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S2E51: “Return To The Castle Of Horror”


Welcome to our return visit to the Castle Of Horror! Movie producer, director, writer and actor William Castle was one of the very first film makers who saw their own brand – understood what it was – and then bent movie-making toward themselves. Like Alfred Hitchcock – some critics called Castle a poor man’s Hitchcock – Castle understood that he had a brand to begin with – and that brand was, in large part, him.

Castle started in the theater. Even there, he implicitly understood that regardless of what people actually say about you, it’s always better to be talked about than not talked about.  Early in his career, while producing a play about Nazis, he secretly wrecked the theater lobby and painted swastikas all over then insisted that actual Nazis had done the deed.

For the record, Castle got away with it!

Show biz, Castle understood, is a biz, but it’s the biz of show – and he was all about the show. An accomplished director at Columbia Pictures in the 40’s, Castle produced Orson Welles’ “Lady From Shanghai”. Welles was another giant talent who understand branding before branding was a thing. 

Welles rubbed off on Castle; after working with Welles, Castle went full impresario.

Castle didn’t rely on a star cast to put bottoms in movie seats. He relied on himself and his own fertile imagination. Each and every outside-the-box accomplishment put Castle himself front and center. Fortunately, he relished being there.

But, Castle was even more than all that! Throw “great dad” into the mix. Of all Terry Castle’s memories of her dad, that’s the biggest. That he was a great dad.

If you’ve never met William Castle before, you’re in luck!

If you have met him before – even if it was here – you’re still in luck! A return to the Castle Of Horror is absolutely worth your while.

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