VOICE Journal of the Alex Film Society Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005, 2 pm & 8 pm 10/05 of theTHEATRE Halloween Spooktacular! Dr. Shocker&Friends
art Ballyhoo and part bold Pface lie, the SPOOK SHOW evolved from the death of Vaudeville and Hollywood’s need to promote their enormous slate James Whale’s of B pictures. Bride of In the 1930’s, with performance dates growing scarce, a number of magicians turned to movie Frankenstein houses for bookings. The theatre owners decided to program the magic shows with their horror movies and the SPOOK SHOW was born. Who Will Be The Bride of Frankenstein? Who Will Dare? ames Whale’s secrecy regarding class socialists. She attended Mr. Jthe casting of the Monster’s Kettle’s school in London, where she mate in Universal Studio’s follow was the only female student and up to 1931’s hugely successful won a scholarship to study dance Frankenstein set the studio’s with Isadora Duncan in France. publicity machine in motion. With the outbreak of World War I, Speculation raged over who would Lanchester was sent back to London play the newest monster with where, at the age of 11 she began Brigitte Helm, who played Maria her own “Classical Dancing Club”. in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), In 1918, she founded “The Children’s and Phyllis Brooks, a statuesque Theatre” which later morphed into illustrator’s model from New York, “The Cave of Harmony”, a late night considered the front runners. venue where Lanchester performed In spite of Universal’s publicity, one-act plays and musical revues Dr. Shocker & Grace however, James Whale had known for the likes of H.G. Wells and from the moment he accepted the Aldous Huxley. Lanchester also The first Ghost Shows, like the one pioneered project who he wanted to play the performed in other London musical by EL – WYN, Salt Lake City Clerk Elwin Monster’s mate: Elsa Lanchester. revues dancing and singing risqué Charles Peck, relied heavily on the depression Cockney ballads with titles like era fascination with all things spiritual. Spooky Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born “If You Peak In My Gazebo” and apparitions were summoned and interacted on Oct. 28, 1902. She was the “Never Go Walking Without Your with the host. The ghost’s unbelievable daughter of Edith Lanchester and Hat Pin“. Sometimes she performed phosphorescent appearance was the result of a James Sullivan, two unmarried shows at different theatres brand new, but still unknown invention, members of the Social Democratic almost simultaneously! While Continued on Page 5 Federation, a group of working Continued on Page 2
Bride of Frankenstein...... 1 Dr. Shocker & Friends...... 5 Halloween Spooktacular!...... 1 Perspective: Ernest Thesiger...... 6 Perspective: Una O’Conner ...... 3 Calendar...... 8 Feature Credits...... 4 Membership information...... 8 ELSA LANCHESTER, Cont’d from page 1
“I think James Whale felt that if this beautiful and innocent Mary Shelley could write such a horror story as Frankenstein, then somewhere she must have had a fiend within. My playing both parts cemented that idea.”
Lanchester was particularly thrilled with the dress she wore as Shelley during the film’s opening scenes. She described it as “the most fairy-tale like creation that I have ever seen before or since in a film.” It was covered with iridescent bead work, had a seven- add to the strangeness. I spent so foot train and took seventeen much time screaming that I lost my performing in Riverside Nights, a women twelve weeks to complete. voice and couldn’t speak for days.” musical revue where James Whale was the Stage Manager, Lanchester Over the course of her career, would flee the theatre the moment Lanchester starred in nearly seventy films Lanchester starred in nearly seventy she had finished performing, hail and made almost forty television appearances, films and made almost forty a taxi, and make her way across television appearances, but it is her town to The Midnight Follies, but it is her role as the Bride of Frankenstein role as the Bride of Frankenstein another revue in which she was for which she is best remembered. for which she is remembered best. performing, changing costumes in In a 1979 interview with Gregory the taxi’s backseat during the ride! This was a sharp contrast to her Mank, she remarked, “I’ve changed, costume as the Monster’s Mate. of course, after all these years, but I When it came time for James Whale “I was bound in yards and yards still have a lot of hair, and it blows to cast for Bride of Frankenstein, of bandage most carefully wound around, and I’m still recognizable. he remembered the young, slender by the studio nurse.” Lanchester Whatever James Whale saw in girl with the wild red hair from also spent three to four hours my face, it didn’t leave me.” Riverside Nights for not only each morning being made up the part of the Monster’s Mate, by Universal Studios make-up Daryl A. Maxwell is VP of the Alex but for the role of Mary Shelley artist Jack Pierce while he applied Film Society and has been a fan of in the film’s prologue as well. scars and worked Lanchester’s Universal Horror films, particularly Lanchester recalled, in her memoir own hair into the iconic “Bride the Bride ofFrankenstein, for longer ELSA LANCHESTER, HERSELF, of Frankenstein” hair-do. than he can remember.
