Our Kickstarter campaign has received $74,000 from over 2,000 backers! TV Tropes 2.0 is coming. There is no stopping it now. We have 4 days left. At $75K we can also develop an API and at $100K the tropes web series will be produced. View the project here and discuss here.
A 1973 comedic horror film starring Vincent Price, regarded as one of his personal favorites. Also stars Diana Rigg.Years prior to the start of the film, Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) was one of the self-styled stars of the Shakespearean stage, decidedly unloved by the critics of various papers. His performances in his final year, though playing to packed theatres, were panned at each and every opportunity, until finally they unanimously gave the Critics' Award to a new, uprising actor. This pushed Lionheart to the depths of despair, and in a singular act, he ended it all, jumping off a building while clutching the award which he felt was rightfully his.The film opens with one of these critics being informed that a number of vagrants have begun squatting on a condemned building of his. Despite being warned by his wife that she had a dream of a pack of lions descending upon him, and the horoscope (for March 15th) claiming that it wasn't a good idea to be incautious, he runs off to the building, where he's confronted by the same vagrants who he was about to forcibly remove - and stabbed twenty two times, while the local constabulary looks on.The perpetrator, of course, is Lionheart, who - having survived his suicide attempt, thanks to a kindly bunch of methanol-drinking homeless chaps - has decided to revisit his last run in the theater... and provide a very special command performance for each of the critics in turn.In 2005, a stage adaptation was produced in London by the British company Improbable, starring Jim Broadbent as Lionheart and Rachel Stirling (Diana Rigg's daughter) as Edwina (renamed Miranda).
Fate Worse Than Death: The aforementioned Crazy Jealous Guy goes to jail 'til the end of his days, having killed his wife. (It's implied, though, that his age and health won't let him survive prison for long.note In a particularly sad example of Reality Subtext, Jack Hawkins, who played Psaltery, died about three months after the film's initial release.)
Jerkass: Each and every one of the critics, who mock Lionheart and his daughter whilst they are in the room, proceed to mock Lionheart's death, and really don't seem to care much for each other. When the first critic is murdered, one of them remarks that they've finally a headline, not a byline. Even Devlin, largely the Only Sane Man of the critics, refuses to admit to Lionheart's genius when his life depends on it, and openly mocks Lionheart when he dies for real.
Large Ham: Oh, yes. One can tell that Price had far too much fun throughout the movie. One critic describes one of Lionheart's performances as putting him in mind of a ham sandwich. (And Lionheart's reaction to that line is just precious.)
Same Language Dub: Jack Hawkins (Solomon Psaltery) had to be dubbed by an uncredited Charles Gray as his larynx had been removed in 1966 following throat cancer (which makes the fact that he was still acting— with dubbed voices— all the way up to 1973 rather remarkable!).
Shoutout To Shakespeare: Every death is staged to re-enact a famous play by the Bard. It helps (or hurts) that Lionheart desired to be known as a Shakespearean actor.
Soundtrack Dissonance: A lovely, calming theme plays while Lionheart and his main flunky surgically remove one critic's head.
Stealth Pun: Inspector Boot notes that one of the murders in Titus Andronicus involves "an old queen" being forced to eat her children baked in a pie. When Lionheart re-enacts this scene, he chooses the Camp Gay Merridew for his victim.
Straw Critic: The critics are generally this, although their reviews of Lionheart appear to have been pretty accurate.
The film implies that Lionheart might be Critic-Proof, as his theatrical productions generally draw audiences (he doesn't seem So Bad, It's Good).
Sweet Polly Oliver: Lionheart's lead henchman with the hippy glasses, afro, and beard is actually his daughter Edwina in disguise.
Tempting Fate: "Oh, there's only three of us left, surely the might of the British police force can protect us all."
Too Dumb to Live: Despite knowing that there's a murderer out there who's following Lionheart's last season on stage, one decides to go into a wine tasting, asking the officer to wait outside. It gets even more foolish from there.