn't do well at other genres and Pamela is one of those. Carol and Jamie both did pretty well in lots of other genres. They all made box office in the 70s, but truly the one who was made for the 70s gothic/British horror genre was Pamela. I'm glad you mentioned Adrienne Barbeau. I was going to lump her together with Karen Black in a special category. You're on top of this and know your genre--congrats!

    I've seen pic's of you and I can't believe you're Jamie's age. No offense to Jamie, but she really aged a lot when she went totally gray and whacked off her hair and started doing yogurt/intestinal regulation commercials. I guess it's easy money at her age, she can kick back and do ads. I personally wanted a follow-up to "True Lies" out of her to inspire us middle-aged women body-wise with another bra and panty dance, but I doubt she'd do it.

  6. Oh, I loved Carol Lynley too! This is so nostalgic for me. I feel like watching these old 70's movies again.

  7. Ah! Great reasoning, Autumnforest. I knew there must be a method to your madness. I just didn't get it at first!! =)