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Your Favorite Film Of These Classic Scream Queens

Det Jim McLeod

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This is a companion to my other thread about classic male horror stars. I am going by another book Scream Queens by the same author of Heroes Of The Horrors Calvin Thomas Beck. In this book he listed about 29 actresses, I only selected six to match the number on my other thread. He selects some great actresses who did some good horror films late in their career like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Shelley Winters, I did not include them since they are not exclusively known for horror films. He also has a few that I either did not see any of their films (like Acquanetta). Some others I liked but did not consider to be scream queens like Veronica Lake, Patty McCormack and Carol Lynley. The book was published in 1978, so it does not have Jamie Lee Curtis or Linnea Quigley. Choose your favorite film of each one, you can add other names if you wish.

1. Fay Wray

2. Elsa Lanchester

3. Anne Gwynne

4. Diana Dors

5 Hazel Court

6. Barbara Steele 


1. Fay Wray-King Kong (1933) She was great here, very expressive eyes and a much attention getting scream. She did a few other good films but this one made her immortal to scream queen fans.

2. Elsa Lanchester-Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) She got a couple of Oscar nominations for non horrors (Come To The Stable (1949) and Witness For The Prosecution (1957)) but she is the only actress of the classic era to have an iconic horror character of her own. She looks striking with the huge hair and has a great scream. Also a nasty swan like hiss at the end.

3. Anne Gwynne-House Of Frankenstein (1944) Here she plays a potential victim of Count Dracula (John Carradine). She looks great with dark hair and full lips. She plays the scene where she is hypnotized by the vampire with great sensuality.

4. Diana Dors- Berserk (1967) She was the sexy, curvy bleach blonde of British films. She is great here playing a devious magician's assistant in this psycho killer circus film. She seduces leading man Ty Hardin, gets into a knock down drag out catfight, exchanges a few barbs with Joan Crawford before getting sawn in half.

5 Hazel Court- The Raven (1963) I always thought she was the queen of the Hammer horror films. She has a great role in this, showing she has great comic timing as well as a great scream. She gets in some very funny, sarcastic lines directed at horror veterans Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre.

6. Barbara Steele -Nightmare Castle (1965) I always thought she was the sexiest of the scream queens, with raven black hair, big eyes and pouty lips. Too bad most of her films were junk, but this one stands out for me. She plays an unfaithful wife whose vengeful husband kills her and her lover. They come back as ghosts and come after him. She also plays a dual role, but as a blonde. She has a few hot and heavy love scenes.

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