Boris Karloff

A Critical Account of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television and Recording Work


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SKU: 9780786440733 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

This comprehensive analysis of Boris Karloff’s life and career incorporates criticism, in-depth production information and discussions of cinematic themes and characters, with an account of the historical periods and events depicted in the films and the Hollywood era in which they were produced.
Each of Karloff’s horror films is examined at length, as well as his contributions to other media. Over 100 posters, portraits, film scenes and candid photos illustrate the text, and numerous contemporaries (Evelyn Karloff, Laurence Olivier, Henry Brandon, Ian Wolfe, Zita Johann, others) are quoted throughout.

About the Author(s)

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in film and history at the University of Iowa. He has written and edited more than 40 books on the history of film, literature and music.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Allen Nollen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 487
Bibliographic Info: 88 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [1991]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4073-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ray Bradbury      ix

Preface      xi

1. Introduction     1

2. Karloff     7

3. Films Before Frankenstein     31

4. The Man Who Made a Monster: Frankenstein (1931)     42

5. Stranded in A Storm: The Old Dark House (1932)     62

6. Nationalistic Horror: The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)     68

7. He Went for a Little Walk!: The Mummy (1932)     73

8. Eternal Confusion: The Ghoul (1933)     82

9. Death Personified: The Black Cat (1934)     88

10. The Monster Demands a Mate: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)     98

11. A Bloody Stuffed Bird: The Raven (1935)     127

12. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Black Room (1935)     137

13. Dangerous Discovery: The Invisible Ray (1936)     142

14. Supernatural Force: The Walking Dead (1936)     147

15. Cartesian Horror: The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936)     154

16. Second-Generation Horror: Son of Frankenstein (1939)     163

17. Historical Horror: Tower of London (1939)     181

18. Science Versus Society: The Columbia “Mad” Doctor Films     193

19. Gangster Horror: Black Friday (1940)     215

20. Political Horror: Devil’s Island (1940)     225

21. “He Said I Looked Like Boris Karloff!”: Arsenic and Old Lace (1941–44)     232

22. The Devil’s Brood: Back to Universal     241

23. Fear of Entrapment: The Val Lewton Productions     252

24. Traditional Horror in Decline: The Horror Parody and the Horror Gothic     279

25. “Atomic Age” Horror: Frankenstein 1970 (1958)     288

26. Traditional Horror Revived: The Haunted Strangler and Corridors of Blood (1958)     295

27. “Quickie” Horror: Roger Corman and AIP     303

28. Horror Vérité: Targets (1968)     317

29. The Karloff Legacy and the Modern Horror Film     333

Appendix A: Filmography     349

Appendix B: Television Performances     403

Appendix C: Radio Performances     415

Appendix D: Stage Performances     419

Appendix E: Recordings     422

Appendix F: Published Writings     429

Appendix G: Proposed Films and Roles     431

Notes     435

Bibliography     447

Index     453

Book Reviews & Awards

“another valuable resource in regard to a legend of the horror genre…a great source of research”—The Idaho Librarian; “concentrates on Karloff’s ‘terror’ films…extensive bibliographies”—Library Journal; “useful”—Choice; “a fascinating read”—Midnight Marquee.