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Boris Karloff

[8] Five travelers end up stranded at our title location after a fierce night-time storm makes driving the English hillsides too dangerous. The family that lives there is less than hospitable, with secrets that make the evening increasingly frightening. The Old Dark House is one of the grandfathers of what is now a classic horror sub-genre. Director James Whale (Frankenstein, Waterloo Bridge) makes it a …

[3] British archaeologists unearth a disgraced Egyptian prince (Boris Karloff) and accidentally bring him back to life. Ten years later, the mummy — looking conveniently human — schemes to reunite with his ancient lover, now reincarnated in the body of one of the archaeologist’s girlfriends (Zita Johann). In the pantheon of Universal’s classic monster movies, The Mummy is my least favorite by a large margin. …

[6] Walter Huston headlines this Howard Hawks prison drama about a district attorney who becomes warden of a facility where he’s responsible for half the men’s sentences. Co-starring is fresh-faced Phillips Holmes as a twenty-year old who accidentally kills a man during a bar brawl. Huston sympathizes with the young man, but sends him to prison for a ten year sentence. Once he’s warden six …

[8] Director James Whale (Waterloo Bridge) was given free reign by Universal Pictures to craft a sequel to his highly successful Frankenstein. The result is a more daring and stylized film considered by many to be the most remarkable in all the studio’s legacy of classic monster movies. In The Bride of Frankenstein, both Frankenstein and his monster survive their apparent deaths at the end …

[3] Boris Karloff stars as a doctor who transplants the brain of a gangster into the body of a dying professor (both played by Stanley Ridges), then tries to get the convalescing professor to remember — with his new brain — where the gangster hid half a million dollars. Once they visit the gangster’s old stomping grounds, the memories come flooding back and the professor …

[7] James Whale (Waterloo Bridge, The Invisible Man) directs Boris Karloff in his iconic performance as Frankenstein’s monster in this cornerstone of Universal Pictures’ monster movie legacy. The adaptation from Mary Shelley’s novel is somewhat loosey-goosey, but taken on its own merits, Whale’s film offers a lot of Gothic horror, expressionistic set design, and a handful of indelible images — including the monster’s laboratory ‘birth’ …

[7] Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) headlines this matinee adventure flick about a group of British archaeologists who fight to keep the recently discovered sword and mask of Genghis Khan out of the hands of the evil Fu Manchu, who would harness the items into deadly weapons against humanity. Karloff plays the evil Fu Manchu with indelible glee, supported by an equally creepy performance by Myrna Loy …

[7] After success with House of Usher,┬áThe Pit and the Pendulum, and Tales of Terror, Roger Corman further exploited Edgar Allan Poe’s name with The Raven. But this time, the film bears little resemblance to Poe’s story. Instead, legendary sci-fi scribe Richard Matheson wrote a fairly engaging comedic tale about three dueling wizards. Vincent Price plays the first wizard, mourning over the death of his …

[6] Paul Muni plays a thinly-veiled version of Al Capone in Howard Hawks’ Scarface, a grim, violent gangster flick that was pretty controversial for its time. The lack of bloodshed keeps it tame by today’s standards, but myriad onscreen deaths and an immoral leading character delayed the release of Scarface until two years after it was filmed. Muni is reliably good (he’s an Oscar-winner for …