The World of Universal!
In this undertaking I wanted to say I have the utmost respect for these films and artists. These fine people who made art that has entertained generations.
My first Universal pick is One of my Favorites.
Dracula (Feb. 14, 1931) I never drink wine!
Director: Tod Browning
Actors or a cast worth mentioning:
Bela Lugosi....Count Dracula
Helen Chandler...Mina Harker
David Manners...John Harker
Edward Van Sloan...€Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston....Dr. Jack Seward
Frances Dade.... Lucy Weston
Joan Standing... Briggs (Nurse)
Charles K. Gerrard.... Martin (as himself)
What can I say about this film. Dracula was going to be a silent film, but some 15 years later with development, became a beautiful film with stellar performances. With a strong story line and great direction from a distraught Tod Browning (from the death of his friend Lon Chaney Sr.) Universal took this movie to historical proportions. Bela Lugosi had already played Dracula on Broadway. Bela took the role for an insultingly low amount of $500 a week. But it was the role he was to be remembered for. Dwight Frye’s performance was intense, making you believe he was under Dracula’s control. (Watch the scene where he talks about the rats.) The set designs were lavish and demand some mention. On the budget, they had sweeping staircases and large dark rooms.
This movie isn’t without its goofs or mistakes!
The scene with Dracula’s brides preying on Renfield you can see them stepping all over their dresses as they back off.
The beginning shot of the castle you can see armadillos. As you know they can only be found here. Also, you see opossum. It was Virginian.
All in all if you haven’t seen this movie, beg, borrow, or just rent it. It’s a great movie to see with kids or just a date movie. It is rated G
Rating system: HA! = Bad - HA! HA! HA! HA! = Best
I give it HA! HA! HA! HA!
This next film states Expression is key Because the main character didn’t utter one word.
Frankenstein (Nov. 21, 1931) Now I know what it’s like to be God!€
Director James Whale
Colin Clive.... Dr. Henry Frankenstein
Mae Clarke.... Elizabeth
John Boles....Victor Mortiz
*Boris Karloff..... The Monster
Edward Van Sloan.... Dr. Waldman
Frederick Kerr.... Baron Frankenstein
*Dwight Frye.... Fritz
Lionel Belmore....Herr Vogel
Marilyn Harris.....Little Maria
Frankenstein has all the earmarks of a true fairytale. It has everything, a mad scientist, a reanimated corpse, and strong morals. (You should never play God!) Jack P. Pierce did a great job coming up with the make-up for the monster. With the hand painted back drops and elaborate sets James Whales had the time and the money to make this film a success. As usual Dwight Frye’s performance as Fritz was intense as (Colin Clive) Dr. Frankenstein’s disfigured sidekick. Even Edward Van Sloan (Van Helsing from Dracula) had a part, he appeared in the prologue as himself warning the audience the movie was too scary for some viewers.
Here are some of their goofs:
The scene where the people enter form the outside of the castle from a hard rain, but when they get inside the are barely wet.
The scene where Fritz is killed and left on a rope, when they pass the door again. NO BODY!?
Take my word for it, Watch This Movie. One of Boris Karloff’s greatest performances. And James Whale’s Masterpiece!
I give this HA! HA! HA! HA!
(Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright!)
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this movie was ahead of its time! Lon Chaney Jr.'s most defining role! Which haunted Lon for the rest of his live. The special effects were top notch for its time. In the transformation scenes, they had to use the frame by frame tech.(adding a little more of the make-up with each frame). Taking place in a fictional world, that had horse and buggy with cars, sweeping hill sides, & even a manor (which was a model). I just love how they incorporated Bela L. as a fortune telling gyspy. The working title was "Destiny". As you know got scraped but the dept. heads! "THANK GOD!!!!! Don't ever think I could see the movie with an different title!
All in all, I thought this movie was good. Love the transformation scenes, the flowing story, and back stories.
Yes, I give this movie: HA HA HA HA!
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Lord Byron: The crudest, savage exhibition of Nature at her worst without, and we three, we elegant three within. I should like to think that an irate Jehovah was pointing those arrows of lightning directly at my head, the unbowed head of George Gordon Lord Byron, England's greatest sinner. But I cannot flatter myself to that extent. Possibly those thunders are for dear Shelley - heaven's applause for England's greatest poet.
Shelley: What of my Mary?
Lord Byron: She is an angel.
Mary: You think so?
Lord Byron: Do you hear? Come, Mary. Come and watch the storm.
Mary: You know how lightning alarms me. Shelley darling, will you please light these candles for me?
Shelley: (laughing) Mary, darling.
Lord Byron: Astonishing creature.
Mary: I, Lord Byron?
Lord Byron: Frightened of thunder, fearful of the dark. And yet you have written a tale that sent my blood into icy creeps.
Mary: (giggling) Ha, ha, ha.
Lord Byron: Look at her Shelley. Can you believe that bland and lovely brow conceived of Frankenstein, a Monster created from cadavers out of rifled graves? Isn't it astonishing?
Mary: I don't know why you should think so. What do you expect? Such an audience needs something stronger than a pretty little love story. So why shouldn't I write of monsters?
Lord Byron: No wonder Murray's refused to publish the book. He says his reading public would be too shocked.
Mary: It will be published, I think.
Shelley: Then, darling, you will have much to answer for.
Yes Guys & Gals, this was the opening for a film that entertained generations! "The monster, Demands a mate"! Was what the posters & advertisements read. This was one of the last movies Boris K. adorn the monster make-up for! Elsa Landchester made not only a beautiful Mary Shelley she also played the Bride! James whales, who is known for his lavish sets and hand painted backdrops, out did himself in this! If you seen Frankenstein you know what I'm talking about! See it!!!!!!!! Well acted, Well written!!!!!
You know I gave this one: HA HA HA HA!!!!