Bela and Boris

Bela and Boris Episode 6: Boris Karloff and Roger Corman by Karina Longworth

BorisKarloff4.jpg

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Where Bela Lugosi lived his last decade in sad obscurity, Boris Karloff worked until the very end of his life, even as his body began to fall apart. Some of that work was for Roger Corman, the extremely prolific independent genre film producer whose movies helped to define the generation gap in the 1960's, while serving as a training ground for the next generation of auteurs. Karloff’s and Corman’s finest collaboration, Peter Bogdanovich’s directorial debut Targets, would serve as a bridge between cinematica eras, paying tribute to Karloff and his long career while depicting events that were shockingly of-the-moment--and still relevant today. Featuring Patton Oswalt as Boris Karloff and Rian Johnson as Roger Corman. 

 Director Roger Corman with Vincent Price on the set of  The House of Usher , 1960

Director Roger Corman with Vincent Price on the set of The House of Usher, 1960

 Boris Karloff in The Raven, 1963

Boris Karloff in The Raven, 1963

 Boris Karloff recording  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1966

Boris Karloff recording How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1966

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources: 

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

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

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

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind

Who the Hell's in It: Conversations with Hollywood's Legendary Actors by Peter Bogdanovich

Roger Corman: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers Series) edited by Constantine Nasr

Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers by Beverly Gray

"A Bucket of Blood" by David Kalat, TCM.com

Music:

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 "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo. Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode: "Waltz For Cello 1" by Jonatan Järpehag, "The Hipcat Swagger 3" by Martin Landh, "The Chairman of the Board 5" by Martin Landh, "Bachelor on the Move 1" by Martin Landh, "Bandit Dance" by Håkan Eriksson, "Bandit Dance 3" by Håkan Eriksson, "Optical Delusion 5" by Håkan Eriksson, "Wave Breaker" by Henrik Andersson, "Hot Rod Rebels 2" by Victor Olsson, "Psychedelic Background 2" by Merlean, "Bad Guy Approaching by Merlean, "Psychological Drama 4" by Marcus Ringblom, "Polka Dots" by Håkan Eriksson.

Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by Winc.

Credits:

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 Rian Johnson as Roger Corman. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

 Boris Karloff in  Targets , 1968

Boris Karloff in Targets, 1968

Bela and Boris Episode 5: Bela Lugosi and Ed Wood by Karina Longworth

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Forgotten by Hollywood, struggling with morphine addiction and a dependency on alcohol, at the end of his life Bela Lugosi was welcomed into a rag tag bunch of micro-budget movie-making freaks led by Edward D. Wood Jr,, who would later become known as the worst filmmaker of all time. Through their collaborations on movies like Glen or Glenda? and Bride of the Monster, did Ed Wood help Bela, exploit him, or a little of both? Featuring Taran Killam as Bela Lugosi and Noah Segan as Ed Wood. 

 Bela Lugosi during a 1950's stage show. 

Bela Lugosi during a 1950's stage show. 

 Edward D. Wood Jr. (Ed Wood) c. 1950's 

Edward D. Wood Jr. (Ed Wood) c. 1950's 

 Bela Lugosi,  Glen or Glenda? , 1953

Bela Lugosi, Glen or Glenda?, 1953

brideOfTheMonsterWeddingDress.jpg

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources: 

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

Ed Wood: Nightmare of Ecstasy by Rudolph Grey

Music:

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: “Bela Lugosi's Dead” by Bauhaus. Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode: "Waltz For Cello 1" by Jonatan Järpehag, "Mystery Minute 1" by Anders Ekengren, "Mercy Of The Wind 1" by Peter Sandberg, "Mercy Of The Wind 5" by Peter Sandberg, "Optical Delusion 3" by Håkan Eriksson, "Some Autumn Waltz 1" by Jonatan Järpehag, 
"Eccentric Vibes 4" by Håkan Eriksson, "Reflectif" (artist unknown), "At The Riviera 1" by Peter Sandberg, "Gagool" by Kevin MacLeod, "Etude No 3 For String Quartet" by Peter Sandberg, 

Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Blue Apron.

Credits:

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

 Bela Lugosi, 1955

Bela Lugosi, 1955

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

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources: 

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

Music:

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. 

Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by the Great Courses Plus and Squarespace

Credits:

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

Bela and Boris Episode 3: Boris and the Monsters by Karina Longworth

Annex - Karloff, Boris (Frankenstein)_09.jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

After twenty years as a journeyman actor/laborer, Boris Karloff became an instant superstar as the Monster in Frankenstein (1931). Today we’ll explore how Karloff, unlike Lugosi, managed to maintain a steady stardom throughout the decades, returning to the monster that made him without feeling trapped by the character. Featuring Patton Oswalt as Boris Karloff.

