Bela and Boris Episode 4: Bela vs. Boris / by Karina Longworth


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Lugosi and Karloff, the two stars made by Universal’s monster movies, made eight films together. Today we’ll dive deep into some of these movies (including The Black Cat, The Raven, Son of Frankenstein and Val Lewton’s The Body Snatcher), and continue to explore how even when their careers brought them together, Karloff and Lugosi remained worlds apart. Featuring Patton Oswalt as Boris Karloff and Taran Killam as Bela Lugosi.

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff,  The Black Cat,  1934

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, The Black Cat, 1934

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi,  The Raven , 1935

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, The Raven, 1935

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi,  Son of Frankenstein , 1939

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, Son of Frankenstein, 1939



The Moguls: Hollywood's Merchants of Myth by Norman J. Zierold

The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi by Arthur Lennig

Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger

A History of Horror by Wheeler Winston Dixon

Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Films, 1931–1946, 2nd Ed. By Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas and Tom Brunas

Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the 1930s by Christopher Workman and Troy Howarth

City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures by Bernard F. Dick

Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror by Michael Mallory

Lois Weber in Early Hollywood by Shelley Stamp

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together by Gregory William Mank

Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career by Edmund G. Bansak

Icons of Grief: Val Lewton's Home Front Pictures by Alexander Nemerov

Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror by Joel E. Siegel

"'The Screen's Number One and Number Two Bogeymen': The Critical Reception of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in the 1930s and 1940s." by Mark Jancovich and Shane Brown. From Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification

“Scare ‘Em To Death -- and Cash In” by Richard G. Hubler. Saturday Evening Post, May 23, 1942


All of the music used in this episode, with the exception of the intro and outro, is from royalty-free music libraries and licensed music collections. The intro includes a clip from the film Casablanca. Outro song: “Penthouse and Pavement” by Heaven 17.  Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode: "Waltz For Cello 1" by Jonatan Järpehag, "Psychological Drama 4" by Magnus Ringblom, "Clumsy Detective 02" by Thomas Lundgren,  "Russian Dance Off" by Håkan Eriksson, "Victoria's Vintage Pearls 2" by Peter Sandberg, "Pet Cemetery" by Håkan Eriksson, "Eccentric Vibes 11" by Håkan Eriksson, "Baltic Waltz" by Håkan Eriksson, "Discovery - Blute Solo" by William T. Stromberg from Son of Frankenstein, 1939, "Vampires Suck" by Jon Björk, "Etude No. 3 for String Quartet" by Peter Sandberg, "Reflectif" (Artist unknown), "Some Autumn Waltz 1" by Jonatan Järpehag. 


This episode is sponsored by the Great Courses Plus and Squarespace


This episode was edited by Sam Dingman and Jacob Smith, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Featuring Patton Oswalt as Boris Karloff and Taran Killam as Bela Lugosi. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

Double Feature Frankenstein and Dracula, 1952.jpg