When it came time to film the Bride’s reaction to the Monster, Lanchester had an idea Whale loved for the scream. She recalled in her memoirs, “Actually, I’ve always been fascinated by the sound that swans make. Regents Park in London has lots of them on the lake… They’re really nasty creatures, always hissing at you. So, I used the memory of that hiss. The sound men, in one or two cases, ran the Colin Clive and Ernest Thesiger admire the hisses and screams backwards to results of their macabre work.
VOICE of the THEATRE – – Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005 FILMOGRAPHY: Perspective: Una O’Connor by Daryl A. Maxwell In a career that extended across seven decades, actor-turned-director James Whale. Elsa Lanchester appeared in nearly 70 feature Whale asked O’Connor to join the films and countless TV shows ranging from “I Love cast of The Invisible Man (1933) Lucy” to “Mannix”. Here is a partial filmography where she portrayed Jenny Hall, of her work: the near hysterical and unfortunate Murder By Death (1976) keeper of the inn from which Claude Rain’s Jack Griffin chooses to rent Terror in the Wax Museum (1973) a room. Her performance even “Nanny and the Professor” TV Series (1970-71) earned her praise from H.G. Wells Willard (1971) (though he thought Whale had made That Darn Cat (1965) Griffin a “lunatic”). Whale then went on to cast O’Connor again in Mary Poppins (1964) his next film at Universal: Bride of Bell, Book and Candle (1958) Frankenstein (1935). Like her co- Witness for the Prosecution (1957)* star Elsa Lanchester, O’Connor has a Hell’s Half Acre (1954) double role in the film, playing both Androcles and the Lion (1952) Minnie, the high strung house- keeper of Castle Frankenstein, and Come to the Stable (1949)* the Shelly’s maid/dog walker in the The Secret Garden (1949) film’s opening sequence. O’Connor The Bishop’s Wife (1947) orn on October 23, 1880 as can be seen serenely walking a pack The Razor’s Edge (1946) BAgnes T. McGlade in Belfast, of huge dogs off the screen seconds Ireland, Una O’Connor was the only after the film’s opening. The Spiral Staircase (1946) surviving child born to parents Lassie Come Home (1943) that left her orphaned by the age of Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Rembrandt (1936) two. She was sent to be raised by an O’Connor became a supporting David Copperfield (1935) Aunt with eleven children. actress of great demand and worked endlessly with some of The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) Although she studied to become Hollywood’s greatest actors and * Oscar Nomination, Best Supporting Actress a teacher, she succumbed to the directors, including Michael Curtiz, call of the stage and enrolled in George Cukor, Ernst Lubitsch, the school of the Abbey Players in Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Jean Dublin. She also joined the Irish Harlow, Barbara Stanwyck, Errol Repertory Company and the Irish Flynn, Olivia DeHavilland and Literary Theatre, where she first Marlene Dietrich. performed what she claimed to be her favorite stage role: the third Witch/Weird Sister in Macbeth.
