Victims and Villains: Psychological Themes, Male Stars and Horror Films in the 1940s

Jancovich, Mark (2015) Victims and Villains: Psychological Themes, Male Stars and Horror Films in the 1940s. In: Popular Media Cultures. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 91-109. ISBN 978-1-349-46834-8

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Although Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr are seen as the key horror stars of the 1940s, along with lesser figures such as Lionel Atwill and George Zucco, the period was one in which the horror film was not limited to the low-budget productions of Universal, Columbia and others but, on the contrary, one in which many horror films were “dressed in full Class ‘A’ paraphernalia, including million dollar budgets and big name casts” (Stanley, 1944: X3). Consequently, a number of romantic male leads became closely associated with the genre — stars such as Ray Milland, Joseph Cotton, Cary Grant and George Sanders. If these stars are hardly remembered in this way today, this is largely because many of their key horror films are no longer associated with the genre, although they were understood as horror films at the time of their original release. For example, the figure of the gangster and the spy were no strangers to the horror film during the 1940s, and many films that would commonly be understood as thrillers today were clearly seen as horror films at the time (Jancovich, 2009b).

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: york time,serial killer,male lead,psychological theme,horror film
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2015 03:00
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:36
DOI: 10.1057/9781137350374_5

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