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Hollywood's Maddest Doctors: Lionel Atwill, Colin Clive, George Zucco Paperback – December 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Marquee Press (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188766422X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887664226
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A thrilling and involving story as the reader delves into the Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s and discovers a cast of characters whose tragic lives or distressing careers brought about their downfall. Fans of the golden age of horror films will not want to miss this story of Lionel Atwill, Colin Clive and George Zucco, three of Hollywood's Maddest Doctors. -- From the publisher

About the Author

Gregory William Mank is the author of many film history books including the seminal "It's Alive! The Classic Cinema Saga of Frankenstein" and "Karloff and Lugosi."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Gregory William Mank's "Hollywood's Maddest Doctors," and I must hand it to Mr. Mank. He has done a fine job.
The three subjects of the volume-Lionel Atwill, Colin Clive, and George Zucco-were extraordinary stage-trained actors who became legendary players in the great Universal Studios' horror classics of the 1930's and early 1940's. Even more interesting is the fact that each man was far more interesting in real life than he was in the roles he played on stage and screen. Each in his own way was a tortured soul.
Atwill, the great matinee idol of the British and American stages of the 1920's, was a powerful character actor whose lead roles in such classics as "Dr. X" and "The Mystery of the Wax Museum" elevated him to the same pedestal as Karloff and Lugosi in the horror genre. However, in real life he was a self-destructive free spirit whose sexual escapades led to his downfall. Bitter in his last years, he died an outcast in an industry that was appalled at his unabashed sexual proclivities.
Colin Clive, whose masterful portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein ranks as one of the best pieces of acting in any genre, was a tormented soul who lacked self-confidence and took refuge in the bottle. He would die tragically at the age of 37 from kidney and liver failure, his talent only partially tapped.
Finally, there is the gentlemanly George Zucco who could play virtually any role with equal skill and grace, but who nevertheless was stereotyped in "mad doctor" roles to his everlasting chagrin. Zucco would die unfulfilled, wondering to the last how his career might have been different if only he had gotten more diverse dramatic and comedy roles.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alan Beggerow VINE VOICE on July 7, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How different could 3 actors be? Lionel Atwill,a highly respected stage actor that made a specialty out of playing off-beat mad doctor roles and whom his friends called 'Pinky'. Colin Clive, another star of the stage who detested his horror movie roles and drank himself to death. George Zucco, an actor that worked on stage with Colin Clive, made a living acting in everything from Grade 'A' feature films to poverty row Grade 'Z' pictures. I knew something of the lives of Atwill and Clive, but the bio of Zucco was especially interesting. While Atwill was the host of 'adult' parties in his home, and Clive spiralled into an early alcohol-induced death, Zucco comes across as a gentleman. This book was most interesting, and not only taught me the differences in the three men, but also the one thing they had in common. All three were fine actors with backgrounds on the stage who(especially for Atwill and Zucco) always strived to give a good performance, no matter what the picture they were involved with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon S. Aiken on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent biography of Lionel Atwill, George Zucco and Colin Clive. A mini-biorpgraphy of each in this one volume. A wonderful overview of their lives, warts and all. I highly recommend this book to fans of old black and white horror movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joy on October 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I own this book, and it's one of my all time favourites. I have always loved the CLASSIC horror films and their actors. Imagine my happiness when I received a copy for Christmas, and found it to be about my three favourite character men: Lionel Atwill, Colin Clive and George Zucco! All three were gifted stage actors with many years of "rep" training under their belts. Atwill was elegant, eccentric and a little bit creepy. Zucco was a courtly British gentleman who loved California so much that he became a citizen. He made many appearances. Large roles in small films, small parts in large films, and "starring" roles in stinkers. All these were done with a grace and dignity that made even the "stinkers" enjoyable.

Clive had the potential to be one of the brightest of the younger generation. Had he lived, and gotten his act together, he might have been the equal of Gielgud or Guinness. Instead, he died at the age of 37...his talent destroyed by a hellish lack of confidence and drowned by alcohol.

Mr. Mank gives all these men their "propers", and the book is a delightful read. He has talked with people who knew and worked with them, and was fortunate to get wonderful insight from George Zucco's widow, Stella.

Again...a Wonderful Book!

Thank you, Mr. Mank "Full Marks"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fine read. Thanks again to Midnight Marquee. I plan to buy more books writen by Gregory Wiliam Mank, starting with his Lugosi/Karloff collaboration volume. I learned a lot reading this mad doctor tome.
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