Great Moments in Cinema: The Purple Guinea Pig in Twice-Told Tales

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I’d like to believe that with Vincent Price films, what you see is intended to be taken literally, without a hint of irony or camp. Thus it is that we are expected to recoil in horror as Doctor Rappaccini, played by Price himself in his Twice-Told Tales (USA, 1963) injects a guinea pig with a poisonous concoction.

Guinea Pig in Trouble

So far so good—lots of smoke and a twitching guinea pig model. Convincingly scary as a concept played with a bit of subtlety. But then, alas, it turns purple.

Guinea Pig in Purple

See, because it was poisoned, it turned . . . oh, nevermind.

With any luck, once you stop laughing you’ll turn to the source material for this portion of Twice-Told Tales, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Not much laughter there, and also no guinea pig.

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