In 1931, O’Connor took the role YOU CAN WIN of Ellen Bridges, the Cockney Charwoman, in the stage production a Corpse Bride gift bag of Noel Coward’s Cavalcade. When oozing with promo items Fox made the film version of the play, O’Connor recreated her role and multi-movie DVD sets! for the screen and it became the first of a steady stream of character Raffle tickets available in roles for her. She was a master of Lobby before each show. characterizations and dialects, working non-stop in Hollywood Winners posted in lobby after Cavalcade (1933) and catching after each performance. Lanchester as Mary Shelley in “the dress”. the attention of fellow London stage
Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005 – – VOICE of the THEATRE James Whale’s
Bride of Black and white – 1935 – 75 minutes Universal Pictures Frankenstein Print courtesy of NBC Universal
Produced by...... Carl Laemmle Jr. Cast Frank Benson, Walter Brennan Boris Karloff...... The Monster Grace Cunard, John George Directed by...... James Whale Colin Clive...... Dr. Henry Frankenstein Helen Gibson, Brenda Fowler Based on the Novel Frankenstein by Valerie Hobson...... Elizabeth Frankenstein Edward Peil Sr., Mary Stewart...Villagers* Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Ernest Thesiger...... Dr. Pretorius Norman Ainsley...... Little Archbishop* Elsa Lanchester...Mary Shelley/The Bride Billy Barty...... Little Baby* Adaptation...... William Hurlbut Gavin Gordon...... Lord Byron Maurice Black...... Gypsy* & John Balderston Screenplay by...... William Hurlbut Douglas Walton...... Percy Shelley Arthur S. Byron.....Henry VIII: Little King* Una O’Connor...... Minnie D’Arcy Corrigan...... Procession leader* Director E.E. Clive...... Burgomaster Kansas DeForrest...... Little ballerina* of Photography...... John J. Mescall Lucien Prival...... Albert (the butler) Elspeth Dudgeon...... Gypsy’s mother* Edited by...... Ted Kent Art Director...... Charles D. Hall O.P. Heggie...... Hermit Helen Jerome Eddy...... Gypsy’s wife* Make Up by...... Jack P. Pierce* Dwight Frye...... Karl Neil Fitzgerald...... Rudy* SpecialPhotographic Reginald Barlow...... Hans Marilyn Harris...... Girl* Effects...... John P. Fulton Mary Gordon...... Hans’ wife Josephine McKim...... Little mermaid* Special Electrical Props ...... Ken Strickfaden* Ann Darling...... Shepherdess Sarah Schwartz...... Marta* Original Music by...... Franz Waxman Ted Billings...... Ludwig Peter Shaw...... Little Devil* Conducted by...... Constantin Lucio Villegas...... Priest* Bakaleinikoff Robert Adair, John Carradine Joan Woodbury...... Little Queen* Organ played by...... Oliver Wallace* John Curtis, Frank Terry ...... Hunters* *uncredited
credits from We’ve updated our web site to include more information Internet Movie Database: IMDB.com and past issues of the Voice of the Theatre. Check it out at www.AlexFilmSociety.org and sign up for our email list.
VOICE of the THEATRE – – Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005 Spook Shows Cont’d from page 1 alloween DOCTOR Luminous Paint! Spooktacular! Shocker! Over the years the SPOOK SHOWS changed as Appearing as often as our national psyche. The Ghost Shows of Dr. Shocker is the 20’s turned into large magical extravaganzas CAST the talented in the 30’s. In the Doctor Shocker...... Daniel Roebuck actor (and AFS 1940’s the Ghosters Mongo...... Timothy E. Goodwin member) Daniel realized that they Frankenstein...... John Goodwin Roebuck. could increase Vampire Girl...... Nicole Frank profit dramatically The Bride...... Karen Smith Before moving by adding an Wolfman...... John Cody Fasano to Hollywood actual movie goblin to establish to their roster. Evil Assistants...... Aaron Lewis, John Fasano, himself as “Direct from Steve Christopher, Ed Polgardy, Kelly Mann, Grace one of the town’s hardest working Hollywood...THE Roebuck, Buster Roebuck, Alex Ward, Lucia Fasano, character actors, Roebuck began FRANKENSTEIN Jesse Adams, Rebecca Birdsell, Timothy Keegan, his career as a circus clown and MONSTER!” Megan Roope, Ryan Roope magician.
Silkini, Dantini, Dr. SPOOK SHOW Since making his dramatic debut Evil and countless in The River’s Edge, Daniel has others would offer PRODUCER...... Robert Welch starred in Disorganized Crime, The ticket buyers shows like Asylum Of Horrors, MUSICAL ARRANGER....Brice Cranston Fugitive, Agent Cody Banks and Madhouse Of Mystery and The Tomb Of Terror! LIGHTING...... Cory Geryak, Tony Ward Final Destination. On the small These Ghost Masters proved so successful that COSTUMES...... Tim Dietlein and screen, Roebuck worked opposite some made ten thousand dollars a week on the Glendale Costumes Andy Griffith for three years on road. The money was so good that many of them MAKE UP...... John Goodwin, Kelly Mann “Matlock”, he’s been a regular on franchised their name and act in an attempt to HAIR...... NIcole Frank “Nash Bridges” and “A