 Jack P. Pierce preps Boris Karloff's hair and makeup for  Frankenstein , 1931

Jack P. Pierce preps Boris Karloff's hair and makeup for Frankenstein, 1931

 Boris Karloff,  The Mummy , 1932

Boris Karloff, The Mummy, 1932

 Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in the  Bride of Frankenstein , 1935

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in the Bride of Frankenstein, 1935

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources: 

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

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

"'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

Music:

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: “Monster” by Kanye West.  Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode: "Waltz for Cello 1" by Jonatan Järpehag, "Stalker" by Gunnar Johnsén, "Surfing Ghouls" by Håkan Eriksson, "Vampires Suck" by John Björk, "Undead Orchestra" by Håkan Eriksson, "Psychological Drama 4" by Magnus Ringblom, "Quirky Orchestra 5" by Josef Habib, "Clumsy Detective 02" by Thomas Lundgren, "Clumsy Detective 01" by Thomas Lundgren, "Russian Dance Off" by Håkan Eriksson, "Kingdom Of Baghk" by Vusal Zeinalov, "Menuetto And Storm" by Franz Waxman and Kenneth Alwyn from Bride of Frankenstein (1935), "The Tower Explodes and Finale" by Franz Waxman and Kenneth Alwyn from Bride of Frankenstein (1935), "Baltic Waltz" by Håkan Eriksson, "Victoria's Vintage Pearls 2" by Peter Sandberg, "Gagool" by Kevin MacLeod, "Mystery Minute 9" by Anders Ekengren.

Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by the Great Courses Plus and Blue Apron.

Credits:

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman and Jacob Smith, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Special thanks to Patton Oswalt who guest stars as Boris Karloff. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

 Boris Karloff in  Frankenstein 1970 , 1958

Boris Karloff in Frankenstein 1970, 1958

Bela and Boris Episode 2: Bela and the Vampires by Karina Longworth

Annex - Lugosi, Bela (Mark of the Vampire)_02.jpg

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

With Dracula (1931), Bela Lugosi instantly became the first horror star of sound cinema. It’s not easy being a trailblazer, and Bela would have difficulty capitalizing on his newfound stardom. In this episode we’ll discuss how Dracula made him, and trapped him, and trace the subsequent vampire roles that became his bread and butter.

 Bela Lugosi,  Dracula , 1931 

Bela Lugosi, Dracula, 1931 

 Helen Chandler and Bela Lugosi,  Dracula , 1931

Helen Chandler and Bela Lugosi, Dracula, 1931

 Bela Lugosi,  White Zombie , 1932

Bela Lugosi, White Zombie, 1932

 Bela Lugosi,  Return of the Vampire , 1943

Bela Lugosi, Return of the Vampire, 1943

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources: 

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

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

Music:

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: “Darkness” by The Human League. Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode: “Waltz for Cello 1” by Jonatan Järpehag, “Clumsy Detective 01 and 02” by Thomas Lundgren, “Reflectif” (Artist unknown), “Mystery Minute 5” by Anders Ekengren, “Victoria's Vintage Pearls 2” by Peter Sandberg,  “Bad Guy Approaching” by Merlean, “Vampires Suck” by Jon Björk,  “Chant” (uncredited) from White Zombie (1932), “Russian Dance Off” by Håkan Eriksson, “Some Autumn Waltz 1” by Jonatan Järpehag, “Playful and Slightly Mysterious Orchestral” by Gavin Luke, “Quirky Orchestra 5” by Josed Habib.

Credits:

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman and Jacob Smith, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Special thanks to Taran Killam who guest stars as Bela Lugosi. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

 Bela Lugosi,  Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948

Bela Lugosi, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948

Bela and Boris Episode 1: Where the Monsters Came From by Karina Longworth

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Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff were two middle-aged, foreign, struggling actors who became huge stars thanks to Dracula and Frankenstein, the first two of a trend of monster movie hits released by Universal Studios during the 1930s. This season, we’ll discuss their parallel but very different lives and careers. Today, we’ll start by exploring where each man came from, what they were doing before they got to Universal, and why Universal began making monster movies in the first place.

 Universal City, c. 1915

Universal City, c. 1915

 Carl Laemmle (center) Carl Laemmle Jr. and his sister Rosabelle, c. 1930

Carl Laemmle (center) Carl Laemmle Jr. and his sister Rosabelle, c. 1930

SHOW NOTES:  

Sources: 

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

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

Music:

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: “Everyday is like Halloween” by Ministry. Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode: "Waltz for Cello 1" by Jonatan Järpehag, "Russian Dance Off " by Håkan Eriksson, "Reflectif" (Artist Unknown), "Kingdom of Baghk" by Vusal Zeinalov, Audio from the film King of Jazz (1930), "Gagool" by Kevin MacLeod, "At the Riviera" by Peter Sandberg, "Some Autumn Waltz 1" by Jonatan Järpehag.

Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by the Great Courses Plus and Blue Apron.

Credits:

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman and Jacob Smith, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

 Bela Lugosi, c. 1920's 

Bela Lugosi, c. 1920's 

 Boris Karloff, c. 1920's 

Boris Karloff, c. 1920's