The Best of the Best! The Top 10 from the 20’s to the 50’s!
These are, in my opinion, the top ten classic horror movies of the period. Deciding on only 10 was very difficult so at bottom of the page is a list of worthy mentions, close calls and runner-ups!
10. The Old Dark House Five travelers are reluctantly provided shelter by a most bizarre family in their creepy old house.
– A lessor-known entry in the Universal Horror canon, though just as brilliant as any other film and an absolute personal favorite!
9. The Mummy Boris Karloff in another career defining role made up as a reincarnated mummy.
– Directed by famed German Cinematographer, Karl Freund who achieves a very somber, subtle and somehow, poetic piece with Boris Karloff as the tragic lead.
8. The Body Snatcher A distinguished doctor is tormented by a sinister old acquaintance who also provides the doctor with “subjects”.
– Featuring the last pairing of the two definitive legends of horror, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.
7. The Wolf Man The classic tale of man transforming into beast.
– The film that bought to life so many of the modern day myths about werewolves.
“Even a man who is pure of heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright”
6. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The primitive animalistic nature of man brought to the surface through experimental science.
– The first horror movie to ever win an Academy Award!
5. Island of Lost Souls A stowaway is taken to an island where a mad scientist conducts human “experiments”.
– Wanting an unknown actress to play the role of “The Panther Woman”, the filmmaker’s chose Kathleen Bourke out of a contest of thousands! Working as a dentist’s assistant at the time, this was her very first role.
4. Phantom of the Opera The tale of a love turned into tragic obsession.
– Actress Mary Philbin’s reaction to the unmasking of The Phantom was real! She had no idea what he would look like until that exact moment.
3. Frankenstein Attempting to emulate God, a man is bent on creating life out of the parts of corpses.
– The seminal role of The Monster was actually, initially offered to Bela Lugosi who turned it down as there was no dialogue for him to speak. Makeup artist Jack Pierce came up with the entire look of The Monster, from the flat top head, neck “bolts” (electrodes), drooping eyelids and poorly-fitting suit.
2. Nosferatu A vampire’s evil bloodlust takes over a city like a plague
– This primal, silent, groundbreaking piece was banned in Sweden due to excessive horror. The ban was finally lifted in 1972!
And at number one…
1. DRACULA (1931) …Desiring new hunting grounds, a vampire travels to London where he begins to pray on those in his path.
– Amazingly, Lugosi was not originally considered for the title role. Only after much partitioning and negotiation did he receive the chance to repeat the stage success he’d had as the infamous count. It’s hard now to imagine anyone else playing the iconic part.
∗ The one’s that got left behind and in no particular order..; “The Most Dangerous Game”, “White Zombie”, “The Black Cat”, “Werewolf of London”, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”, “The Lodger” (1944), “Mania” (aka; “The Flesh and the Fiends”), “Horror of Dracula”, “The Mummy” (1959).
Agree? Disagree?? Please leave some comments below and tell me what you think.