Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Art of Universal #1

It's not all British film and TV around here, you know, although it is mainly. I recently took advantage of a period of bad health to re-watch a load of Universal Horror films from the 1930s and 40s and it was like rediscovering an old flame, but without the resulting clandestine meetings and eventual marital break up.

I like everything about the Universal films, from their clunky plots to their increasing predilection for cramming every monster they can think of into a plot and hoping for the best. What I like best, however, is the craft that goes into these exploitation classics, where virtually every frame of every reel of every film is a visual treat, a mini masterpiece of framing: industrial Hollywood at its artistic best.

These frames are from 'The Ghost Of Frankenstein' (1942). Lon Chaney, Jr. plays the monster for the first time, Bela Lugosi returns as Ygor, and the super supercillious Lionel Atwill plays the villain, Dr. Theodore Bohmer.

This new occasional series will give me the excuse I need to post loads of snapshots from some of the most entertaining films ever made.  

1 comment:

  1. the backdrop paintings in some of these movies is breathtaking. bride of frankenstein gets mention in a lot of film literature for its painted night skies and forboding fora=est sets.