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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bela Lugosi, , Bram Stoker, , Dracula, , , , horror movies, Lon Chaney Jr., Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, Vincent Price, Vlad the Impaler   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: NOT JUST BAD, BUT HORROR-ABLE ACTORS 

    November 8 is an especially appropriate day to unveil this post. Why? Because it’s the birthday of both VLAD DRACUL and BRAM STOKER, author of DRACULA, the famous horror novel “inspired” by the lore of Vlad Dracul — badder known as Vlad the Impaler (for badder details, click links below — the second of which is not for the squeamish):

    https://www.onthisday.com/people/vlad-the-impaler

    The Terrifying True Story Of Vlad The Impaler — History’s Real Dracula

    This sets the stage for the first of our “horror-able” actors: BELA LUGOSI, one of movie history’s most iconic character actors, who played Count Dracula in the classic DRACULA film released in February 1931. Here is the trailer:

    As if unleashing one monster on the public in 1931 wasn’t enough, November brought….

    Frankenstein’s monster was of course played by the equally “horror-able” and iconic character actor, November-born Boris Karloff:

    Next we have The Wolf Man, Lon Chaney Jr. (son of the legendary silent film star who played Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and other leading roles in early classics)….

    For our closer, the Price is right….Vincent Price, that is. Although most of Price’s horror-able roles came after Hollywood’s Golden Age, he wasn’t entirely invisible during it (or was he?):

    That’s The End for now, but never fear. We, too, shall return….

     
    • obbverse 2:29 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Dracula… no es-cape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:22 pm on November 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Like Dracula, like Trump.
        But at least the former offers escapism from the latter.

        Like

    • calmkate 6:28 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a horror-able collection of bad actors and C grade movies … good to watch for a laugh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:44 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never felt that Lon Cheney wanted to be in movies. He was kind of clumsy as an actor. But, he was also kind of love-able, so he gets a pass from me. I did enjoy his interaction with Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I think one of his best roles was in Spider Baby…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:41 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You mean Jr, of course. He. probably wouldn’t have become an actor if his father, Lon Chaney, hadn’t been one — and a famous one, too — in the silent era.

        Like

    • scifihammy 8:16 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I used to love watching these old horror movies on late night TV as a kid, with my brother. Classics! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 9:05 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I used to loooove those when I was young! Now? Pure camp. Delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 1:01 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a horror film fan but for some reason I really liked these! Maybe because the acting was so over the top that I found them funny 🙂
      I enjoyed your Bad Actors series!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. I think we appreciate them more as adults because we don’t take them seriously….or should I say, we can take them seriously as “camp” classics.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great fun. These had me laughing, again!

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:20 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot imagine how scary these all were compared to Freddy Krueger and our government today!😱

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:26 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Trump and his administration are certainly scarier than any horror movie. At least we don’t have to watch Freddie Krueger, but you can’t turn on the news on TV or read a newspaper without being confronted by the hideous orange monster.

        Liked by 1 person

        • America On Coffee 12:55 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Pray for Trump, Congress and our Judicial branch.🙏

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 1:38 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to say I can’t think of anything more futile than praying for Trump. I think we both know he is what he is — it’s “baked in” — and he isn’t going to change. Far be it from me, however, to discourage anyone else from wasting their time praying for a man who’s the very personification of a lost cause.

          Like

    • Elizabeth 5:51 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think those old horror films were a lot less horror filled than more recent ones. Maybe it’s just because blood looks less dreadful in black and white.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:32 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think much of the horror in old horror films was suggested or implied compared to how graphic (made more so by Technicolor) horror films are today.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Dashiell Hammett, Edgar Allen Poe, , , , Howard Hawks, , , , , movie poster art, , , Raymond Chandler, , , Vincent Price   

    HOLLYWOOD, DEAD LEFT ON VINE* 

    The film noir of the classic period (1941-59) is normally associated with the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood and its aftermath. In truth, the creative impetus for its most influential literary content dates back a full century.
    In April 1841, Graham’s Magazine in Philadelphia published the first detective story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe and thus, mystery fiction was born. –
    -Lawrence Bassoff, CRIME SCENES

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    In my 11/30/16 post titled BOOKS RIGHT DOWN MY ALLEY, I wrote of finding a large cache of old movie books at a local library’s used book sale. One of those books was CRIME SCENES (subtitled Movie Poster Art of the Film Noir), from which the above quote is taken. How could I resist buying such a book, given that Film Noir has long been one of my favorite film genres, which includes such classics as THE MALTESE FALCON (1941), MURDER MY SWEET (1943), DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), LAURA (1944), THE BIG SLEEP (1946), SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951). The introduction states it “is the first genre retrospective collection of movie poster art on the topic ever published in book form.”