Minute With grab revenue from smaller venues. FLYER...... John Fasano Stan Hooper”. He played Jay Leno in SPOOK SHOW With the advent of “The Late Shift”, Garry Marshall in CONSULTANTS...... Bob Burns, Verne Langdon television, movie “Behind The Camera: The True Story MAGIC attendance declined Of Mork And Mindy” and countless CONSULTANTS...... Sir James Brown, Kelly Mann, and filmmakers other people, real and fake in too Alan Zagorsky, Jerry Chavez, tried to move the many TV movies to mention. Jonathon Neal Brown, gimmicks from Verne Langdon, Owens Magic the SPOOK SHOW He was last seen as the explosive directly into their Dr. Arzt on the ABC hit, “Lost” and SET CONSTRUCTION...... Erik Andersen, Jesse Adams, movies. One innovator, William Castle, actually has joined the cast of “Desperate Timothy Keegan sold his movies with ballyhoo promising new Housewives” for a number of techniques in terror like PERCEPTO, EMERGO and episodes this season. SPECIAL THANKS...... Glendale Costumes ILLUISION-O. Side Show Collectibles Roebuck created Doctor Shocker SPOOK SHOWS limped along until the 1970’s, Owen’s Magic as homage to horror hosts of the and then were finally displaced by genuine History For Hire Prop Rentals past when he co-directed, with Hollywood blockbusters like Jaws (1975), Star PRG Lighting Chuck Williams, the documentary, Wars (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Kelly Roebuck Halloween, The Happy Haunting Of Sunnie Gonzalives, Noah Lang America (1997). Once the films themselves could fill the seats, theatre owners were loath to spend more money RAFFLE OF CORPSE BRIDE posters, t-shirts on ballyhoo of any kind. Soon the SPOOK SHOWS & UNIVERSAL HORROR DVD’s faded into the fog-shrouded memories of fans and collectors. Our program is gratiously underwritten by you, our patrons and members. Your ticket purchase and raffle participation enables AFS to program classic film events such as this. Please help by For a more complete history of this fun era, read GHOSTMASTERS by Mark Walker. becoming a member and/or purchasing raffle tickets. Warner Bros., Side Show Collectibles and (Cool Hand Publishing) R.C. Universal Home Video have generously donated raffle prizes.
Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005 – – VOICE of the THEATRE Perspective: Ernest Thesiger by Daryl A. Maxwell Special Exhibit: or those familiar with Bride cast of mostly British actors hand Fof Frankenstein, it is difficult selected by Whale, which already Frighteningly Beautiful: to imagine anyone but Ernest included Charles Laughton (in his The Women of Thesiger in the role of the sinister first American film), Lillian Bond, Dr. Septimus Pretorius. With his Eva Moore, and Boris Karloff. Universal Horror skeletal frame, shock of unkempt Thesiger teamed up with Karloff hair, icy gaze and clipped delivery, again in the UK to make The it is easy to see why Director James Ghoul in 1933. Then, both actors Whale went against Universal’s returned to the States to join Whale suggestion of Claude Rains and cast in making Bride of Frankenstein his friend Thesiger in the role for in 1935. Unfortunately, Bride of which he is best remembered. Frankenstein was the last time Thesiger and Whale worked together.
Thesiger returned to Britain where he worked steadily on the stage and screen. His last appearance on the stage was opposite Sir John Gielgud in a production of The Last Joke in 1960. Louise Allbritton, Son of Dracula (1943). Evidently, the rapier wit for which Thesiger is so well remembered was not limited to the roles he Frighteningly Beautiful: The Wom- played. Sir Alec Guinness recounts en of Universal Horror is an exhibit Ernest Thesiger in his book A POSITIVELY FINAL celebrating the actresses, so often APPEARANCE that a woman overlooked, from Universal Studios’ Ernest Graham Thesiger was born stopped Thesiger as he was walking infamous cannon of horror films in London on January 15, 1879. He though Piccadilly and said “Didn’t using vintage publicity photos from attended Marlborough College in you used to be Ernest Thesiger?” the personal collection of Daryl the hopes of a career as a painter. Thesiger bluntly replied, “Still am!” Maxwell, AFS Vice-President. However, while he became an and hurried on. accomplished watercolor artist, he was unable to sustain himself on Alex Film Society is a non-profit Ranging from 1932’s The Mummy painting alone and quickly turned community arts organization to 1948’s Abbott and Costello Meet to the stage, making his first dedicated to the exhibition of Frankenstein, the exhibit highlights appearance in a 1909 production of classic films on the big screen. character portraits of ten actresses, Colonel Smith. Membership in the Society of- including Elsa Lanchester, Louise fers discounted tickets, member Albritton, Virginia Christine, and This led to a steady stream of stage Gloria Holden. Highly dramatic, and performances that was interrupted only wine receptions, mailed sometimes surprisingly glamorous, only by a brief period of service subscription to the VOT and as a private in British armed early admittance to AFS events. these photographs illuminate the forces during WWI. In the early We would like to thank our female monsters and some of the 1930s, James Whale, an old friend, sponsors: memorable supporting characters, approached Thesiger to come to often as iconic as their male coun- the United States to play the role David & Catherine Strohmaier terparts, and the actresses that of Horace Femm in The Old Dark History For Hire Prop House portrayed them. House (1932). Thesiger joined the Niebaum-Coppola Vineyards KCSN 88.5 FM
