|Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (2012)|
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Collinsport, Maine, USA
Mistress of Collinwood, owner of Collinwood Canning Company
Roger Collins (brother)
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Elizabeth Collins Stoddard is the formidable matriarch of the Collins family in 1972. She is portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer.
By the time of 1972, Elizabeth is dealing with the continued decay of the Collins Canning Company, severe financial problems, her rebellious daughter Carolyn, her basically-useless brother Roger, and her young nephew David, who believes he can communicate with the spirit of his late mother. Concerned that David is unable to cope with his mother's sudden death, Elizabeth hires a live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman, to stay with them for a month and help David accept his mother's passing. Dr. Hoffman ends up staying for three years.
After a string of David's governesses quit, Elizabeth accepts the application of Victoria Winters. During the interview, Elizabeth asks Victoria questions about the president, the Vietnam war, and feminism. She is pleased with Victoria's artfully oblique answers and welcomes her to the family, possibly indicating that Elizabeth is wary of adding someone to the household who is overly opinionated on such subjects.
One evening, she catches Carolyn and David talking to a strange pale man who has barged into their home as if he owns the place. Understandably suspicious, she orders the children to get away from him before taking him to her office. Thinking him to be yet another conman claiming to be able to free the Collinses from their so-called "family curse" in exchange for a large sum of money, she surreptitiously holds a dagger-like letter opener behind her back, just in case. However, the man instead claims to be Barnabas Collins, an ancestor born in the eighteenth century. Of course, Elizabeth is extremely doubtful. But she is forced to admit that no one knows how exactly Barnabas died and is impressed that the man knows about various secret compartments in the manor. But she is at last convinced that Barnabas is who he says he is when he unlocks a secret passageway that she herself never knew about. She is amazed to find that it leads to a sizable treasure trove, which Barnabas assures her he intends to use to restore the Collins family fortunes.
However, if Barnabas is truly her ancestor, he must be over two hundred years old. And indeed, he explains that he is no longer human; he has been cursed with vampirism. He is greatly greived by his situation, and assures her with the utmost sincerity that he will not harm anyone in the Collins family. Stunned with disbelief, Elizabeth is nonetheless unable to deny the truth of his statements, nor the fact that he possesses knowledge that only the real Barnabas Collins would know. She accepts him into the family on one condition: both the hidden wealth and his vampirism are to remain secrets between the two of them.
Elizabeth introduces Barnabas to the other residents of Collinwood as a distant relative from England. However, during Barnabas's first meal with the family, it becomes clear that Elizabeth is far more concerned than he is about keeping his curse a secret. Whenever he says something odd, such as claiming that the touch of silver would burn him, Elizabeth quickly tries to provide a rational explanation.
To Elizabeth's distaste, Collinwood is soon visited by Angie Bouchard, the owner of Angel Bay Seafood- the very company that is driving the Collins out of business. Angie claims she is visiting on behalf of the town to welcome their newest resident, Barnabas, who soon comes down to the foyer to meet their visitor. After meeting privately with Angie, an alarmed Barnabas informs Elizabeth that Angie is none other than Angelique, the witch who cursed him into being a vampire in the first place. They were once lovers, but ultimately, Barnabas realized he did not truly love Angelique; he loved another woman named Josette DuPres. Consumed with heartbroken jealousy, Angelique used her talents in witchcraft to curse him with vampirism as well as murder his parents and Josette.
Elizabeth had always suspected that there was something dark about Angie, but is surprised to learn that the woman is a witch. When Barnabas is overcome with despair at everything that Angelique took from him, Elizabeth comforts him, reminding him that no matter what was thrown his way, he endured it all with dignity. She urges him to keep fighting, and, encouraged, Barnabas is inspired to restore Collinwood and the fishery to their former glory. With help from Barnabas's efforts, Elizabeth proudly reopens the Collins Canning Company in no time.
Soon after the reopening, Julia Hoffman bursts into Elizabeth's office in a horrified panic. Having placed Barnabas under hypnosis, she discovered that he is a centuries-old vampire, that he murdered several people in town, and that Elizabeth knew about it the whole time. Elizabeth calms her down, persuading her not to go to the authorities and encouraging her to merely be fascinated with the opportunity of studying a real vampire. She suggests that if Julia has any ounce of love or respect for the Collins family, she'll keep the secret.
The next day, Barnabas declares that they must host a ball- or as Carolyn corrects him, a "happening". The whole family seems enthusiastic about the idea, and they even get a large mirror ball and hire Alice Cooper to perform. Carolyn is even allowed to get onstage and speak the introductory words of "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" for Alice Cooper. She seems to direct the song's question about a father's whereabouts specifically at her mother, who is not amused.
Sometime later, Barnabas reports to Elizabeth that he caught her brother Roger having an affair with the coat-check girl during the happening and trying to discover the treasure trove for his own selfish gains. Barnabas tells her that he gave Roger an ultimatum: devote his life to becoming a better father to David, or leave Collinwood forever with a small sum of money. Roger chooses the latter option. Elizabeth solemnly sees him off with Barnabas and David, wincing in compassion when the little boy breaks down in tears. As David runs off, the mirror ball suddenly crashes to the ground and nearly kills him. Luckily Barnabas is able to push him out of the way, but stands directly in the sunlight in the process. Barnabas bursts into flames in front of everyone, revealing him to be a vampire. Handyman Willie Loomis douses him before he's seriously injured, but the damage is nevertheless done.
In the climactic battle between the witch Angelique Bouchard and the Collins clan, the family business is burned and the conflict moves to Collinwood, with Angelique at the head of an angry mob of townspeople. Elizabeth comes to Barnabas' aid against his longtime nemesis with a shotgun and repeatedly blasts "Angie," but to minimal effect. In retaliation, Angelique uses her magical abilities to bring Collinwood itself into the attack against Elizabeth and the others. Portraits leak blood, banisters become serpents, and carved images spring to life against the Collinses.
In the course of this special-effects-laden domestic battle, which ends with Collinwood aflame but Angelique ultimately defeated, Elizabeth is horrified to learn that her daughter Carolyn has also been cursed by Angelique, as a werewolf, and that her deceased sister-in-law (David's mother), Laura Collins, also had been killed as a result of Angelique's curse on the family.
As Collinwood burns behind the family in Elizabeth's final scene in the film, she is asked what the family will do now. She proclaims, "We'll do what we have always done ... We will endure."
- Two of Elizabeth's hobbies are alluded to in the film: Macrame and badminton. In at least one scene, she wears macrame earrings, and two of the smaller secret rooms built off the drawing room are revealed to serve as storage for her finished macrame projects and her badminton racquets and gear.
- In a previous motion picture, Wolf, Michelle Pfeiffer played a werewolf. She was also a big fan of the original series.
- She is the only character to handily on using a weapon.