    Bassoff writes that in the summer of 1946, ten American films whose French releases had been blocked by WW II (including the first five of the above) arrived in Paris theaters to be viewed by “new product-starved French filmgoers”….films based on American novels the French called “Serie Noire” by such authors as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. The term “film noir” (first attributed to Frenchman Nino Frank in 1946) literally means “black film” for the “often low key, black and white visual style of the films themselves.”

    And what great films they are! Even after having seen some of these films more than once, I could return to the scene of the crime once again;  no doubt you could too — assuming you’re a film noir buff, which it would be a crime if you’re not. The test? Can you name at least half of the directors and stars of the above films? Answers (directors in CAPS):

    THE MALTESE FALCON — JOHN HUSTON (making his directorial debut), Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet
    MURDER MY SWEET — EDWARD DYMTRYK, Dick Powell
    DOUBLE INDEMNITY — BILLY WILDER, Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
    LAURA — OTTO PREMINGER, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price
    THE BIG SLEEP — HOWARD HAWKS, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
    SUNSET BOULEVARD — BILLY WILDER, William Holden, Gloria Swanson
    STRANGERS ON A TRAIN — ALFRED HITCHCOCK, Farley Granger, Robert Walker

    Moving on: if Basssoff’s book were not confined to Hollywood film noir, no such list would be complete without THE THIRD MAN (1949), a British-made classic directed by Carol Reed, starring Orson Wells and Joseph Cotton. And of course there are many other Hollywood tour de force classics worthy of being kept alive, including such killer-dillers as:

    WHITE HEAT is considered by some to be in the gangster film realm rather than film noir, but there’s no law against crossover — in fact, WHITE HEAT is classified as film noir in CRIME SCENES and gangster film in CLASSIC GANGSTER FILMS (the latter being another used book sale find, which I may review in a future post). Meanwhile, I highly recommend the former — as Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) said of the bogus Maltese Falcon: It’s “the stuff dreams are made of.” And nightmares.

    *HOLLYWOOD, DEAD LEFT ON VINE is a play on the famous intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. I heard on the grapevine that the site was a ranch, and then a lemon grove, until 1903.

    20161005_Hollywood_and_Vine_historical_marker

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:03 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Good fun–I will never forget the creepiness of seeing Fred MacMurray in “Double Indemnity,” after growing up with him in Disney movies like “Son of Flubber”!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:41 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Now that you mention it, I recall thinking the same thing the first time I saw “Double Indemnity.” And I can’t think of a better way to characterize these ‘bad’ movies than as “good fun” — seriously!

        Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 10:29 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Living la vida noire out here on the Left Coast, Sr. Muse. Did you see that the head of the European Union was going to start advocating for US states to leave the Union in retaliation for Trump promoting the dissolution of the EU? Ohio was specifically mentioned. Hopefully, I won’t need a passport to visit you if I ever get the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:24 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I hadn’t heard (or seen) that, Ricardo, but I think the best place to start would be to advocate for Trump to leave the union….better yet, leave the planet (though I can’t imagine that the inhabitants of any other world would be gullible enough to fall for Trump’s con job).

        Like

    • BroadBlogs 4:28 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My mom loves old movies. She’d love this list!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:22 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Prudence dictates keeping my posts to a reasonable length, or I’d have listed many more movies. Sometimes I wish Prudence would mind her own business! 😦

        Like

    • Don Frankel 5:04 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great movies of course I’ve seen them all and more than once. They did a remake of Out Of The Past called Against All Odds with Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward and James Woods. In a bit of smart casting they also had Jane Greer in there.

      But White Heat is one of the all time any type of movie you want to call it and no mention of it would be complete without…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:20 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        These movies had it all: great writing, atmosphere, directors, stars, supporting casts — the works. I’ve only watched WHITE HEAT once or twice, but I’ve seen MALTESE FALCON and THE THIRD MAN at least 5 or 6 times each, DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SUNSET BOULEVARD probably about 3 times.

        Like

    • Mél@nie 11:00 am on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I did watch them all… just like you, I may have seen “Maltese Falcon” 4-5 times! 🙂

      • * *

      @film noir – en français dans le texte, SVP… 🙂 MERCI, Monsieur Muse!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:34 pm on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Mercy me — I fear my very limited French fails me in getting the gist of the sentence before “SVP” (which I understand stands for “s’il vous plait”). If you please, please translate into English. Merci!
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mél@nie 3:25 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink

          SVP = s’il vous plaît = please… 🙂 you’re too modest, Sir… my very best and respectful regards, Mélanie Bedos

          Liked by 1 person

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