Lugosi's The Apeman: Directed by William
"one shot" Beaudine. Famous for never filming
more than one take (always came in under budget!). And
for not bothering to direct. Even Citizen Kane
would have suffered had Beaudine directed.
career suffered more from his rapidly dated image than
from his 'bad' acting. He started off in Hollywood as
a romantic lead, and an exotic one at that. Dracula
was seen as a perverse love story and advertised as
such. But already by then he was no longer young, and
the popularity of exotic European lovers proved something
of a shortlived fad.
was in fact a versatile actor, when properly directed,
but his dark looks and strong accent narrowed his public
image, making him an instant cliche once the male vamp
fad had evaporated. Both he and Karloff were sterotyped,
but Lugosi's box office potential was considered worthless
by the major studios because of his 'obsolete' image.
They considered him a has-been even while still co-billing
let us not forget he was ill when he played the Frankenstein
Monster vs Lon Chaney's Wolfman, the critics dismissing
his performance 'as if he were blind' when of course
the monster WAS blind, but this info wound up on the
cutting room floor.
Lugosi certainly knew the difference between a 'serious'
role and a 'take the money & run' B movie. He also
knew most B movies were pretty dull. He had a lively
sense of humour and well knew most movie goers like
to be entertained. Lugosi didn't act in movies like
this one, he just had fun, and shared his fun with the
the film is bad. Lugosi knew that. So he chewed the
scenery to give folks their money's worth. With his
extensive stage experience it ran against his instincts
to bore an audience. Better to make them chuckle.
for his films, apart from White Zombie,
he believed all his best roles -- and acting -- were
in the days of his youth, all the films he made in Europe
BEFORE coming to America.
I enjoy any film with a Lugosi performance, no matter
how bad the film, even the excruciating Bela
Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla, simply because
it's always a joy to watch Lugosi mugging the camera.
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