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James Whale 


TSPDT Rating

 Top 250 Directors 
 Lightly Likable 
Jean-Pierre Melville's 64 Favourite Pre-War American Filmmakers (Cahiers du Cinema, October 1961)
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Mario Bava
Mel Brooks
Tod Browning
Tim Burton
William Castle
Roger Corman
Michael Curtiz
Terence Fisher
Freddie Francis
Rouben Mamoulian
Roy William Neill
Edgar G. Ulmer
View video clips relating to this director at
1893 - 1957 
Born July 22, Dudley, England
Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction
Key Collaborators: Carl Laemmle Jr. (Producer), Charles D. Hall (Production Designer), Dwight Frye (Character Player), Arthur Edeson (Cinematographer), Boris Karloff (Leading Player), Ted J. Kent (Editor), Clarence Kolster (Editor), Colin Clive (Leading Player), Gloria Stuart (Leading Player), R.C. Sherriff (Screenwriter)
Highly Recommended: Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Recommended: The Invisible Man (1933), The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)
Worth a Look: Waterloo Bridge (1931), Show Boat (1936)
Approach with Caution: The Great Garrick (1937)
Links: [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ The James Whale Nexus ] [ Washington Post Article ] [ Bright Lights Film Journal's Feature on Bride of Frankenstein ]
Books: [ James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters ] [ James Whale: A Biography of the Would-Be Gentleman ] [ Father of Frankenstein ]
DVD's: [ Amazon ]  
1,000 Greatest Films: Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)Frankenstein (1931)The Old Dark House (1932)The Invisible Man (1933)
  "If any director can be said to have found beauty in horror, then it was the British-born James Whale. An enigmatic character, Whale was 40 before he came to Hollywood, but he made four classics of the horror-genre there. These were Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein. Whale was just as effective with dark, unstated horror as with delicate, terrifyingly chilling scenes that had one on the edge of one's seat lest they should fade to black, and scenes of freakish grey horror comedy." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)  
  "He is best remembered for his four stylish horror films...excellent examples of the genre, noted for their semi-expressionist mood and understated black humor. But he also directed refined and intelligent films in other genres, usually adaptations from literature or the stage, marked by the same fluid camera movement, leisurely pace, emphasis on detail, and discriminating restraint that characterized his more famous horror pictures." - (The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1994)  
  "The success of Frankenstein (1931) encouraged the studio to give him creative freedom, and his early films fully exploited this: he used them to mock favourite targets such as the Church and heterosexual conformity. Some commentators have seen parallels in the monster's persecution by society with Whale's own open homosexuality." - (The Movie Book, 1999)  
  "Known as the excellent director of horror thrillers (Frankenstein, 31; The Invisible Man, 33; The Bride of Frankenstein, 35), Whale also made quality drama (Journey's End, 30), comedy (The Great Garrick, 37), and a classic musical (Show Boat, 36)." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  

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