Smirk, Sneer and Scream

Great Acting in Horror Cinema


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SKU: 9780786464197 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

While you may think the old adage about oil and water being unable to mix applies perfectly to the cinema of terror and the craft of great acting, many a grease-painted scare and fluid performance have been combined in the strange alchemy that is the horror film. From the silent mastery of Lon Chaney’s The Phantom of the Opera to the cultured cannibalism of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, the genre has seen an impressive number of noteworthy portrayals, far removed from the stereotypical leering monster and terrified maiden.
Part One of this work highlights the stars of this screen style—those whose numerous roles and outstanding performances made their names synonymous with horror cinema. Part Two covers actors who, although not normally associated with the genre, still contributed to its history. Part Three covers the great actresses in horror films and highlights their acting achievement. An appendix lists all the Academy Award nominations and winners in the horror genre.

About the Author(s)

Film historian Mark Clark lives in Mentor on the Lake, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Clark
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 71 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2004]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6419-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2682-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Part One: Horror Stars      5

Lon Chaney      7

Boris Karloff      13

Bela Lugosi      37

Lionel Atwill      54

Dwight Frye      61

Peter Lorre      66

John Carradine      73

George Zucco      79

Lon Chaney, Jr.      84

Vincent Price      90

Peter Cushing      104

Christopher Lee      119

Other Horror Stars      128

Part Two: Mainstream Actors      139

Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde      141

Charles Laughton in Island of Lost Souls      145

Claude Rains in The Invisible Man      148

Laird Cregar in The Lodger      152

Anthony Perkins in Psycho      156

Duane Jones in Night of the Living Dead      160

Michael Rooker in Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer      164

Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs      169

Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense      172

Other Mainstream Actors      176

Part Three: Leading Ladies      181

Gloria Holden in Dracula’s Daughter      184

Simone Simon in Cat People      189

Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?       193

Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby      198

Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair in The Exorcist      203

Sissy Spacek in Carrie      209

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween      213

Kathy Bates in Misery      218

Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs      222

Other Leading Ladies      227

Appendix: Horror Cinema and the Academy Awards      235

Bibliography      243

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“a good book…illuminating…a fine critical study…indepth”—Classic Images; “refreshing…the author is at all times personable, credible, and literate…too interesting, well-written, and just plain fun to be passed over”—Monsters From The Vault; “devour this book from cover to cover”—Little Shoppe of Horrors; “a beauty…balanced between the old and new…insightful…heavily recommended…a fun read”—Midnight Marquee; “well-researched”—VideoScope; “readable, well reasoned…clear, concise writing”—Scarlet Street; “flawless”—Video Watchdog; “interesting”—B Monster Bulletin; “great book”—