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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Don't Know...JAMES WHALE?

James Whale

You really should know who JAMES WHALE (1889-1957) is! James Whale was one of the most stylish directors at Universal in the 1930s. His macabre sense of humor resulted in several classic films. He retired from films around 1940 but returned to direct a film in 1949 which was never released.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Poster

A fine place to start is by viewing: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). This was one of the two best films Whale directed. It's quirky humor only served to heighten the horror elements in the story and helps make the film as fresh today as it was in 1935.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Show Boat (1936) Whale's production was outstanding and far superior to the MGM color remake, which is very impressive because the remake was a very good film. Irene Dunne, Alan Jones, Helen Morgan, Hattie McDaniel and Paul Robeson give excellent performances, and Robeson's rendition of "Old Man River" sends chills up your spine.
The Invisible Man (1933) Claude Rains was introduced in this H. G. Wells classic, remaining unseen until the final shot. Again Whale's use of humor helped move things along.
The Old Dark House (1932) Travelers get stranded in an old house with a very strange family. The cast includes Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Melvyn Douglas and Ernest Thesiger. This is a must-see.
Frankenstein (1931) What else can be said about this film? It set the standard for years to come. Always worth watching. Whale's humor is restrained here, but there are hints of things to come.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Mon, Nov 28, 2005 / 08:54:38 PST