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View Poll Results: What's your favorite original Universal Monster movie?
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) 2 2.74%
The Phantom of the Opera (1925) 2 2.74%
Dracula (1931) 3 4.11%
Frankenstein (1931) 24 32.88%
The Mummy (1932) 1 1.37%
The Invisible Man (1933) 7 9.59%
The Wolf Man (1941) 12 16.44%
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) 22 30.14%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-14-2013, 02:09 AM   #16
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I went with Frankenstein, but I also really love the Invisible Man.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:23 AM   #17
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I'm very surprised that of the 42 people here that voted, only one person prefers Dracula.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:54 AM   #18
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Lightening struck twice with Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. The first Frankenstein is my favorite horror film of all time and on of my all time favorite films period. I love the rest of Universal's monsters but for me The Monster stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Agreed. I've come to appreciate even the immediate sequels as well, although to a lesser extent.

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Too bad that Frederick Kerr's terrible work as Baron Frankenstein brings several sequences to a dead stop.
I'm not as familiar with the performance. What about it detracts from the overall film for you?

Also, the spectrum of results in the poll make me proud to be a member here. Everyone's a favorite.
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Well as the video explains, I do not think it is a great film, nor do I think.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:53 PM   #19
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Sadly I still need to see a lot of these . I planned on grabbing the Bluray collection in Oct. but lack of funds put a stop to that. I will definitely be picking it up this Oct. though!

Considering I still have many to see I won't vote, but my order so far would be...

Wolf Man
Invisible Man
Dracula
Frankenstein

Frankenstein was the film I was most excitedd to see but it didn't do much for me. I definitely need to give it another viewing though. Invisible Man was the biggest surprise as I didn't have much interest in watching it but ended up loving it. It sits right up there with The Wolf Man for me.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:06 PM   #20
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I'm very surprised that of the 42 people here that voted, only one person prefers Dracula.
Bela is great, but overall it isn't a very good movie. It's very stagy (which makes perfect sense given its origin), all of the action takes place off camera, and there's not much of a soundtrack to speak of. There was a HUGE leap in production values in the short time between Draculas and Frankensteins releases.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:05 PM   #21
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Enjoy them all, but love the following in this order:

The Wolf Man
Frankenstein
Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Invisible Man
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:07 AM   #22
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I'm not as familiar with the performance. What about it detracts from the overall film for you?
He's just so hammy he seems like he wandered in from a different film. The rest of the film has such a somber vibe. He really clashes with that mood. The fact that he looks old enough to be Colin Clive's grandfather doesn't help either.

A lot of the lower profile Universal releases from the 30s and 40s suffer from poorly conceived comic relief (Werewolf Of London and The Mummy's Hand are 2 good examples). I suspect Kerr's character was meant to be funny (as Whale's later horror films all feature a great deal of humor). But for me at least, his performance doesn't work at all.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:27 AM   #23
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Aside from the lack of a musical score, Frankenstein is pretty close to perfect too. Too bad that Frederick Kerr's terrible work as Baron Frankenstein brings several sequences to a dead stop.
He seems fairly accurate of a certain type of grandfather and so for me he never really stood out. His personality is also great justification for moving certain plot points along.

Frankenstein has a lot of great little comedy moments, I think Fritz pulling up his sock on the stairwell is a favorite of mine. Also when he takes the lid of the brain jar before stealing it. There's a lot of weird little things like that in there that work well even today.

Dwight Frye is really great in Dracula too. His laugh is so singular. Browning's Dracula is too easily cast aside. The ensemble cast is quite excellent. Admittedly I'm not sure it would make my top 5 Universals but there's something more to it then people are willing to admit.

For me though Chaney's hard luck act really wears thin like in The Wolfman. Most of the time he's playing the kind of jerk I'd walk an extra mile around to try and avoid. But when he does the kind of performance like in Spider Baby I really do feel for him.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:55 AM   #24
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He seems fairly accurate of a certain type of grandfather and so for me he never really stood out.

For me though Chaney's hard luck act really wears thin like in The Wolfman. Most of the time he's playing the kind of jerk I'd walk an extra mile around to try and avoid.
He does seem accurate as a grandfather. But he's supposed to be Henry's FATHER. For me that strains belief more than the more fantastic elements of the story. Picture how much less affecting the father/son dynamic in The Wolf Man would be if Kerr was cast instead of Raines.

