Saturday, February 9, 2013

Typecasting?


 
Actor Bela Lugosi as Jesus Christ in a 1909 Passion play.
 
In 1931, Lugosi would play yet another character who rose from the grave. 

14 comments:

  1. That is freakin' crazy! Who knew he was so handsome? What other gems have you been keeping from us? Lolz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, Lugosi is about 27 in that picture. He was almost 50 when he did DRACULA.

      What other gems am I keeping? Well, I'm still searching for a Boris Karloff as Buddha picture.

      Delete
  2. The only musical featuring Bela Lugosi.

    http://archive.org/details/Postal_Inspector_1936

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link, Mike. Some interesting comments right below the video.

      Delete
  3. Now that IS interesting. Thanks for showing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Postino. Would it still be interesting if one didn't recognize the name Bela Lugosi and knew nothing of his career? That is the question. Kass, below, may provide part of the answer.

      Delete
  4. So interesting. Such resigned acceptance, yet pain in his face.
    What a find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kass, as someone who grew up on the fare offered by late night TV horror movie hosts, I've seen plenty of films with Bela Lugosi in it, yet I still can't quite get a grip on his acting ability. His thick Hungarian accent may be part of the problem. Universal Pictures never trusted Lugosi to carry a movie where he played something other than a vampire. Yet they happily gave him all sorts of small roles, walk-on roles, bit parts, and then prominently display his name in the credits. Universal may have got more out of his stardom then he did. Other than DRACULA I like him best as the broken-necked shepherd Ygor in a couple of Frankenstein movies. He was even scarier then Boris Karloff's monster in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. Lugosi played mostly menacing characters throughout his film career. He was even menacing in his one scene in the Greta Garbo romantic comedy NINOTCHKA. So menacing Garbo wanted to be alone after that (heh, heh.) Now, was all this due to Lugosi's abilities as an actor, or could he simply look menacing without really trying, and so coasted on that? The single still picture above provides a clue. He doesn't look too menacing in that, does he? Perhaps there was another, more versatile Lugosi that the world at large never got to see. I guess we'll never know for sure.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for this additional information. So interesting. I have a collection of Jesus pictures (I call them the Jesi) - I'm not entirely sure why, other than that I have made up my own Jesus, in terms of representations and symbols that redeem me. I'm adding this to it as one of my favorites.

    The pictures appear on youtube over my rendition of "O, Divine Redeemer."
    click

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. how wow. i knew you were immensely talented, but, really, i had but a glimmer of an understanding.

      Delete
    2. How wow is right, Kass! I recall there's a picture in your sidebar (which has disppeared from your blog. Are you aware of that?) of you dressed as, I believe, Madame Butterfly, but I didn't know if you had performed the role on stage, or whether it was--um, how do I say this?--some sort of costume ball you attended. I guess I know my answer. I remember you saying in the past that you were a professional writer at some point, but were you also a classical singer as well? That was very impressive!

      Delete
  6. i always suspected that there was more to lugosi than met the screen. even in his menacing roles, there were hints of a wistfulness, sadness, or longing. i wonder...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. You can say the same about all the great horror stars, rraine. Karloff, both Chaneys, Peter Lorre, John Carradine, Peter Cushing, even Vincent Price, though there was a lot of self-mockery in his case. Maybe being stuck in a single genre gets those actors down.

      Delete