The Black Candle: Rating: 2 stars

People could be happy, if only Nathaniel Parker would piss off, but he just won’t, and so they aren’t.

The Black Candle (1991)
Reviewed May 11, 2009

If you’re going to read a Victorian potboiler/romance novel, it might as well be one of Catherine Cookson’s — she writes well, her characters are interesting, and you’re rarely bored as you read. The same does not go onscreen, apparently; I’m sure I’ve seen some good adaptations of her novels over the years, but The Black Candle isn’t one of them. Not for want of trying, of course; Nathaniel Parker (yum) is deliciously eeeevil as the rakish young lord of the manor, and Tara Fitzgerald runs the gamut from bimbo to bitter with great flair. Everyone else seemed off, though, and the plot was entirely predictable, yet seemed too sprawling to fit into a two-hour run. High points: Nathaniel Parker, Nathaniel Parker, Tara Fitzgerald getting her skirts disarranged during a fight scene and thus giving the camera a good long view of her knee pad (…why, what did you think she exposed?), Nathaniel Parker. Low points: everything else.