I understand how you feel about Chaney. Larry Talbot becomes pretty insufferable in the sequels. I still think he's on the right side of sympathetic in the original. It's a difficult role--far more demanding than the leads in most of these films. I think it's a damn fine performance.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #25
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Went with Frankenstein but it's always a close call between that and the original Wolf Man. I love Chaney's performance and some of the cinematography is beautiful but Karloff's performance is absolutely brilliant. As I child I only saw him as a monster and never realized he was a sympathetic character. Seeing the movie in my 20s was like seeing it for the very first time whereas with The Wolf Man, I remember feeling sorry for Larry Talbot even as a child.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:15 AM   #26
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I'm very surprised that of the 42 people here that voted, only one person prefers Dracula.
I came in here to ponder the same thing, as the one person out of 51 now who voted Dracula was I!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:34 AM   #27
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Make that two Bela Lugosi all the way!!!!
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:41 AM   #28
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I understand how you feel about Chaney. Larry Talbot becomes pretty insufferable in the sequels. I still think he's on the right side of sympathetic in the original. It's a difficult role--far more demanding than the leads in most of these films. I think it's a damn fine performance.
Yeah, the later roles could have tainted my view of the original. I can't recall ever really being a Wolf Man fan to begin with. (I was a regular Franky fan) Plus Evelyn Ankers didn't much like Chaney as according to her he couldn't seem to keep his hands to himself. So now whenever I watch those two together it makes me somewhat uncomfortable; that doesn't leave much to enjoy beyond the excellent production design.

Not to turn this into a Chaney bash, I'll also say he's excellent with Abbot and Costello. His comic timing in the locker room sequence and ability to play off them probably makes that his all time best scene. They say being the straight man is toughest and he nails it. Plus he's now parodying his earlier performances which makes it easier to go with. It's unfortunate we didn't get many other comedic roles like Spider Baby.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:19 AM   #29
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Plus Evelyn Ankers didn't much like Chaney as according to her he couldn't seem to keep his hands to himself. So now whenever I watch those two together it makes me somewhat uncomfortable.

Not to turn this into a Chaney bash, I'll also say he's excellent with Abbot and Costello. His comic timing in the locker room sequence and ability to play off them probably makes that his all time best scene. They say being the straight man is toughest and he nails it. Plus he's now parodying his earlier performances which makes it easier to go with. It's unfortunate we didn't get many other comedic roles like Spider Baby.
Tom Weaver has plenty to say about Chaney and Ankers in The Wolf Man commentary. I was amazed to hear how much they disliked each other. They show a lot of chemistry together and really sell some scenes that could have induced groans or laughs. That said, I understand what you're saying 100%. Their relationship anchors the film. And if those scenes don't work for you it isn't nearly as involving.

I've always loved A & C Meet Frankenstein. That locker room scene is really classic stuff.

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If Chaney wasn't such an effective straight man the jokes in that film wouldn't be nearly as effective. I love the fact that both he and Lugosi play things deadly straight throughout that movie (Strange too, but his part is practically a cameo). Despite the additional years Lugosi is so good as Dracula that it depresses me that Universal hosed him and cast John Carradine in the House of... flicks. It's a true shame that Lugosi got so few opportunities to act in quality projects. Even in the most piss-poor Monogram productions he brought something special to the table.

It makes me happy to see how many of you guys appreciate the Universal classics. Most people I know don't get them at all. Their loss.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:44 AM   #30
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I love the fact that both he and Lugosi play things deadly straight throughout that movie (Strange too, but his part is practically a cameo). Despite the additional years Lugosi is so good as Dracula that it depresses me that Universal hosed him and cast John Carradine in the House of... flicks. It's a true shame that Lugosi got so few opportunities to act in quality projects. Even in the most piss-poor Monogram productions he brought something special to the table.
Wasn't Lugosi &/or Chaney opposed to Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein because the film made light of the characters? I know it's bizarre, but I always loved the look of Glenn Strange's Monster in that film. I know his performance was wooden, but he just looked so damn cool. In fact, my favorite of all the moments in all of the Frankenstein films was when Strange's fist busts through the door and grabs Lou Costello by the side of the head followed by him knocking the door down. Good stuff.
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