Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ten greatest performances by an actor in a horror film from the 1940s

1. Boris Karloff in THE BODYSNATCHER

2. Peter Lorre in THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS

3. Stanley Ridges in BLACK FRIDAY

4. Lon Chaney in THE WOLF MAN

5. Claude Rains in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

6. Lon Chaney in SON OF DRACULA

7. Bela Lugosi in GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN

8. George Zucco in THE MUMMY'S HAND

9. Lionel Atwill in MAN MADE MONSTER

10. John Carradine in CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN

Honorable mention: George Zucco in THE MAD GHOUL, Boris Karloff in BEDLAM, ISLE OF THE DEAD, THE DEVIL COMMANDS, and THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES, J. Carrol Naish in HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Lon Chaney in FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN, and STRANGE CONFESSION, Bela Lugosi in RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, Cedric Hardewicke in GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN, Spencer Tracy in DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, Onslow Stevens in HOUSE OF DRACULA,

7 Comments:

Blogger Thom said...

1940 Doctor Cyclops - Albert Dekker
brilliant performance - madness restrained...could easily replace Carradine on your list.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Thom said...

1940-Doctor Cyclops - Albert Dekker
restrained madness...serious honorable mention

5:31 AM  
Blogger Rob Craig said...

Hey, Greg! This is a terrific idea, and I wish you luck with it. Looking over your "Top Ten" lists made me realize something humbling - I have yet to see many of the horror classics! For every film I have seen recently, or can recall vividly from a past screening (BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS, WOLF MAN, MUMMY'S HAND), there are just as many I have either not seen, or saw so long ago that memory fails (MAN MADE MONSTER, BLACK FRIDAY, THE BODYSNATCHER). Thus, the lists serve more than one purpose. In addition to triggering debate about classic performances, they become, for me, additions to my "Must See" lists. I was glad you saw fit to include George Zucco in the 40s list. I think he's woefully underrated as a horror actor, and I like him even in creaky poverty-row wonders like DEAD MEN WALK and THE FLYING SERPENT. Good Job!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Erich K said...

What about Ann Revere in THE DEVIL COMMANDS?

She was great, the real "villain" of the movie. It would have been rather a bore without her.

A direct descendent of Paul Revere who was called before the HUAC and pled the fifth? That's a REAL American heroine.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Leonide said...

I might include a dark hor(or)se: Ludwig Stossel in BLUEBEARD

1:38 PM  
Blogger vroberts said...

One of the most overlooked horror performances of any actor in the 1930s was Humphrey Bogart in an obscure classic Warner Brothers movie entitled THE RETURN OF DR. X where Bogie with a streak of white hair in an other dark head of hair played a vampire. Even though he must have hated being cast as a fangster, Bogart did not ham it up, if anything he went in the other direction with a controlled, dignified performance in an otherwise typically fast-paced horror comedy by director Vince Sherman. Bogart's performance ranks as one of his best and should be considered in the Honorable Mention category.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Vintage Horror said...

1. Peter Lorre in THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
2. Lon Chaney in THE WOLF MAN
3. Stanley Ridges in BLACK FRIDAY
4. Bela Lugosi in RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE
5. Boris Karloff in THE BODY SNATCHER
6. Lionel Atwill in MAN MADE MONSTER
7. Bela Lugosi in GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN
8. George Zucco in THE MUMMY'S HAND
9. Lon Chaney in SON OF DRACULA
10. John Carradine in CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN

The 40s was much harder to come up with than the 30s.

2:30 PM  

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