Bride of Frankenstein 1935


Once again seeing Boris Karloff in his element on screen as The Monster always brings on a sense of Halloween.  In this story, our Dr. Frankenstein, played by Colin Clive, wants to be done with the mad scientist business- that is until another evil doctor kidnaps his wife and forces him to make another monster- this time, a woman.

Impressive notables in this film?

Characters Percy Bysshe Shelley (husband to Mary Shelley) and Lord Byron are both present, giving the story a sense of authenticity. One may remember that it was during some travels across Europe with Lord Byron that Mary Shelley originally got her idea for Frankenstein.

Director James Whale, who directed the original Frankenstein and this sequel, finds modern influence in the character of Doctor Whale on Once Upon A Time- who you may remember plays the doctor in the Black and White Frankenstein episode.

In accordance with the Hays Code, the Bride of Frankenstein was forced to cut Elsa Lanchester’s cleavage, a number of excessive murders, and too many references to God.

This film is part of the award winning Universal Monsters DVD collection, make sure to at least watch a few this spooky holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

Dracula


Dracula (1931) features Bela Lugosi, in this early “talkie” film, and quickly brings all that is terrifying to the screen.

Unlike some of the other Dracula films you may have encountered, Lugosi’s Count Dracula succeeds in being alluring and sophisticated first and foremost, strolling the streets of London far more fashionable than anyone else. Of course by the time he encounters our heroine- Mina, he’s already succeeded in killing several people, is the cause of one young man’s stint in the loony bin, and has wiped out an entire ship of men.

What I found made this version of Dracula most interesting, apart from the fact that I couldn’t stop watching it, was all the things you simply didn’t see.

With Professor Van Helsing ( yes the same vampire hunter Hugh Jackman played in a movie of the same name), putting all logic in place to cure their psychotic patient ( bent on eating juicy spiders), there’s simply little than can actually be done when up against Count Dracula. Dracula’s young protégé warns that the doctors will be responsible for whatever happens to our heroine- young Miss Mina. Of course upon Dracula’s arrival, Mina, having already been bitten by the illustrious count, is overwhelmingly taken by him.

The strained playing of violin strings, the pauses between words, and the bursts of light across Dracula’s eyes are enough to make this a thrilling movie to watch in the dark and the one setting the standards for Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera and others to soon take Classic Hollywood by storm.

Watch it on the Internet Archive here Dracula (1931) if you haven’t seen this one yet. The sound of this Dracula was composed by Phillip Glass in 2000 for the restoration. If you have seen The Illusionist, you’re sure to hear the similarities in the music. Enjoy.

 

The Moguls


The Jewish experience in Classic Hollywood would not have been or meant what it means to us today without the foresightedness and influence of the major studio moguls or their families that made their own distant journeys to a little Podunk town called Hollywood. It is because of, or in spite of these men that we have fallen in love with Classic Hollywood and its Films. MGM during Louis B. Mayer’s time was the Cadillac of Studio’s where it was boasted that ‘There were more stars than there are in the heaven’s’. This year is MGM’s 90th Anniversary.Thanks for persevering Guys…
Columbia: Harry Cohn Born NYC July 23, 1891–Died February 27, 1958, his father was a Jewish tailor his mother a Polish emigrant.
David O. Selznik Productions: David O. Selznik was born May 10, 1902 in Pittsburgh PA-Died June 22, 1965. His father Lewis J. Selznick was Jewish born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1870 and migrated because of persecution to London, England at age ten then on to the United States. His early beginnings were at Fort Lee, New Jersey where he became a Silent Film Producer.
MGM: Louis B. Mayer: born July 12, 1884 in Kiev, Ukraine, died in October 29, 1957. In 1886 because of Jewish persecution his parents fled to Canada where Louis was raised. Louis had a very tough life growing up. MGM was the cream of the crop in studios and Louis B’s pictures depicted life in America as he envisioned it to be.
Paramount: Adolf Zukor Born January 7, 1873 in Riese Hungary died June 10, 1976. His Jewish father died when Adolf was one year old, his mother when he was seven. He migrated to NYC when he was sixteen years old.
RKO: David Sarnoff, Born February 27, 1891 in Uzlian, Russia, Died December 12, 1971. His father migrated to NYC in 1896. In July 1900 David along with his mother and two siblings arrived in NYC to reunite with his father.
Samuel Goldwyn Productions: Samuel Goldwyn was born August 17, 1879 in the Jewish section of Warsaw, Poland he made his way to England in 1895 and made it the U.S. in 1898.
Twentieth Century Fox: Darryl Zanuck born on September 5, 1902 in Wahoo, Nebraska abandoned by parents at age 13, joined the army at age 15 and fought in Belgium in WWI.
Universal: Founder Carl Laemmle born 1867 Laupheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany he died September 25, 1939. On a one way ticket from Germany in 1884 he arrived in NYC. He was President of Universal during the Silent Film era in 1915. His son Carl Laemmle Jr. was born on April 28, 1908 in Chicago, Illinois, he died in September 24, 1979. Jr. was in charge of production at Universal from 1928-1936. Junior the son of a Jewish immigrant helped hundreds of Jewish refugees escape from the intolerance of Hitler’s Europe.
Warner Brothers: Jack L. Warner was born on August 2, 1892 in Ontario, Canada. He died September 9, 1978. He and his brothers (Harry, Albert, and Sam) founded Warner Brothers in 1923. Because of the harassment of Jews from Russian police, Jack’s father Benjamin Warner emigrated from Warsaw, Poland in 1879 on a cattle boat to Baltimore, Maryland. Jack’s mother followed a year later with Jack’s two older siblings. His father moved the family to Ontario Canada on a business venture in 1892 where Jack was born. Warner Brothers was one of the first Studio’s to release an anti-Nazi film Confessions of a Nazi Spy in 1939.

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