The Cinema of Tod Browning

Essays of the Macabre and Grotesque

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SKU: 9780786434473 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

As a director, actor, writer and producer, Tod Browning was one of the most dynamic Hollywood figures during the birth of commercial cinema. Known for his fantastic collaborations with Lon Chaney in numerous silents, and for directing the horror classic Dracula and the still-controversial Freaks, Browning has been called “the Edgar Allan Poe of the cinema.” Despite not entering the profession until he began acting in his early thirties, he went on to helm more than 60 films in a 25-year career. His work continues to influence directors such as David Lynch, John Waters, and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
These essays critically explore such topics as the connection between Browning, Poe and Kant; Browning’s cinematic techniques; disability; masochism; sound and suspense; duality; parenthood; narrative and cinematic trickery; George Melford; surrealism; and the occult. A Browning filmography is included.

About the Author(s)

Bernd Herzogenrath is a professor of American literature and culture and teaches at the University of Hannover and the University of Cologne, Germany.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 249
Bibliographic Info: filmography, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3447-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0860-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Browning = Poe + Kant + … = Cinema

BERND HERZOGENRATH      1

Undoing Make-Believe: The Magic of Cinema in Tod Browning’s Films

EKKEHARD KNÖRER      19

In Love with a Nightmare: Disability Imagery and Fascination in The Unknown

HIONI KARAMANOS      33

Cinematic Torture Machines: Tod Browning and Masochism

LARS NOWAK      50

Shaking an Elephant: Sound, Space and Suspense in The Unholy Three

MICHAEL LAWRENCE      70

The Black Bird: Mocking Duality

F. GWYNPLAINE MACINTYRE      84

Seeing Through Seeing Through: The Trompe l’Oeil Effect and Bodily Difference in the Cinema of Tod Browning

HUGH S. MANON      96

The Big City: All of Browning’s Universe in One Film

F. GWYNPLAINE MACINTYRE      116

Lost in Proto-Performance: West of Zanzibar and the Last Stand of the Primal Father

BJÖRN QUIRING      132

You’re Better Off Without Your Parents: Where East Is East Seen Through a Daughter’s Eyes

SARAH DELLMANN      139

Tod Browning vs. George Melford: Dracula’s Doppelgänger

FRANK LAFOND      151

Browning. Freak. Woman. Stain.

EUGENIE BRINKEMA      158

Mark of the Vampire: Seeing Is Believing

REYNOLD HUMPHRIES      174

An Incident in the History of Surrealism: On a Sequence in The Devil-Doll

ADRIAN MARTIN      198

Miracles for Sale and Other Films of Detection and the Occult

MARCEL ARBEIT      214

Filmography      231

About the Contributors      235

Index      239

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Rondo Hatton Award
“remarkable”—National Board of Review.