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Dracula 1931

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  • #16
    Freaks was refused a censors certificate here well into the sixties.
    This horror cycle persuaded the censor to bring in the H certificate,which of course lasted till the fifties when it became the X certificate.

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    • #17
      I found it very hard to watch Freaks, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry it affected me that much I had so much compassion for the real performers. It is to Brownings credit that he made such a HUMAN film that treated the performers with respect, possibly because he came from a carnival background he understood their plight. He will always have my respect for that, although I'll never watch the film again as It had such a impact.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tv horror View Post
        I found it very hard to watch Freaks, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry it affected me that much I had so much compassion for the real performers. It is to Brownings credit that he made such a HUMAN film that treated the performers with respect, possibly because he came from a carnival background he understood their plight. He will always have my respect for that, although I'll never watch the film again as It had such a impact.
        When I first saw the film advertised in the TV schedules, I wanted to watch it really for curiosity value seeing as this film had so much controversy attached to it. I'm glad I got to see it, but if I'm honest, it's not the sort of film I could watch repeatedly, unlike some of Brownings other films. I gather there was about 20 minutes or so cut from it and those scenes are now lost, but I would have been interested to see what was removed.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Carl V View Post

          …...Particularly after eating a nice thick juicy steak.

          As for Tod Browning, I think it was his film Freaks (1932) which practically finished off his movie career, as the film proved to be highly controversial. I remember catching this film late one night on the TCM channel, although I suspect it may have been an edited version as I imagine the film would have received extensive cuts prior to being released.
          Very hard to watch but it did star Wallace Ford who was originally Sam Jones from Bolton, Lancs!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Carl V View Post

            …...Particularly after eating a nice thick juicy steak.

            As for Tod Browning, I think it was his film Freaks (1932) which practically finished off his movie career, as the film proved to be highly controversial. I remember catching this film late one night on the TCM channel, although I suspect it may have been an edited version as I imagine the film would have received extensive cuts prior to being released.
            Indeed. MGM disowned the film and it was sold to exploitation film distributor Dwain Esper who edited the film and rereleased it for a decade under different titles.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Ian Fryer View Post

              I'm not sure about that explanation - Browning was by this point an experienced screen director and his previous, silent works had plenty of camera movement.

              Other explanations which, to me, stack up rather better are that Browning's Dracula was a very early sound production and the director was hamstrung by restrictions imposed by the technology, the noisy camera being encased in a glass booth to stop the row of its workings being picked up by the microphones. Also, Universal lost confidence in the project and cut the budget to the bone.

              Of course, neither of these explain why the Spanish-language version, shot on the same sets at night by director George Melford, is rather more lively than Browning's film,
              I like your post.

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              • #22
                The first I got to know about Freaks was through a Horror magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland which was edited by Forrest J Ackerman back in the 60's. I also saw it when it was on TV. my memories seem to tell me that I had to turn away several times.

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                • Bonekicker
                  Bonekicker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have a DVD (spotted in Poundland) all about Ackerman - fascinating character, and I do have (somewhere) a couple of issues of the magazine - glorious stuff. Freaks is a hard watch, but its amazing that MGM let him film it at all.

              • #23
                Originally posted by cassidy View Post
                The first I got to know about Freaks was through a Horror magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland which was edited by Forrest J Ackerman back in the 60's. I also saw it when it was on TV. my memories seem to tell me that I had to turn away several times.
                Yes that's where I first heard of the film and by coincidence I later wrote an article for them about Belfast born una O'Connor who was a great character actress, usually typecast as a maid or a hysterical type.

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                • #24
                  Originally posted by cassidy View Post
                  Whatever one may or may not say about Lugosi's performance, back in 1931 he scared the pants off of the cinema audience back in those days, particularly in the opening scenes. I can remember many years back as a youngster talking to relatives who had seen the film when it came out and being quite frightened just listening to their descriptions.
                  Absolutely, the whole film should be taken in the context of the time

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                  • #25
                    Originally posted by Ian Fryer View Post

                    I'm not sure about that explanation - Browning was by this point an experienced screen director and his previous, silent works had plenty of camera movement.

                    Other explanations which, to me, stack up rather better are that Browning's Dracula was a very early sound production and the director was hamstrung by restrictions imposed by the technology, the noisy camera being encased in a glass booth to stop the row of its workings being picked up by the microphones. Also, Universal lost confidence in the project and cut the budget to the bone.

                    Of course, neither of these explain why the Spanish-language version, shot on the same sets at night by director George Melford, is rather more lively than Browning's film,
                    The Universal contemporaries, Frankenstein and, particularly, Bride of Frankenstein are much better movies because James Whale was a better director.

                    I’m not sure about the Spanish language version, I know it has its admirers, but I don’t find it particularly good and the lead actor has no screen presence at all.

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                    • Bonekicker
                      Bonekicker commented
                      Editing a comment
                      But strangely, the star of the Spanish language version (a not uncommon ploy for Hollywood at the time) quite possibly spoke better English than Bela Lugosi!

                    • Paxton Milk
                      Paxton Milk commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ha, I never considered that. I think I read somewhere he learned the Broadway play phonetically
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