Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together

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Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster are horror cinema icons, and the actors most deeply associated with the two roles also shared a unique friendship. Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff starred in dozens of black-and-white horror films, and over the years managed to collaborate on and co-star in eight movies. Through dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, this greatly expanded new edition examines the Golden Age of Hollywood, the era in which both stars worked, recreates the shooting of Lugosi and Karloff's mutual films, examines their odd and moving personal relationship and analyzes their ongoing legacies. Features include a fully detailed filmography of the eight Karloff and Lugosi films, full summaries of both men's careers and more than 250 photographs, some in color.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
explores the truths behind the mysterious Karloff and the enigmatic Lugosi...brings to life the compelling and complicated saga of the horror kings...add this to your shelf
engaging...Mank's prose is accessible and informative, weaving production history, fan gossip, suggestive analysis and lovingly detailed plot summaries into a tapestry that will appeal both to the student as well as to the interested reader. Libraries at all levels
USA Today
meticulously researched...grandly paints a portrait of the two stars and the spooky past of Universal, Hollywood's top scare studio of the 1930s and 1940s
Excellent...well-written and well-researched
Library Journal

Hollywood's "gruesome twosome" Boris "Frankenstein" Karloff and Bela "Dracula" Lugosi are the kings of horror movies. Appearing in eight films together, including The Black Cat and The Raven, the two stars seemed to work well in concert despite the rumors of animosity between them. Stage actor Mank (It's Alive; Hollywood's Maddest Doctors) explores the truths behind the mysterious Karloff and the enigmatic Lugosi while interweaving their lives, careers, and films. Universal Studios was partial to Karloff, giving him top billing, more publicity, and double the money paid to Lugosi, which reinforced the notion of the supposed rivalry. The film Ed Wood, depicting Lugosi's resentment of Karloff, was, according to primary sources, fictionalized and inaccurate but regenerated interest in the feud between them. Critics and fans continue the debate over who was the better actor. Karloff became a star, while Lugosi fell into addiction, poverty, and obscurity. VERDICT Mank brings to life the compelling and complicated saga of the horror kings. Classic horror movie nuts, add this to your shelf.—Rosalind Dayen, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL

—Rosalind Dayen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786434800
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Pages: 701
  • Sales rank: 696,437
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments 1

1 "I Created My Own Monster!" 7

2 In the Hall of the Mountain King 13

3 The Friendly Panther 22

4 The Strangest Passion 34

5 "A Death Mask of a Monster" 48

6 Jimmy 56

7 Billy 63

8 "I Owe It All to Dr. Frankenstein's Jolly Old Monster!" 80

9 Booby Prize 97

10 1932 106

11 KARLOFF the Uncanny in The Mummy 124

12 Wives, Rivals, London, The Screen Actors Guild, John Ford, Broadway, Walt Disney and Others 135

13 "Improper Faces" - The Black Cat 153

14 The Film Stars Frolic 201

15 Gift of Gab and Other Curiosities 205

Between pages 214 and 215 are 8 color plates containing 10 photographs

16 1935: Bride of Frankenstein vs. Mark of the Vampire 215

17 The Rivals 227

18 "Unsubtle Acting" - The Raven 240

19 "They Were Both Totally Darling!" - The Invisible Ray 271

20 Limbo Approaches 303

21 Horrible, Horrible Men 319

22 Monster Eve 327

23 "All the Demons of Hell - Son of Frankenstein 336

24 Feathering the Nest 376

25 "Stanley Ridges and Karloff" - Black Friday 389

26 "Their Royal Slynesses": You'll Find Out 411

27 Arsenic and Old Lace 428

28 "Toneless Voice and Mr. Potato Head Features": Young Lon 437

29 Universal Production # 1279 447

30 1943 - New Work, New Rivals 460

31 1944 470

32 The Body Snatcher 481

33 Unholy Three - Bedlam, Genius at Work, and House of Dracula 520

34 1946-1947 528

35 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 535

36 1949-1953 542

37 The Film That Never Was 553

38 "The Greatest Pain in the World" 559

39 The Last Bride of Dracula 562

40 Dracula's Revenge - and Death 572

41 Karloff's Last Act 587

42 The Myth and the Rivalry 603

Appendix 1 The BelaLugosi Career 623

Appendix 2 The Boris Karloff Career 629

Appendix 3 Filmography of Their Films Together 636

Chapter Notes 643

Bibliography 667

Index 671

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great reference!

    I have always been a fan of classic horror movies and, after living in LA, I have aquired an interest in old Hollywood. After checking this book out at the local library, I knew I had to get it for my personal library. This book is filled with behind the scene stories of well known films, as well as hidden gems. Boris and Bela come alive in these pages.

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    a fascinating co-biography of two great stars

    Greg Mank's combined biography of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi is quite an achievement. Not only does he combine the lives of two very dissimilar stars appearing at the same time and same genre but he also gives a biography of Hollywood during the 1930s thru 50s, focusing mostly on Universal Studios and some of the "poverty row" studios as well. Most Hollywood histories may include Universal as well but few cover these "poverty row" studios. Mank also devotes space to stars and directors involved with Karloff and Lugosi as well as studio heads such as the Laemmles, father and son.

    This is a greatly expanded version of Mank's earlier volume about Lugosi and Karloff, not just a few new photos and a new chapter. Much has been changed and added so if you enjoyed the earlier edition, this is a whole new ballgame.

    Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys these actors as well as Hollywood of this rich period.

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