Lugosi + Karloff +The Bauhaus = The Black Cat (1934) on TCM 2/25/03

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason_Els, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    This one is GREAT! And you can't get it on DVD. [​IMG] I barely remember it from the first time I saw it and can't wait for tomorrow night.

    In their first outing together Karloff and Lugosi make music together only the children of the night could love. Lugosi is an architect, Karloff a Satanist. They duel for the soul of an innocent American newlywed (Julie Bishop). Who will win??

    Don't expect this movie to have anything to do with E.A. Poe's story by the same name. Though he's given credit for inspiring the story it seems all he inspired was the title. No matter. We get to see the two greatest horror actors of all time go at it. This would be great all on its own but as others have pointed out, the real star of the movie is the atmosphere.

    The era of the great German cinema was over by 1934 as Hitler's Germany forced the great directors of the Expressionist period to flee for safer lands. Yet there were a few last gasps of Expressionism left and while I wouldn't call The Black Cat Expressionist, you can feel it seeping through the film.

    It's the house. Houses like these don't appear in films but rarely and none before or since like this. It's up there with Violet Venable's Vicious Vegetablery. The Bauhaus architectural movement, associated with the maxim, "form follows function", clean lines, and proto-Modernist aesthetics, was coming to an end in Germany, also the victim of Nazi art policies. This house is like all of the Bauhaus wrapped into one space. It's beautiful really but the masterful lighting, not to mention the creepy characters, make it the most sinister looking home short of Lugosi's winter place in Transylvania. If you're any kind of horror or Expressionist fan, then this movie is an absolute must.
     
  2. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    P.S. Immediately following is Sam Jaffe, Ronald Coleman, and Jane Wyatt in Frank Capra's Lost Horizon. Of all the film versions of Hilton's eternal story this one is the best and no Shanrgi-La has ever been so ethereal as Capra's.

    Quite the night for a double header! [​IMG]
     
  3. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Shamelss bump. Hope people will see this [​IMG]
     
  4. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Ironically, didn't the band Bauhaus do the song "Bela Legosi is Dead?" (summon 80's music wisdom)


    Hmmm...

    Phil
     

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