The Black Cat (1934)

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1934
Stars:
Boris Karloff

Bela Lugosi

David Manners
Writer:
Edward G. Ulmer

Peter Ruric
Director:
Edward G. Ulmer
WRC Score:
4/4

(-_-)b
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 18, 2013

Our film today is The Black Cat, a 1934 Universal Horror classic. It is also an important historic film as well. For no matter what its merits on its own terms, this film is the first time Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi worked together.

Depending on who you ask, the two were either great rivals or amicable professionals. According to Wikipedia, Karloff once told interviewers that there was some initial friction between the two. Only after being satisfied that the other actor wouldn’t upstage him did Lugosi settle down to the business at hand. Which suggests the former.

Of course, the same article quotes the normally very nice Karloff as saying that Lugosi “never learned his trade.” So who knows?

Whatever the truth, this entry into the Horror Hall of Fame takes place during Karloff’s first big creative peak and Lugosi’s, well, only peak. While flaunting the name Edgar Allan Poe, its story has nothing to do with the great writer. However, as with Poe, it does deal with madness, revenge, and death.

I hope you’ll join me on the next page as I poke fun at actors with more talent in their little fingers than Paulie Shore did in his…

What? You were expecting me to compare them to me? I wouldn’t dare shame them so.

Take that as you will…

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