Archive | Entertainment

Old Dark House (10/20/1932)

Old Dark House (10/20/1932) A high water mark for a genre already entrenched in literature and film. Whale slathers his own special sauce all over what was already a dark psychological chamber piece. The black humor was much too high brow for an American audience who were expecting cheap thrills. Marketing Karloff as the monster […]

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Chandu the Magician (9/18/1932)

Chandu the Magician (9/18/1932) The first time I saw this picture I really didn’t appreciate it. A special effects buffet served up by William Cameron Menzies, he utilizes EVERY trick in the book: miniatures, dry for wet, optical tricks, double exposures, rear screen projection, glass paintings, practical stunts, Tesla coils!….everything but the kitchen sink. For […]

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The Most Dangerous Game (9/16/32)

The Most Dangerous Game (9/16/32) What is now considered Cooper and Schoedsacks test reel for their later epic, was always meant to be an epic of its own. I think reducing the budget helped make it a better movie, cutting away anything extraneous leaving us with the best version. There is nothing subtle about this […]

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Dr. X (8/27/32)

Dr. X (8/27/32) Wanting a bite of the Dracula/Frankenstein apple, Warner tries to out Universal Universal. Serving up an inherently B list picture with A list trimmings, Michael Curtiz’s direction, Anton Grot’s set designed, and Max Factor’s makeup (yes, he was a real guy like Jack Pierce) and cutting edge two strip technicolor, they do […]

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White Zombie (8/4/32)

White Zombie (8/4/32) There is much to like in White Zombie, but you have to wade through the other dreck to get to it. I haven’t seen the restored version but I would like to. I really like the way they reuse Universal’s redressed sets and props, I hardly find myself pointing at something in […]

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Murders in the Rue Morgue (2/21/1932)

Murders in the Rue Morgue (2/21/1932) Lugosi & Florey’s consolation prize for not being chosen for Team Frankenstein and it may contain one of Bela’s best performances…I think it’s better than his Dracula. Beyond the expressionistic set design, great scenery chewing and Grand Guignol voyerism….at it’s heart, it is torture porn with a beastiality chaser […]

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (12/31/1931)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (12/31/1931) After seeing Design for Living, I developed a mad passion for Fred March and hunted up a LOT of his films. He was always terrific and deserved all his accolades. This was the youngest and prettiest I had ever seen him. The ridiculously good hypocrite Henry Jekyll who makes […]

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Frankenstein (11/21/31)

Frankenstein (11/21/31) If some is good, more is better. This picture is pretty lavish for a horror movie. The 30s seems be the only decade where Horror movies were given the same consideration as A pictures, I don’t think we see that again until the 70s. It is easy to fall into the trap of […]

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Dracula-SP (4/24/1931)

Dracula-SP (4/24/1931) Debating which version is technically superior is like Han-Shot first, a circular exercise in rhetoric. Before it was included in the Legacy set, none of us had seen it and had no reason to compare the two simulateous versions. Pardon my usual catch phrase, apples and oranges. I have only watched this version […]

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Dracula (2/12/31)

Dracula (2/12/31) I confess for a long time this was my least favorite Universal Monster film, it probably still is. I always compared it to films that came AFTER, instead of comparing it to films that went BEFORE. My dislike of Dracula stemmed from not really seeing it until after I had been exposed to […]

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