Appleton to celebrate 35th anniversary with a double feature

Martha O’Driscoll (aka Martha Appleton) co-stars as Miliza Morelle in the 1945 film “The House of Dracula,” with John Carradine as Count Dracula.

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Posted October 17, 2022 | Staff report

The College of Central Florida will commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Appleton Museum of Art with Oct. 25 screenings of two vastly different films, but which share in common a connection to Ocala’s premier museum.

One is a B-horror flick in time for Halloween and the other is a classic Danish drama that sinks its teeth into a banquet of haute cuisine and delicious ruminations on altruism and the fortune that comes with having an artistic spirit.

“House of Dracula” (NR, USA, 1945, 67 min.) features the Appleton Museum’s starlet, Martha O’Driscoll Appleton, museum co-founder and wife of Arthur Appleton. The couple founded the museum along with Arthur’s sister, Edith Appleton.

The Hollywood-Ocala icon stars with Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man and John Carradine as the famous vampire. It’s an unintentionally campy B-movie that has all the staples: a creepy house party, frightened guests, a host who opts for blood as his bevy of choice and, for bonus frights, a young man who turns into a growling canine hybrid in the glow of the full moon.

“Babette’s Feast” (G, Denmark, 1987, 102 min.) was released the year the Appleton Museum opened. The Danish classic centers on a French housekeeper who wins a lottery cash prize and spends it on a lavish meal. Over the many courses of her meal, we learn there’s something more to Babette, something that belies the apron and her rank in society, something that confounds her guests, a gathering of pious villagers in 19th-century Denmark.

A personal favorite of Pope Francis and Alton Brown, “Babette’s Feast” won the 1987 Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards and the BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The double feature begins at noon at the Appleton Museum and 5 p.m. at the College of Central Florida, 3001 S.W. College Road. Films at the CF Campus are free and open to the public. Films at the Appleton are free to all museum and film series members; nonmembers pay museum admission.

For a full series list and more information about the Ira Holmes International Film Series, visit