Women in Horror Films, 1940s

Women in Horror Films, 1940s

by Gregory William Mank
     
 

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Mank makes a good case that many early horror films are memorable due as much to their actresses as to their male leads/ monsters. Offering biographies, entertaining anecdotes, and interviews, he showcases 21 talents including Maria Ouspenskaya (The Wolf Man, 1941); Virginia Christine (The Mummy's Curse, 1944); and Lenore Aubert (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,

Overview

Mank makes a good case that many early horror films are memorable due as much to their actresses as to their male leads/ monsters. Offering biographies, entertaining anecdotes, and interviews, he showcases 21 talents including Maria Ouspenskaya (The Wolf Man, 1941); Virginia Christine (The Mummy's Curse, 1944); and Lenore Aubert (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948). Chapters include film stills, publicity photos, and a filmography. This is a reprint of part of McFarland's 1999 two-volume set, Women in Horror Films (1930s) and (1940s). Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The author of a number of books on horror films (e.g., Karloff and Lugosi, McFarland, 1990), Mank here turns the spotlight on two decades of filmdom's damsels in distress. Observing that these roles may be categorized into three types ("monsters," e.g., the title role in The Bride of Frankenstein; "femme fatales," e.g., Ivy in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; and "misfits," e.g., Panther Woman in Island of Lost Souls), Mank chronicles the life and times of 42 actresses who played variations on these themes and more. Each book presents chapters ranging in length from ten to more than 20 pages on each of 21 actresses in each decade. Beginning with a studio portrait or a publicity still, the narration often includes an account of a personal interview the author conducted with the subject. Also included are other portraits and stills as well as some candid shots and, in a few cases, shots of the subject with the author. The richly detailed chapters conclude with a filmography, but while the sources are attributed, a bibliography or a separate list of sources would have enhanced the presentation. Each volume ends with the results of a poll asking assorted film industry professionals and others for their personal choices for outstanding performances in various categories. Many of the actresses in these volumes, e.g., Evelyn Ankers, Ilona Massey, and Valerie Hobson, may be familiar only to horror film fans. In addition, TV fans may be surprised to learn that Elena Verdugo of Marcus Welby, M.D., Anna Lee of General Hospital, and even Virginia Christine (Mrs. Olson of the coffee commercials) were once screamers on the silver screen. First-rate additions to film, performing arts, women's studies, and popular culture reference collections, these volumes should also be featured in smaller circulating collections for film and horror buffs to peruse.--Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booklist
recommended
Choice
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'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786423354
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
05/16/2005
Pages:
405
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.87(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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