Continuing my Halloween historical series, I’m going way back to a favorite from my youth The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975). This is an actually good movie with excellent performances, a solid script, and even pretty decent historical costumes for ’70s TV.
Elizabeth Montgomery Is Related to Her Character
Yep, Montgomery and Lizzie Borden are sixth cousins once removed. Between that and having played a witch on Bewitched from 1964-1972, she had some spooky cred.
The Irish Maid Is Played by an Irish Actress
Irish Fionnula Flanagan plays the Borden’s maid, Bridget Sullivan, who was originally from Ireland. There’s some historical accuracy for ya.
The Costumes Won an Emmy
Costume designer Guy C. Verhille was presented with an Emmy Award in 1975 for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for this TV movie. He was up against Bob Mackie for the Cher show, among others!
A Movie Costume Is Displayed at the Lizzie Borden House
One dress from this movie has been on display at the real house for many years. This house is today the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, which has historical displays, and yes, you can sleep in the very guest room where Mrs. Borden was found murdered.
The Murder Theory in This Movie Is Influential
While it didn’t invent the idea, The Legend of Lizzie Borden did popularize the idea that Lizzie murdered her parents while nude so she didn’t get as much blood on her clothes. That’s obviously a sensational and very filmic idea, though for a 1970s broadcast TV show, all that was seen was Elizabeth Montgomery from the shoulders up. A more recent film gets more explicit. Come back next Friday for that…
Have you seen The Legend of Lizzie Borden?