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Old 04-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
Abin Surly
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Default Classic Horror (Pre-1950s) Film Thread

There are a few of us at the GLCMB that are aficianados of the classic Universal (and other studios) horror genre. This thread can be a combination of discussion, picture postings (production stills, YouTube video, "Last seen...", alternate versions of movie posters and lobby cards), etc.

We don't have to stick with just the purely "Monster" stuff, but also things like silent era German Expressionism and proto-Film Noir films like "Stranger on the Third Floor".

Also, anything of a newer nature that pays homage to this period could be included, for instance, "Shadow of the Vampire" (a fantasy-trope on the making of Murnau's "Nosferatu") or "Gods and Monsters" (about the last days of James Whale, director of "Frankenstein", "The Bride of Frankenstein", "The Invisible Man", "The Old Dark House", etc.) I'm still waiting for a 'Tod Browning' film to be made.

First question: how many of ya'll have seen the long-thought-lost Edison Studio version of "Frankenstein"?


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Old 04-12-2011, 03:38 PM   #2
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I'm not sure why this is looped several times, but it is a decent print, especially since it was considered completely lost.
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


From Wiki:
"For many years, this film was believed to be a lost film. In 1963, a plot description (reprinted above) and stills were discovered published in the March 15, 1910 issue of an old Edison film catalog, The Edison Kinetogram.
In the early 1950s, a print of this film was purchased by a Wisconsin film collector, Alois F. Dettlaff, from his mother-in-law, who also collected films.
He did not realize its rarity until many years later. Its existence was first revealed in the mid-1970s. Although somewhat deteriorated, the film was in viewable condition, complete with titles and tints as seen in 1910. Dettlaff had a 35 mm preservation copy made in the late 1970s. He also issued a DVD release of 1,000 copies.
BearManor Media released the public domain film in a restored edition on March 18, 2010, alongside with the novel Edison's Frankenstein, which was written by Frederick C. Wiebel, Jr.
On 14th October 2010, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the film, English writer and director Dave Mitchell released an online re-boot of the original film called "Frankenstein 1910 2010", with new title-cards based more on Mary Shelley's original novel, as well as re-tinting of the frames, and the use of Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" as the new soundtrack. The new version title cards focus on the concept of the rejected creation's words to his creator, who he perceives as his friend."
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:28 PM   #3
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Is that the whole thing? I don't have time to watch it now but I'll definately check it out. I've only seen clips of the Edison movie in Frankenstein featurettes.

I'm a fan of the classic Universal movie monsters and some of the Hammer stuff. I always loved how the 8 Frankenstein movies had continuity and the other movies that weaved in and out of them. Wolfman is my favorite, but I love Dracula, Mummy (though they are repetitive), Creature, and some of the others.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting that. Dave, it's only 12 minutes, fyi. It loops, as Abin mentions.
The set decoration stood out (lots of windows). Also, it was interesting that despite the short run (typical of many silents, especially Edison's) they chose to spend so much time on the creation of the monster (which isn't detailed in the book).

Some classic monster movies go into the '50s (e.g., Creature from the Black Lagoon). Hammer is probably indicative of a change. They start out very similar to Universal but upped the sexiness and blood until the '70s when they were more in line with exploitation flicks.

Anyway, The Wolf Man is also my favorite; favorite monster movie and favorite werewolf story ever.

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Old 04-12-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
Is that the whole thing?
Yep, like Space cop said, that's the whole bloody thing. 1910 wasn't that far removed from the Lumiere Brothers "one minute" movies. As Space Cop also mentioned, it is amazing that the 'creation' scene (shot backwards) is as long as it is.

There were at least two other films, one Italian-made, based on the Shelley story. However, both are allegedly lost (but the Edison was also in the list at one time, so who knows). If y'all see anything about those, 'lob' 'em on in.

I always like to think of Cesare from "...Caligari" and "The Golem" as being the prototypes for Whale's concept of the creature...and the Maria robot from Metropolis as the proto-"Bride".

It is amazing that the studio did think to try to at least have some continuity to these films, although there are some discrepancies. (Where's Ygor's brain? lol)

Lon Chaney Jr.'s Larry Talbot was the 'glue' that held the later continuity together, and I think he was a terribly under-rated actor (as did Stanley Kramer, who would use him every chance he could get, and had high praise for his acting abilities).

