THE MAZE (1953) was part of the 1950s 3-D craze. Directed by William Cameron Menzies, production designer for GONE WITH THE WIND and director of INVADERS FROM MARS brings his sharp eye for composition and detail to create a moody, atmospheric Gothic tale that plays well in either 2-D or 3-D. The reconstructed stereophonic soundtrack for this restoration is spectacular. The climax often has audience members laughing but not one second sooner in this engrossing mystery/chiller.
The hero of The Maze turns out to be a giant frog, but that's hardly the most unbelievable aspect of this one-of-a-kind melodrama. It all begins when Scotsman Gerald McTeam (Richard Carlson) is called away to his ancestral mansion just before his marriage to Kitty (Veronica Hurst). Several weeks pass before it dawns on Kitty and her aunt Mrs. Murray (Katherine Emery, who narrates the film) that Gerald may not be coming back. The two women head to the mansion, where Gerald refuses to see them. The household servants likewise refuse access to Kitty and her aunt, but the two women intend to get to the bottom of the mystery, the solution of which seems to be somewhere in the huge maze in the rear of the castle. And that's all that can be revealed without giving the game away. Lensed in 3D, The Maze was one of two fascinating fantasy films directed in 1953 by production designer William Cameron Menzies: the other was Invaders from Mars. Hal Erickson, Rovi