could have been Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's personal motto since she was the little lady who wrote Frankenstein on
a challenge by Lord Byron.
was all of 19 when she and her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, were among a group visiting Byron at his home in Switzerland
when he decided they needed something stronger than "pretty little love stories."
book is fascinating reading on its own, not only for its literary merits but because you won't recognize it after you've seen
the Hollywood version with Boris Karloff.
You can still find it at the local bookstore and download it (and more) at www.literature.org/shelley-mary/frankenstein.
[Philip J. Riley recounts
Boris Karloff's make-up travails in Frankenstein: The Original Shooting Script (MagicImage
Filmbooks, New York, 1989), page 34 - 35:]
the beginning, Karloff's approach to his "dear old Monster" was one of love and compassion. It was an outstanding insight
- considering that rarely has an actor suffered so hideously in bringing life to a character.
took from four to six hours a day to make me up," said Karloff. "I felt like an Egyptian mummy as Jack [P. Pierce] ladled
the layers of makeup on me."
To fill out the Monster costume I had to wear a double-quilted suit beneath it.
We shot in mid-summer. After an hour's work I'd be sopping wet. I'd have to change into a spare undersuit often
still damp from the previous round. So I felt, most of the time, as if I were wearing a clammy shroud. No doubt
it added to the realism!
the September heat soared, Karloff's makeup proved a torture. The mortician's wax eyelids he believed so necessary would
melt and crumble on the sweltering set, falling into his eyes and causing terrible pain. Pierce stood by the actor's
side constantly, emergency makeup box in tow, ready to fix a bolt if it loosened or ajust the wig if it slipped or share a
joke when humor was a necessity.
Yet Karloff never complained. Mae Clarke recalls:
Boris in makeup, taking director instructions: Towering over the tall Mr. [James] Whale, listening meekly as an obedient
child, both so softly spoken I couldn't hear a word - then he'd nod his head and Whale would give him an affectionate push
at his enormous, hanging arms and call out, "Ready for Camera." Boris was unvelievably patient and, as the world now
sees, he gave an incredible performance. He made that Monster understandable and painfully pitiable.
nobody could fill the Frankestein
makeup like Boris Karloff.
be honest, of course, Miss Maven wouldn't want to . . .
at Halloween and then only around the people
need to be scared out of their . . . .
is Miss Maven's Halloween candy . . . ?
was right here . . . Aunt Battie, have
been in my candy again?!
from October 10, 2005
* * * *
might want to visit Sara Karloff's website dedicated to
father at www.karloff.com. It's the only official website
Karloff and has lots of goodies for you to check out.