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"As Sure As My Name is Boris Karloff"


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San Francisco's Balboa Theatre is presenting a big Boris Karloff festival June 2-8 and June 16-22. Mr. Karloff's daughter Sara is going to kick off the festival with a talk and showing of Boris Karloff's home movies on Friday, June 2. The rest of the schedule is:

 

June 3

Frankenstein (1931)

The Black Room (1934)

 

June 4

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The Old Dark House (1932)

 

June 5

Scarface (1932)

Graft (1931)

 

June 6

The Body Snatcher (1945)

The Walking Dead (1936)

The Wurdalak (1963)

 

June 7

The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

The Lost Patrol (1934)

 

June 8

The Raven (1935)

The Raven (1963)

 

June 16

Targets (1968)

Gods and Monsters (1998)

 

June 17

Frankenstein (1931)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

 

June 18

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

The Boogie Man Will Get You (1935)

 

June 19

The Mummy (1932)

The Ghoul (1933)

 

June 20

The Criminal Code (1931)

The Guilty Generation (1931)

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

 

June 21

The Black Cat (1934)

The Invisible Ray (1936)

Night World (1932)

 

June 22

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

House of Frankenstein (1944)

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  • 2 weeks later...

And while this Boris Karloff festival is going on, I see that a DVD collection of Mr. Karloff's is being released in September. It will include:

 

Night Key (1937)

Tower of London (1939)

The Climax (1944)

The Strange Door (1951)

The Black Castle (1952)

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  • 1 month later...

I know this is a movie message board, but is anyone here a friend of Karloff's 1960-2 TV show Thriller? A lot of the supernatural episodes felt like small classic horror movies. John Brahm and Robert Florey directed a few episodes.

 

Karloff was great in "The Incredible Dr. Markesan."

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I used to watch Thriller as a kid. They terrified me. I remember one with Donna Douglass with a theme about vanity. I'd be interested to see them again...

 

And huzzy? This is a film-crazy City. I'd say it was because of its being a satellite of the industry with Coppola's offices here; Lucas' new studios in the Presidio, PDI and Pixar, etc., but there were even more rep houses here before these film companies moved here. Frankly, I can't keep up with them. But I hope to be at the Silent Film Festival next week, and already have my tickets for the Mildred Pierce showing (with Ann Blyth in a special guest appearance) for the week after. Come on out! I'll save a seat for ya!

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i'm jealous! if i wasn't on the other side of the country i would be at the silent film festival. i love silent films and it would be wonderful to get the theatre experience. i guess i'll have to suffice with watching silent sunday nights. =)

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The Thriller with Donna Douglas was "The Hungry Glass," which starred William Shatner. (He didn't have any scenes with Donna Douglas, however, as she died a century before he bought the house.) The episode is a bit like "The Uninvited" (1944) in atmosphere.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

Is the TV show Thriller out on DVD? I haven't come across it, and would like to know if they're selling it at places like Suncoast...

 

I have a 2 DVD set of his show called "The Veil". The commentary on the back says it was never showen on TV. "Hailed as the greatest television series that, was never aired." There are 10 episodes in all. Very creepy indeed!

 

Love Horror!

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I haven't seen "thriller" on DVD. Over a decade ago, they released six episodes on tape. Some were very good: "Incredible Dr. Markesan," (which had Karloff and was directed by Robert Florey), "The Grim reaper" and "Terror in Teakwood." But they never did "The Cheaters" which is by far the best Thriller episode ever. Perhaps someday they will release Thriller on DVD. We can hope.

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This set was also released on laserdisc by MCA Universal in 1994. I'm glad I bought my copy of it then. The Incredible Doktor Markesan still gives me the creeps. Is "The Cheaters" the episode involving a mirror?

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"The Cheaters" is about a cursed pair of eyeglasses. ("Cheaters" was 1930s slang for eyeglasses.)

 

"Prisoner in the Mirror" is probably the one you are thinking about. It is very, very good. Henry Daniell is in it as a sorcerer.

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Thanks for clearing that up, Mike. I loved this show. It seemed quite scary for primetime television at the time. If Prisoner in the Mirror is the one where the characters disappear into a large mirror, that's the one I was thinking of. I watched this with two friends at the time and we couldn't look at any mirrors in the house after seeing it!

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Yes, "Thriller" often seems incredibly dark as a show. "The Cheaters" ends with a guy destroying his face after he sees how rotten his soul is, "Devil's Ticket" ends with an artist going to hell, "Prisoner in the Mirror" leaves a few good people trapped in the mirror world, "incredible Dr. markesan" ends with the hero's wife transformed into a zombie. Even when the good people survive, as in "Return of Andrew Bentley," the dialog points out that the bad guy is now eternally damned.

 

It hardly makes you want to go out and buy the products advertised on the show.

 

"The Twilight Zone" had a few grim endings (usually written by Charles Beaumont, as in "Perchance to Dream" and "The Jungle,") but usually the people who got destroyed deserved it, as in "The Masks," which really feels like a "Thriller" episode and was directed by Ida Lupino, who had earlier directed for "Thriller."

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  • 4 weeks later...

THRILLER has not been commercially released by Universal on DVD, but from what I've read on other boards, good DVD copies are available. I'll go back and see what their website is.

It's nice to have the new Karloff DVD's coming out this month and next, but too bad some of them don't feature Boris very much (THE BLACK CASTLE and THE STRANGE DOOR). I'd like to see THE SORCERERS, DEVIL'S ISLAND, and BLACK SABBATH on DVD.

Gord Shriver (author of "Boris Karloff: The Man Remembered")

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I'm looking forward to see "The Climax." It sounds interesting, (and I saw the trailer on an Abbott & Costello tape), but then everything I've read about it is dismissive of the film.

 

I would love to see "The Sorcerers." I've read nothing but good stuff about it, but it doesn't seem to be available.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I saw "The Climax," and I enjoyed it, but it isn't your typical Universal horror film.

 

It is very much a grand production like 1943's "Phantom of the Opera," with bits of "Gaslight" included. I like "Climax" better because the comedy relief is kept under control, and there is only one musical star (Susanna Foster), so we only have her singing, whereas in "Phantom," we had to have songs from her and songs from Nelson Eddy as well.

 

The role of a doctor who murders a singer because she won't sing only for him is a bit unusual for Karloff. It feels more like a Vincent Price or Laird Cregar role. However, the film opens wonderfully for Karloff. We see him walking to the theater looking aged and depressed, and he goes into a dressing room and (in flashback) we see him murder the singer.

 

I'm glad I saw it.

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