Favorite Bela Lugosi movie?

Discussion in 'General' started by jae, Jun 29, 2001.

  1. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    The Black Cat would be my vote also, I really love that movie. Both Legosi and Karloff are superb in it. I actually just watched it again a few days ago.
     
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  2. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I think you could easily argue that The Black Cat is the best of the classic Universal films. Edgar Ulmer would have easily surpassed Whale as the studio's premier horror director if he didn't make the mistake of starting an affair with Uncle Carl's nephew. Who knows how many other great Universal films we got deprived of because of that?

    I love The Black Cat, but find the otherwise inferior The Raven superior AS A LUGOSI VEHICLE. Bela is mildly miscast in The Black Cat because the original conception of his character underwent HUGE changes due to fear of the Breen Office. The whole production story is fascinating, and I can't recommend Greg Mank's tremendous book "Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration" highly enough. If you're a fan of either man, or especially both, it's worth its weight in gold. Long story short, the original shooting script for The Black Cat had Lugosi attempting to rape Joan and steal her for himself--and you can still see some of the sinister shadings Lugosi gave Werdegast long before the famous finale with Poelzig on the rack.

    Then there's The Raven. It's obviously easy to criticize, and those who like to bash Lugosi's overacting get plenty of fuel from that particular performance. But you can really sense Bela's glee at finally getting to outshine Boris. It's tough to imagine better casting than Bela as a megalomaniac doctor with a God complex--and his acting style is beautifully suited to all of Vollin's histrionics. The Black Cat is a legitimate artistic masterpiece. The Raven isn't--but it might be Bela's finest hour outside of Dracula. I love it for that.

    Incidentally, I did some work on the audio track of Human Monster. The amount of noise filtering VCI applied is truly ludicrous. I've never had to boost high frequencies remotely as much as I did to get more natural-sounding audio for this transfer. Sadly, there's plenty of evidence of equally egregious video noise reduction. X-Human's mention of White Zombie jogged my memory about the utterly addle-brained application of DNR on that "restored" transfer. Sadly, The Human Monster looks much the same--and there's no bonus "unrestored" version this time.

    Even in death, Bela seems to get the short end of the stick.
     
  3. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    VCI simply boggles the mind with their transfers and "restorations". I'd honestly prefer literally any other studio out there to release movies on Blu-ray besides them... they certainly could do no worse.
     
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  4. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Sad, but true. They certainly love their noise reduction. I guess they figured out they can ruin audio with it, too.
     
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