Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us!

More Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema

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About the Book

Like a lovingly guided midnight tour, this book covers the seductive shadows of the most fascinating horror films and melodramas from the 1930s and 1940s. From the bloody censorship battles behind 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, to the sexual controversies of 1941’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the gruesome Nazi atrocities of 1943’s Women in Bondage, this book delves into newly excavated research to tell the behind-the-scenes sagas of some of Hollywood’s most frightening films.

Beloved characters—including the WereWolf of London, Richard III, Rasputin and a mad doctor who wants to mate his panther woman with a man—pounce once more in this expansive volume. Included are profiles of the performers and filmmakers who made the nightmares feel all too real in the darkened theaters of yesteryear, and an examination of the factors that have kept these films popular so many decades later.

About the Author(s)

Gregory William Mank has written and recorded many DVD and Blu-Ray audio commentaries, has won four Rondo Awards, and has written numerous books on classic horror films. He and lives in Delta, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Gregory William Mank
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 458
Bibliographic Info: 159 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6553-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4403-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
1. Bela, Bestiality and the Amours of Erik the Ape: Murders in the Rue Morgue 3
2. “Why Won’t You Die?”: Rasputin and the Empress 39
3. The Vanity of the Panther Woman: Island of Lost Souls 73
4. “A Sin Against the Holy Ghost!”: Early Drafts, Studio Politics and Censorship Sagas of Bride of Frankenstein 109
5. “It’s the Devil … Creeping Out of Hell”: WereWolf of London 138
6. Procuring Mad Love 177
7. Unholy Royalty: Universal’s Tower of London 209
8. “A Madman’s Dream”: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) 238
9. Monogram’s Nazi Horror Peep Show: Women in Bondage 272
10. The Odyssey of Mildred Davenport—to Acquanetta—to Paula the Ape Woman 296
11. How to Make a Monster Rally: The Production of House of Frankenstein 331
12. His ­20-Year-Long Last Bow: The Final Act of Basil Rathbone 360
13. Horror Box Office 394
Chapter Notes 417
Bibliography 434
Index 437

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “With his hyper-dramatic style and flawless research, Mank has become one of the finest classic film writers/historians working today, and he has been raising the bar of film scholarship for decades”—Midnight Marquee