Someone, please stop me before I start blogging. LOL


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Old 04-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abin Surly View Post
It is amazing that the studio did think to try to at least have some continuity to these films, although there are some discrepancies. (Where's Ygor's brain? lol)

LOL, it always bugged me that he must be Ygor for the rest of the series, but he just acts like the "abnormal" brain was still there. Thank God they muted Lugosi's lines though!
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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I love how you can follow Larry's story through all 5 universal movies. As much fun as the Abbott and Costello movie was, I was always sad that it robbed Talbot of the happy ending he got in the previous installment.

There was a Wolfman novel about 10 or 15 years ago that acted as a direct sequel to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It picks up right after Larry jumps off the balcony into the sea holding onto the bat form of Dracula.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
I love how you can follow Larry's story through all 5 universal movies. As much fun as the Abbott and Costello movie was, I was always sad that it robbed Talbot of the happy ending he got in the previous installment.
There was a Wolfman novel about 10 or 15 years ago that acted as a direct sequel to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It picks up right after Larry jumps off the balcony into the sea holding onto the bat form of Dracula.
Sorry, I missed this because I was too busy running off at the 'fingers' in my last post...lol...

I always thought that maybe the 'cure' didn't quite stick...sort of like the whole "Ygor's brain" thing. I did like the fact that the wolfman went out as a hero, taking Dracula out as he sacrificed himself.

Do you remember the name of the novel? Is it still in print?
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:55 PM   #9
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This delves into the 50s, but any other fans of the Thing From Another World?
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
This delves into the 50s, but any other fans of the Thing From Another World?
You betcha! James Arness: Killer Carrot from Outer Space!!

I always liked that you never got a clear view of him which made it even more suspenseful.

I really liked the Carpenter remake, but that was literally and figuratively a different 'critter'.

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Old 04-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abin Surly View Post
You betcha! James Arness: Killer Carrot from Outer Space!!

I always liked that you never got a clear view of him which made it even more suspenseful.

I really liked the Carpenter remake, but that was literally and figuratively a different 'critter'.

Been wanting to go and watch the original, as Carpenter's The Thing is one of my favorite horror movies. If I'm not mistaken, isn't Thing From Another World playing on the TV in the movie Halloween when Laurie is babysitting the kids?
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyV View Post
Been wanting to go and watch the original, as Carpenter's The Thing is one of my favorite horror movies. If I'm not mistaken, isn't Thing From Another World playing on the TV in the movie Halloween when Laurie is babysitting the kids?
Yep. That and they switch to another classic, but I can't remember what.

I like the conclusion to The Thing from Another World: "Keep watching the skies." Keep the kiddies paranoid.

Sorry, Abin, looks like will be dipping into the 70s too! It's hard to make a definitive separation between 40s monsters and 50s.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:34 AM   #13
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Okay, okay...getting us back on track...

I was going to go with Wegener's "The Golem" next, but y'all are forcing me to go hard-core...

I'm running the gauntlet...Who's comin' with me?

just finished the original Tod Browning "Dracula"...
no film historian commentary track
no Philip Glass/Kronos Quartet remix soundtrack...
just digitally restored...the way Cthulhu meant for us to see it. LOL

My two 2 1/2 year old liked it.

[wolves howling off screen]
My daughter: "What's that?"
Me: "That's the children of the night, sweetie"

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Old 04-12-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
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I can't imagine it's still in print. It was only released in paperback, and I THINK it was called the Wolfman Returns or The Return Of The Wolfman.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:41 PM   #15
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The synopsis is a bit different than I remember, but I think this is it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Return-Wolf-Man-...item2309690a30

Actually, I'm sure that's it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
The synopsis is a bit different than I remember, but I think this is it:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Return-Wolf-Man-...item2309690a30
Actually, I'm sure that's it.
Thanks, Dave.

Wow, it must be really good considering how much they're wanting for it. I checked Amazon.com and the cheapest used copy is $39...

