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  • #16
    Thanks E.Z.for the information.

    Glenn...Off the thread comment here,but it is said that the Spanish version of Dracula ( made on the same set as the 1931 Browning version with Lugosi...almost at the same exact time) is superior to the English speaking version. The only "drawback" in the Spanish version it was mentioned was that the lead actor wasn't as effective as Bela.


    • #17
      Originally posted by How Brown
      it is said that the Spanish version of Dracula ( made on the same set as the 1931 Browning version with Lugosi...almost at the same exact time) is superior to the English speaking version.
      I certainly hope so, Howie, because Tod Browning's film is not very good, in my opinion. There is some good creepy and supernatural atmosphere in there (possibly thanks to the talented set builders of Hollywood), but the acting is bad and the script is even worse. When I recently saw the film, I noticed one thing: there is no teeth in it!

      Although this film was a blockbuster, Browning had a bad reputation as a writer and director, mostly his films are suffering from lousy scripts and he was also known for abusing and mistreating his cast.
      "Freaks" is probably the only good movie he made that means something and has an interesting script. His most interesting film, from an film art point of view, is probably the now lost 1927 movie "London After Midnight" with Lon Chaney Snr, but that was known for having a really bad story as well and those who saw it weren't impressed with the plot, something that Browning's remake in the 1930s with Lugosi (!) clearly proved.

      But his version of Dracula has very little to do with Stoker's book and is not praticularly scary. Although it has reached classic status for being the first real Dracula movie. Now that you mention it, it would be interesting to see the Spanish version, though. Maybe the vampire there had fangs, at least.


      • #18

        Call it treason...but even though Lugosi was Hungarian (I'm part),he wasn't very impressive in Dracula. Had Lon Chaney lived,Lugosi would most likely if not definitely never had a chance at portraying Dracula...the role which enabled Lugosi to sneer at the role of Frankenstein,which he turned down and by doing so,allowed Boris Karloff to achieve stardom. By turning down the Frankenstein role,Lugosi eventually wound up playing "second fiddle" to Karloff in the films they both appeared in....

        I've seen London After Midnight in 'still shot' format...and despite the unique makeup Chaney employed...I agree with you in that that film was pretty absymal.


        • #19
          Hi Howie,

          I absolutely agree.

          As for the still-shot edition of London After Midnight, I still haven't seen it. A friend of mine who has it on DVD is supposed to come over in a few days and we'll watch it.
          Well aware of the bad and confusing plot, I think the main advantage with the fim, as you say, is Lon Chaney's very unique make-up for that. I am a great Chaney Snr fan and that was probably one of his best masks -- a shame he wasted it on that movie, though.


          • #20

            It was very fortuitous for some Hollywood actors that Chaney was not around when the 1930's spate of horror movies were made. Its very likely that Lugosi would never have been famous as he is now...and Karloff as well. John Carradine turned down the role of Frankenstein,if I am not mistaken.

            In any event,they don't make 'em like that anymore,Glenn...


            • #21
              Absolutely right, How,
              On all counts. Chaney only managed to stay around long enough to act in one talkie, which is a shame.

              And we certainly no longer have any actors today who are prepared to stuff metal wires into their face in order to make their eyes stand out, as he did in London After Midnight. From what I heard, he could only have the set of teeth inserted a few minutes at a time because they were quite awkward and painful to use. Certainly no sissy.


              • #22

                Absolutely no lightweight that Chaney,Glenn. I forget the amount of weight he had to carry on his back as the Hunchback,but it was said to be a grueling ordeal. Likewise that film with Joan Crawford where he cuts his arms off ( or was it his legs?)....forget the name at the moment.


                • #23
                  Just received M on DVD a couple of days ago.
                  It was really nice to see it in a digitally restored version (usually the quality of the film copies they show on TV have been awful), close to what it might have looked like when it had premiere.
                  Incredibly picture and sound quality.

