Norman Thaddeus Vane

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Norman Thaddeus Vane
Born (1928-07-07)July 7, 1928
Brookhaven, New York
Died May 2, 2015(2015-05-02) (aged 86)
Hollywood, California
Other names Norman T. Vane
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, and producer

Norman Thaddeus Vane (July 7, 1928 – May 2, 2015) was a screenwriter, producer, playwright and film director. He served as writer for the 1968 film Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter, and in the subsequent year was writer and associate producer of the movie Lola. He wrote the screenplay for the 1972 film, 1931: Once Upon a Time in New York. Vane went on to direct the 1983 film, Frightmare, and continue contributing to writing films including The Black Room in 1984.


Vane's first play, "The Penguin", opened Off-Broadway in 1952 starring Martin Landau, to stellar reviews. His Broadway debut, "Harbor Lights", ran for only four performances. Vane spent most of the 1960s and early 1970s in London, where he wrote and directed his first two films, "Conscience Bay" and "The Fledglings"; ran two nightclubs, including Esmeralda's Barn, which was eventually sold to the British gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray; and was a regular contributor to Penthouse Magazine. In the mid-1960s, he married Sarah Caldwell, then 16 years old, and later cast her in the 1968 film Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter. He was writer and associate producer of the 1969 movie Lola, starring Charles Bronson which was based loosely on his marriage to Caldwell. (The two divorced by the late 1960s.) [1]

He wrote the screenplay for the 1972 mafia film, 1931: Once Upon a Time in New York. In 1976, Vane wrote the screenplay and story for the film Shadow of the Hawk, starring Jan-Michael Vincent and Marilyn Hassett.[2][3] He served as director and screenwriter of the 1983 film Frightmare,[2] starring Ferdy Mayne.[4] The film included satirical references to the 1931 film Dracula.[5] Vane was writer and director[citation needed] of the 1984 film The Black Room, starring Cassandra Gaviola.[5]

Vane wrote, directed and produced the film Club Life, which starred Tony Curtis, Dee Wallace, and Michael Parks.[6][7] Vane's directing in Club Life received positive reception, with Lou Lumenick of The Record writing, "writer-director Norman Thaddeus Vane keeps a firm narrative grip on the proceedings, packing 14 musical numbers and three major fight sequences into its taut, 90-minute running time."[8] Vane's work on the film received a more critical reception from Ernest Tucker in the Chicago Sun-Times, writing, "'Club Life' is like watching Dante's Inferno written on an Etch-a-Sketch. This vision comes from writer-director Norman Thaddeus Vane, whose 'Frightmare' film earned solid marks in the horror genre."[9] He was writer and director of the 1989 film Midnight;[2] the film is also known by the title Midnight for Morticia.[10] Vane produced the film with Gloria J. Morrison.[11] It starred Tony Curtis, Rita Gam, Frank Gorshin, Wolfman Jack, Kathleen Kinmont, and Lynn Redgrave.[10] According to Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, following the video publication of the film a director's cut was featured in "theatrical showings".[12] Vane produced and directed the film Taxi Dancers, about a woman's adventures as a taxi dancer.[13] The film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.[13] In a review of the film for Daily Variety, critic Leonard Klady wrote, "Writer/director/producer Norman Thaddeus Vane encourages a shrill acting style reminiscent of 1950s expose features."[14] His final film, "You're So Dead", was never distributed.

He died on May 2, 2015, from heart failure at age 86.[15]



Year Film Role
1960 Conscience Bay Writer, editor, producer, director
1968 Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter Writer
1969 Lola Writer, associate producer
1972 1931: Once Upon a Time in New York Writer
1976 Shadow of the Hawk Writer
1979 Dracula Sucks Second unit director
1983 Frightmare Writer, director
1984 The Black Room Writer
1986 Club Life Writer, director, producer
1989 Midnight Writer, director, producer
1993 Taxi Dancers Writer, director, producer
2007 You're So Dead Writer, director, producer


Year Title Role Notes
1957 Kraft Television Theatre Writer Ponds Theatre, Episode 1.92: "Collision"
1974 The Evil Touch Writer Episode 1.25: "They"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weisberg, Sam. "Enviable Debauchery: Interview with Norman Thaddeus Vane". Hidden Films. Retrieved Jan 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Young, R. G. (2000). The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies. Applause Books. pp. 232, 559. ISBN 1-55783-269-2. 
  3. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (2010). Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1982. McFarland. p. 210. ISBN 0-7864-4447-9. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Staci Layne (2007). 50 Years of Ghost Movies. Running Free Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-9675185-2-0. 
  5. ^ a b Willis, Donald C. (1995). Horror and Science Fiction Films III (1981–1983). The Scarecrow Press. pp. 25, 106. ISBN 0-8108-1723-3. 
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (3 April 1987). "Film: 'Club Life'". The New York Times. p. C9. 
  7. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2008). Guida ai film 2009 (in Italian). B.C. Dalai. p. 431. ISBN 88-6018-163-1. 
  8. ^ Lumenick, Lou (3 April 1987). "'Club Life': Jerseyans take on Tinseltown". The Record. Bergen Record Corp. p. 25. 
  9. ^ Tucker, Ernest (27 April 1987). "Blunt and boring 'Club Life' offers little adult appeal". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 35. 
  10. ^ a b Harris, J. P. (2002). Time Capsule: Reviews of Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films and TV Shows from 1987–1991. IUniverse. p. 149. ISBN 0-595-21336-7. 
  11. ^ Coto, Juan Carlos (12 September 1989). "Don't stay up for Midnight". The Miami Herald. p. 7C. 
  12. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2008). Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. Plume. p. 905. ISBN 0-452-28978-5. 
  13. ^ a b "What's for sale at market". Variety. 15 May 1994. p. C16. 
  14. ^ Klady, Leonard (11 March 1993). "Taxi Dancer". Daily Variety. 
  15. ^ Weisberg, Sam. "Norman Thaddeus Vane Dead: 'Frightmare' Director Was 86". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 

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