This is my long overdue tribute to one of the primary trailblazers in the areas of Classic Horror and/or Macabre Cinema… the legendary Bela Lugosi (1882-1956).

“Dracula” (1927) [stage play] “Dracula” (1931)
“The Black Camel” (1931)
“Murders In The Rue Morgue” (1932)
“White Zombie” (1932)
“Chandu The Magician” (1932)
“Island Of Lost Souls” (1932)
“The Whispering Shadow” (1933)
“The Black Cat” (1934)
“The Return Of Chandu” (1934)
“Mark Of The Vampire” (1935)
“Mystery Of The Marie Celeste” (1935) [aka “The Phantom Ship”] “The Raven” (1935)
“The Invisible Ray” (1936)
“The Phantom Creeps” (1939)
“Son Of Frankenstein” (1939)
“The Gorilla” (1939)
“Ninotchka” (1939)
“Dark Eyes Over London” (1939) [aka “The Human Monster”] “Black Friday” (1940)
“The Devil Bat” (1940)
“You’ll Find Out” (1940)
“Invisible Ghost” (1941)
“The Black Cat” (1941)
“Spooks Run Wild” (1941)
“The Wolf Man” (1941)
“Arsenic And Old Lace” (1940s) [stage play] “Black Dragons” (1942)
“The Ghost Of Frankenstein” (1942)
“The Corpse Vanishes” (1942)
“Night Monster” (1942)
“Bowery At Midnight” (1942)
“The Ape Man” (1943)
“Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man” (1943)
“Ghosts On The Loose” (1943)
“Return Of The Vampire” (1943)
“Voodoo Man” (1944)
“Return Of The Ape Man” (1944)
“One Body Too Many” (1944)
“Zombies On Broadway” (1945)
“The Body Snatcher” (1945)
“No Traveler Returns” (1945) [stage play] “Genius At Work” (1946)
“Scared To Death” (1947)
“Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)
“Dracula” (1951) [stage play revival] “Old Mother Riley Meets The Vampire” (1951) [aka “My Son The Vampire”] “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1952) [stage play] “Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla” (1952)
“The Black Sleep” (1956)

Note: It was a conscious decision on my part to exclude from this retrospective any references to the three rather infamous Ed Wood films, largely because (especially in recent years) they appear to have taken on much more significance than I believe they actually merit. Therefore, I tried to primarily concentrate upon those titles which figure most prominently within my own experience / awareness / affections.

That being said, I cannot recommend highly enough to anyone interested in other notable tributes to Mr. Lugosi’s enduring legacy (apart from perhaps tracing down some or all of the above mentioned movie titles), you should by all means check out Martin Landau’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the famed actor in Tim Burton’s 1994 film, “Ed Wood”. While it’s by no means completely factual in its content, Landau still succeeds quite masterfully in capturing something quite powerful and endearing of the aging actor’s charisma and humanity. Mr. Landau is certainly a brilliant actor in his own right, but in this film he honestly surpasses himself by virtually bringing Lugosi back to life for one last bittersweet curtain call.

Original music by G.F. Watkins (used with permission).

G.F. Watkins is an immensely talented and accomplished composer of musical works for both stage and screen — and he has been a very dear friend of mine for many decades. With his vast catalog of brilliant compositions to select from, within my personal archives, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to incorporate just a small sample of his artistry into these humble Classic Horror retrospectives. I remain forever thankful to him for the opportunity to collaborate on these joyous little projects, and I trust that many lucky viewers out there throughout the world shall enjoy his wondrous musical creations for ages to come… Most sincerely, SM — 12/20/2014

The ending quote, spoken by Bela Lugosi, comes from the 1942 film, “The Corpse Vanishes” — a property which resides in the public domain.


9 thoughts on “BELA LUGOSI: Hollywood's Horror Royalty

  1. Absolutely beautiful and amazing, my friend! It’s mind blowing how many projects Bela did in his time. 🖤🦇

  2. Best Dracula on stage & screen! Plus I like his portrayal of the crazed broken-necked Ygor besides mad scientist roles!
    Bela Lugosi R.I.P.

  3. My favorite childhood and adult h ood monster not because he was frightening like Frankenstein or Wolfman but was the coolest dresser and that cape and his abilities to shift shape a bat a wolf a monster like Dracula although in strength Wolf man and Frankenstein monster were far superior but lacked intelligence and control. He actually thought and chose his victims. The other two just Killed you no discrimination and brutally like a wild animal 😨

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