Women in Horror Films, 1930s

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About the Book

They had more in common than just a scream, whether they faced Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, King Kong, the Wolf Man, or any of the other legendary Hollywood monsters. Some were even monsters themselves, such as Elsa Lanchester as the Bride, and Gloria Holden as Dracula’s Daughter. And while evading the Strangler of the Swamp, former Miss America Rosemary La Planche is allowed to rescue her leading man. This book provides details about the lives and careers of 21 of these cinematic leading ladies, femmes fatales, monsters, and misfits, putting into perspective their contributions to the films and folklore of Hollywood terror—and also the sexual harassment, exploitation, and genuine danger they faced on the job.
In a previously unpublished account, Bride of Frankenstein’s Anne Darling remembers when, at age 17, she was humiliated on-set by director James Whale over the color of her underwear. Filled with anecdotes and recollections, many of the entries are based on original interviews, and there are numerous old photographs and movie stills.

About the Author(s)

Gregory William Mank, a Delta, Pennsylvania, freelance writer, has acted in more than 100 stage productions. He has written numerous books on classic horror films.

Bibliographic Details

Gregory William Mank
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 415
Bibliographic Info: 115 photos, filmographies, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2334-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0954-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction      1

Helen Chandler      7

Marian Marsh      23

Mae Clarke      45

Marilyn Harris      71

Miriam Hopkins      83

Sidney Fox      103

Olga Baclanova      117

Gloria Stuart      131

Fay Wray      149

Zita Johann      171

Kathleen Burke      193

Una O’Connor      213

Jacqueline Wells (Julie Bishop)      229

Lucille Lund      247

Elizabeth Allan      261

Carroll Borland      279

Elsa Lanchester      299

Valerie Hobson      319

Frances Drake      331

Gloria Holden      349

Josephine Hutchinson      363

Appendix: Outstanding Performances      387

Index      391

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Booklist; “Mank scripts a charming and poetic series of thumbnail sketches. [He] doubles the reader’s pleasure with a stunning set of publicity photographs and film stills illustrating his labor of unabashed gallant love for these neglected ‘scream queens’”—Choice; “richly detailed…first-rate additions”—Library Journal; “highly entertaining and informative…capsule biographies of the damsels in distress are complete, definitive, immensely readable…fun to read and would make a welcome addition to all film library collections as well as large public libraries”—ARBA; “most valuable…a well-done book”—The Idaho Librarian; “an important, richly crafted contribution to genre history…superb introduction…offers richly detailed essays and biographies on every actress involved in the Golden Age of Horror…meticulous research…exquisitely written, profusely illustrated…beautiful”—Monsters from the Vault; “instant classics”—Little Shoppe of Horrors; “careers are recalled in full, with extra emphasis paid to their days belting out the screams opposite a gallery of classic monsters. Packed with behind-the-scenes anecdotes…a welcome addition”—Film Review; “exceptional…a superb work by a marvelous writer”—VideoScope; “recommended”—Starlog; “what makes [this volume] so intriguing is the wealth of anecdotal material…a necessary investment for any fan of the horror genre. Mank has accomplished his goal of identifying these women”—Film & History; “an engaging read, generously illsutrated with many wonderful photos…essential”—Horror-Wood.