                  A lot of extra material too, although not all of it that relevant. But still.
                  It was a two disc set from Eureka (since we use PAL here).I know there Eureka has an American equivalent but can't remember what they are called now.

                  Peter Lorre can really look crazy. For you who have seen the movie and some reasonable recollection of it, do you remember the scene where he looks at his face in the mirror, and starts to distort his face by stretching out his mouth to the sides and his eyes stands out?
                  And interesting characterization -- on one hand he is like a small, innocent child himself, on the other a terrible monster.

                  What I also like about the film is the thorough portraying of the police and their investigation methods.

                  An intersting thing is, that I knew the film was slightly based on the child murderer Peter Kürten, but what I didn't know, was that the film origibally was supposed to be about someone sending poisonous letters, not a child murderer. I also didn't know that even the detective inspector in the film, Lohmann, was based on the real inspector who investigated the Kürten case.


                  • #24
                    Probably Criterion, unless I'm not getting what Eureka means. That would be irony at its best.



                    • #25
                      Eureka is the European company that digitalises and restores old movies for the PAL system -- their DVD edition of Metropol is the most acclaimed and well known version in Europe.
                      The same editions, with the exact same quality in tinting, sound and digital restoration, are distributed in America with another company name, I just can't recall what it is called. It is not Criterion, though.


                      • #26
                        Maybe "KINO". That's the most acclaimed restoration copy of Metropolis in America.

                        Criterion is the company that handles the major foreign films and clssics of cinema. Their copies are expensive but the production is worth it. Their restored version of "The Third Man" is excellent.



                        • #27
                          Yes, Stan!

                          That's it. KINO. Thanks.

                          They have the same digital restoration versions, the same tinting, the same extra material, the same music scores etc. In short, it's the same versions, but made for America. Over here they're called Eureka.


                          • #28
                            The "KINO" copy of Metropolis is the gold standard here. Glad I could help.



                            • #29
                              And there's good news

                              After missing footage was found in Argentina, Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” has been restored and its narrative better understood.

                              Shortly after Metropolis was released in 1927 it was acquired by Paramount Pictures, which drastically edited the film, cutting an hour of footage. For eighty years efforts have been made to locate the deleted scenes; in 2001 a partially reconstructed version was exhibited to the public. In 2008 an even more complete version was located in Argentina. Except for a few frames, the Argentinian version appears to be complete, and film critics viewing it believe it offers new insights into the original film.
                              For example, the “Thin Man,” who in the standard version appears to be a glorified butler to the city’s all-powerful founder, turns out instead to be a much more sinister figure, a combination of spy and detective. The founder’s personal assistant, who is fired in an early scene, also plays a greater role, helping the founder’s idealistic son navigate his way through the proletarian underworld.
                              The cumulative result is a version of “Metropolis” whose tone and focus have been changed. “It’s no longer a science-fiction film,” said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. “The balance of the story has been given back. It’s now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old. The science-fiction disguise is now very, very thin.”
                              Screening of the new version will begin this week in New York, and then in selected theaters around this country and in the UK and Ireland, followed in November by the release of a DVD.


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by WTM View Post
                                The film is marvelously atmospheric and quite realistic in its depiction of life in pre-Hitler 1930's Berlin. One amazing thing is that practically every adult that you see in the film is always smoking. All dialogue is in German, with English subtitles, but I found these to be of no distraction. . . .

                                Anyway, I give it a **** rating out of a possible *****. Check it out for yourself - it is head and shoulders above From Hell.
                                I agree that Fritz Lang's M is a great motion picture and a great role by Peter Lorre. And, Tim, my personal view is that M should not be spoken in the same breath as the Hughes Brothers' travesty, From Hell!

                                As for smoking in old films, I think you will find that most films of a certain vintage pretty much feature everyone smoking, except for children. So I don't think that M is particularly unusual in that regard.

                                Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                       Hear sample song at

                                Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                                Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at