Blue Blood – UK, 1973

Blue Blood Oliver Reed Longleat

Blue Blood – also known as Blueblood – is a 1973 British psychological drama film directed by Andrew Sinclair. It stars Oliver ReedFiona Lewis (Dr. Phibes Rises Again; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Strange Behavior), Derek Jacobi, Anna Gaël (Dracula and Son) and Meg Wynn Owen.

The film is based on the novel The Carry-Cot by Alexander Thynn – subsequently reissued by Star Books as Blue Blood to tie-in with the film’s release – and was shot on location at Longleat House in Wiltshire. In Italy, the film was cheekily promoted as a sequel to The Devils.

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A debauched young aristocrat (Derek Jacobi) entrusts the running of his country house to Tom, the butler (Oliver Reed), on whom he depends absolutely.

Before long the servant begins to dominate his master, to the alarm of the newly hired German nanny (Wynn Owen) who senses sinister, demonic intent in Tom’s control of the house…

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Blue Blood Fiona Lewis Meg Wynn Owen

Reviews:

“It really doesn’t contain enough sex, horror or weirdness to be entertaining for the most part but is made satisfying by Oliver Reed, who chews scenery and exudes power in every scene he is in. Fiona Lewis is at her icy best as the often absent lady of the estate who is indifferent towards her husband so long as the riches stay in her name.” Sinful Celluloid

Oliver Reed in Blue Blood 1973

Oliver Reed Satanic ritual in Blue Blood

“Pointing back to The Servant and forward to The Grotesque, the film unclothes Fiona Lewis at regular intervals but has nothing to recommend it other than Harry Waxman’s luscious photography of its Longleat House location.” Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic (2015)

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“Oliver Reed almost transcends the foolishness and hamminess of the enterprise by playing to the hilt – bull-necked, gimlet-eyed, and moving with a strange reptilian menace – one of the most physically repellant of screen villains.” Richard Combs, BFI Monthly Film Bulletin (January 1975)

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Blue Blood VHS cover

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Cast and characters:

  • Oliver Reed as Tom
  • Fiona Lewis as Lily
  • Derek Jacobi as Gregory
  • Anna Gaël as Carlotta
  • Meg Wynn Owen as Beate
  • John Rainer as Clurman
  • Richard Davies as Jones
  • Gwyneth Owen as Agnes
  • Patrick Carter as Cocky
  • Elaine Ives-Cameron as Serena
  • Tim Wylton as Morrell
  • Hubert Rees as Dr. Barratt
  • Dilys Price as Mrs. Barratt
  • Andrew McCall as Gerrard
  • Sally Anne Newton as Susannah

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