VOICE of the THEATRE – – Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005 Photo Gallery
Short Subject FRANKEN-STYMIED (Walter Lantz Productions, Distributed by Universal 1961) 7 minutes. Courtesy Universal Studios. With arguably the Characters...... Woody Woodpecker, most famous laugh Mad Scientist, Frankie of any cartoon character in history Directed By...... Jack Hannah (“ha-ha-ha-HA-ha”), Woody Woodpecker Produced By...... Walter Lantz pecked his way into the world in 1940. Animated By...... Don Lusk, Al Coe, Woody continued Roy Jenkins, Ray Abrams to appear in short films throughout the 40’s and 50’s, and in 1957, Kellogg’s Written By...... Homer Brightman packaged the theatrical works into a syndicated TV program, “The Woody Woodpecker Show”. Walter Lantz created the Music By...... Clarence Wheeler famed bird, and in the show’s early days, the animator would host from his office, demonstrating how cartoons were made Settings...... Ray Huffine, Art Landy by showing the viewers at home such essentials as drawing storyboards and cel painting. Woody, an obnoxious mischief- Voices...... Grace Stafford Lantz, Daws Butler maker, usually starred in the shorts, occasionally taking a backseat to his friends Andy Panda, Wally Walrus, Gabby Information courtesy of The Big Cartoon DataBase (www.bcdb.com) Gator, Buzzy Buzzard, Oswald the Rabbit, and Chilly Willy. Used with permission.
Vol. 11, No. 5 October 22, 2005 – – VOICE of the THEATRE Street Banners support 2005/06 Calendar Alex Film Society www.AlexFilmSociety.org Banners once again grace Glendale’s major Tickets: 818.243.2539 streets thanks to the particpation of the following individuals and businesses: Saturday, November 26, 2005 at 2 and 8 pm TH BRAND BOOKSHOP 8 ANNUAL THREE STOOGES™ WARNER BROS. PICTURES BIG SCREEN EVENT! COLONIAL HONDA We celebrate the 8th year of our popular “Stooge-fest” with “Curly (and Shemp) Go Nutz”, a collection of five GLENDALE INFINITI classic short subjects cherry picked from the Columbia ROUGH DRAFT STUDIOS, INC. Pictures’ vaults by our blue ribbon panel of Stooge- SUPERVISOR MIKE ANTONOVICH o-philes. Come join us for the wacky Thanksgiving CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF weekend event that has become a holiday tradition for THE WINE VAULT Stooge fans of all ages. Columbia Pictures (various) SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL Saturday, March 4, 2006 at 2 and 8 pm Since OF THE VERDUGOS 1994 REAL WORKS INC. The screen’s top romantic stars in Hitchcock’s melodramatic masterpiece! THE COFFEE CUP NOTORIOUS FRANK & LISA GLADSTONE Master of Suspense ALFRED HITCHCOCK directs CHUY’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT screenwriter Ben Hecht’s tense tale of passion and deceit set against the background of 1940’s Rio HISTORY FOR HIRE de Janeiro. CARY GRANT plays an American agent JIM & PAM ELYEA who accompanies INGRID BERGMAN to Brazil on Thank you! the trail of valuable secrets for the wartime US government. The longest on- screen kiss in history, a key to a mysterious wine cellar, Claude Rains as one of Hitchcock’s most sympathetic villains and Leopoldine Konstantin as Rains’ membership application domineering mother make Notorious one of the most memorable films of all mail with check to: Alex Film Society time. RKO (1946) P. O. Box 4807, Glendale, CA 91222-0807 Saturday, May 6, 2006 at 2 and 8 pm Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles! A HARD DAYS NIGHT If someone asks you what Beatlemania was, make them watch this, the quintessential time-capsule movie immersing viewers in the London of 1964. Brilliantly shot in gorgeous black and white by Gilbert Taylor, this movie is an absolute must-see, not just to experience The Beatles and the early 1960s, but also to see a masterful piece of movie making by director Richard Lester. United Artists (1965)
Voice of the Theatre Published by and for members of the Alex Film Society P. O. Box 4807 • Glendale, CA 91222 • 818.754.8250 [email protected] $3 (mailed free with membership) editor randy carter design/layout brian ellis distribution andrea humberger printer alco printing, glendale ©2005 AFS, all rights reserved