They must be the gold-leaf printed ones. LOL
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:56 AM   #17
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Honestly, I think Universal's Dracula is one of the worst of it's contemporaries. The lack of music, the long shots just bring the movie to a halt numerous times. And I'm keeping in mind the time it was produced and being forgiving of the period. Frankenstein and the Mummy blow it away. Even the spanish version is better. I love Lugosi's performance, and it's great up until he gets to England. After that that movie drags.

But worse than that, I HATE when they add a modern score to movies. I went to a theater once to see the Chaney version of the silent Phantom Of The Opera movie. It had this horrid score added to it with singers chanting "He's the phantom! He's the phantom!"...fucking ruined it for me because I love that movie.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
It had this horrid score added to it with singers chanting "He's the phantom! He's the phantom!"...
:s pritz:WTF!!!

(Back to 'Drac') But it was The First (running the Universal "Cycle", so gotta start there)...but yeah, the pacing is ssssslllllllooooooowwwwwwwwww...
and huge chunks are just filmed stageplay on a sound stage. but a lot of that has to do with the technology of the time (the huge 'blimps' around the noisy-ass cameras, for instance)...there are a couple of Murnau-like dolly shots, but there are too many long shots.

And I like some of the works by Philip Glass, and this would have made sense ....IF THIS WAS A SILENT FILM...but it isn't!
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:59 AM   #19
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I bought all of those green dvd boxsets a few years ago, except for the Invisible Man one because I have no interest in that one. Great little sets and they include everything other than the Abbott and Costello flick I had to buy a different set to get. Very nice.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:27 AM   #20
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I try to be forgiving to Dracula, but I find it's one of the Uni movies I least watch. Sometimes I like to do marathons, and I'll watch all 8 for Frankenstein, 5 for Wolf Man, 3 for Creature and so on. As repetitive as they are, I like the Mummy movies. Good, cheap monster fun with tana leaves mixed in.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
I try to be forgiving to Dracula, but I find it's one of the Uni movies I least watch. Sometimes I like to do marathons, and I'll watch all 8 for Frankenstein, 5 for Wold Man, 3 for Creature and so on. As repetitive as they are, I like the Mummy movies. Good, cheap monster fun with tana leaves mixed in.
Oh, I agree. Of the Browning vampire movies, I'd rather watch "Mark of the Vampire" (even though it's not part of 'the canon', and I just don't pay any attention to the ending).

I'm following the "conceptual continuity" (as Zappa would call it), so the various Mummy movies, Daughter/Son of Dracula, Phantom, Hunchback, Jekyll/Hyde, Black Cat/Raven/Rue Morgue and that ilk, will have there own little mini-re-watchings.

Tonight's viewing will be Whale's Frankenstein...oh boy. At one point, somebody had posted, on YouTube, their reworking of both of Whale's Frankenstein films, very much like the way they had taken the first two Godfather films and re-edited into one linear timeline. The YouTube guy had also tinted the scenes (like they did in the silent era) and added the Franz Waxman score from "Bride..." as was appropriate. I think Universal must have made him take it all down, but it was pretty cool.

Mmmmm, tana leaves...makes you big and strong...like Popeye!



Can anyone "name that Mummy"?
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Can anyone "name that Mummy"?
It that the Tom Tyler one?
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
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It that the Tom Tyler one?
Yep! Very Good!
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:28 AM   #24
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Also, sometimes I'll do marathons of various versions of a monster. Dracula is great for this. From Lugosi to the Coppola version (though I've never seen the Jack Palance version in it's entirety).
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cormier View Post
Also, sometimes I'll do marathons of various versions of a monster. Dracula is great for this. From Lugosi to the Coppola version (though I've never seen the Jack Palance version in it's entirety).
That's a cool idea I haven't tried yet.

I like Dracula, though. It does have that feeling of "we're still learning how to do talkies." And it was adapted from a stage show (with Lugosi), so it might explain the long shots etc.

Funny, I had a group recently watch that and a friend said the lack of soundtrack bothered him. I hadn't really thought about it before. I personally think soundtracks and scores are overused today. Movies have become musically dependent on telling the audience how to feel.

Also, the original Invisible Man is pretty good. I think Claude Rains is one of the best actors ever, even when he's relying mostly on his voice. I haven't watched the sequels yet.
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