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James Whale Friday


1968B2
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What does everyone think of the James Whale Friday tonight?

I'm liking it, and I think the schedule is a terrific build-up to THE INVISIBLE MAN and FRANKENSTEIN later. I mean, Colin Clive was a great lead actor from the theater, and then film got him, and it's a treasure to have him on film. I enjoy his acting.

James Whale: He directs like a cat: he lets you warm up to him, but he's always ready to show you another side. You know?xoxo1968B2

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I'm loving James Whale Friday night. Right now watching *One More River* with two great horror films to follow. I haven't seen *The Invisible Man* in more years than I can count so I'm really looking forward to that one.

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Just finished watching "The Great Garrick." What a delightful film! I've never seen it before. The entire cast is funny and charming. Aherne is a beautiful ham, and I don't think I've ever seen Olivia so lovely. It's also fun to try to spot Lana Turner.

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I know, I'm having fun w/it, too. At first, I didn't know what was going on w/the Brian Aherne; I was wondering if it was Lubitsch, but I knew it couldn't be. And then I researched. I love James Whale.

I agree, can't wait for INVISIBLE MAN. It's been ages for me, too.

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Enjoy "The Invisible Man" guys. A great film, which I saw again recently. Holds up beautifully, and such a cast. Claude Rains, Una O'Connor, Henry Travers, and the lovely Gloria Stuart, plus many more familiar character actors from the glorious 30s. Watch carefully for Dwight Frye's moments-long cameo as the reporter in the horn-rimmed spectacles who shouts two totally useless questions to the local police officials. The media never seems to change much, somehow!

 

 

 

Tonight's line-up movies is a real treat, useful for reminding us that Whale, although chiefly remembered as a horror director, helmed a much wider range of movies, and he directed all of them with flair and visual precision. I'd never seen The Great Garrick or One More River before. TGG was charming and sumptuously decorated. More fluid photography than in most of Whale's Universal product; I suspect producer Mervyn LeRoy had more than a bit to do with that! Olivia has seldom been more beautiful on film. My only disappointment was that the characters seemed a bit remote, which made the emotional payoff a bit less powerful than it might have been. Admittedly, character development was not one of Whale's greatest strengths as a director.

 

 

 

One More River is a most unusual film, with another great array of actors. Still, I have to confess a bit of unease watching love scenes between Diana Wynyard and Frank Lawton, since Lawton had appeared as Wynyard's youngest son only a year before in Fox Film's Cavalcade. Admittedly, this is more my problem than the actors, but still...

 

 

 

Ick.

 

Edited by: DuryeaForHollywood on Jan 27, 2012 11:04 PM

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DuryeaForHollywood, yes, you wish for more character development, you notice it lacking, right when you realize, oh, no, this isn't directed by Lubitsch. It's the most preponderous thing! However, I'm heart-sunk for Whale, I love his sensitivity; sometimes I think in the GARRICK, he's over his head, and maybe it's an MGM-vs Whale thing (is it MGM? It looks like it); I mean, it seems a little more community theater than is usually his thing. But I love the night TCM gave us about him, a chance to see a few of his I haven't.

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> {quote:title=1968B2 wrote:}{quote}I know, I'm having fun w/it, too. At first, I didn't know what was going on w/the Brian Aherne; I was wondering if it was Lubitsch, but I knew it couldn't be. And then I researched. I love James Whale.

> I agree, can't wait for INVISIBLE MAN. It's been ages for me, too.

The reason you thought the director might be Lubitsch is that the same person who wrote the screen play also wrote the script for some of the Lubitsch films. It definitely had that feeling about it. Brian Aherne was terrific, really over the top. Olivia's naturalness really stood out against his performance as the actor's actor!

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While I really enjoyed the Whale movies last night, I must admit that I had a hard time getting into *Frankenstein*. Seems almost every time I did, the next scene would remind me of *Young Frankenstein*.

 

"My grandfather used to work for your grandfather, of course, rates have gone up."

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Rosebette: Good call! Thanks for the research; that really helped! I had no idea about any of that! It's great, when you watch classic film after a time, and you get a feel for it, and your instincts kick in, and you know something's up, but you can't quite figure it! So, you supplied the g-nome! Thanks!xoxo1968B2

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I literally grew up with the Frankenstein movie. It was still being distributed to small independent theaters around the country in the 1940s and '50, especially during the week before Halloween. I think it probably always was distributed. One of the few films that never stopped distribution in the US. Back in the '30s, '40s, and '50s, I think it probably showed in some theaters in the US every year since it was made. Also, in the '50s, I think it was shown on a lot of local TV channels every year.

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The Great Garrick is a Warner movie and not MGM. But I do agree the film doesn't have a Warner feel to it and it lacks many of the standard Warner character actors of the 30s. Add in Whale as director and one gets a unique movie. I really like it but hey, I'm nuts for Olivia.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Hi guys,

 

I am doing James Whale for my Film Studies project. I was hoping you could help me out by telling me your thoughts to the theme of the 'Outsider' in the following films:

 

The Invisible Man

 

Frankenstein

 

The Old Dark House.

 

Thanks

 

Danny. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys,

 

I am doing James Whale for my Film Studies project. I was hoping you could help me out by telling me your thoughts to the theme of the 'Outsider' in the following films:

 

The Invisible Man

 

Frankenstein

 

The Old Dark House.

 

Thanks

 

Danny. 

Hi Danny,

 

Great project! You didn't ask about Bride of Frankenstein, but in my course about the horror film many years ago, I remember the teacher particularly referring to the monster in Bride as a "Byronic hero." That is a sort of "outsider." Here is the Wikipedia entry for that character type:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byronic_hero

 

The hermit scene in Bride shows that aspect of the monster to great effect: wanting friendship, enjoying it, but then realizing that it is impossible for him to yearn for friendship, that he is condemned to be an outsider.

 

The outsider character in Frankenstein is part of the Gothic literature tradition of the early 19th century, for example, the eponymous character in Melmoth the Wanderer by Maturin (1820) is a good example. 

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