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Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946 Hardcover – February 15, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0786429745 ISBN-10: 0786429747 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company; 2nd edition (February 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786429747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786429745
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Universal Studios was the premiere source of horror films during Hollywood's golden age, producing Dracula, The Wolf Man, the Frankenstein movies, and many more films. For each of the 85 horror films made during this period, the authors provide a complete cast list with credits, a critical synopsis, and the production history, often with commentary by the cast or crew. Photographs are copious and well chosen. The authors' history is informal but very informative. When their judgments differ from the consensus, they ably defend their opinions. They are fans of the genre, but this does not blind them to the fact that many of the films in their book are dross. A broad definition of "horror" is used, so that many mystery films (including those with Sherlock Holmes) are included. Don't hide this excellent work in reference; circulate it among interested patrons.
- John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Informative...excellent --Library Journal

A valuable record of that era...this is a classic, enjoyable reference and a fond remembrance of those great Universal pictures --Classic Images

The definitive text on the classic monsters --USA Today

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Nice view of your audience, good authors.
R. Goldberg
Each movie entry has factual information about the actors and actresses, writers, directors, etc., along with the author's opinion of the movie.
Matthew E. Yeoman
This book is highly recommended for anyone with interest in the old horror films from Hollywood's golden years.
Jean Valjean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The classic horror films of the 30's and 40's have never been as popular as they are today. Baby Boomers who grew up watching the old Shock Theater packages in the 50's and 60's hold a tremendous fondness for the films that terrified them as children. The Boris Karloff Frankenstein and Bela Lugosi Dracula are still the most recognized images of those two classic monsters...so much so that their families had to move to legally trademark their images to protect them.

The Universal horror films are the subject of Universal Horrors, the second edition of this outstanding book by noted classic film historian Tom Weaver and Michael & John Brunas. Throughout the massive 608 page hardcover, the authors cover each one of the 85 horror films made by Universal from 1931 - 1946. Just do the math...that's an average of about seven pages spent on each film during this period. This is no mere listing of actors with a one-page synopsis. Rather this is a definitive guide to these 85 films with complete cast and credits, detailed storyline synopses, production history, behind-the-scenes information, critical analysis, period reviews, and commentary by cast and crewmembers. Most of the comments come from the voluminous numbers of reviews that Weaver has conducted over the years.

The films are listed chronologically beginning with Dracula in 1931 and ending with The Brute Man in 1946. It even includes the Spanish version of Dracula which was filmed on the same set as the original at the very same time! White The Lugosi version was shot during the day, the Spanish crew took over at night. In many ways, the Spanish version outshines the Tod Browning directed original.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stan Xhiao on July 12, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This book has it all for the serious student of classic horror films. Choose from a wide selection of bios, cast lists, plot summaries, anectdotes and more compiled by these mavens of the genre, Messrs. Brunas and Weaver. Thrill as they explore the nooks and crannies of the House That Universal Built. This comprehensive work is obviously the result of exhaustive hands-on research and deserves an honored spot in every true horror fan's library.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Library Binding
An amazing source of information for anyone who ever stayed up watching the late late show on a Saturday night. I am truly impressed at the thorough research that went into this book; many factoids which have escaped even the most die-hard of fans will be brought to light. I commend McFarland Press for providing fans of such an "un-hip" genre with consistently fine sources of in-depth information, especially keeping in mind that with each passing year the facts directly from those who were there are getting more and more difficult to find. This book probably does not hold a lot of interest for anyone who does not hold a special place in their heart for the studios' genre work prior to buying the book, and the authors do tend to often drift into becoming overly opinionated and putting much too much thought into subject matter that was never intended to be overanalyzed. Nonetheless, this is still an extremely fun read for any fan.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jean Valjean on September 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Universal Horrors, which was originally published in 1990, is an excellent reference book of every horror related films made by Universal from 1931 to 1946. That book was a real eye awakener for horror movie fans and had a huge impact on how film books would since be written.

The second edition of Universal Horrors, published 17 years after the first edition, is essentially an updating and rewriting of the earlier version. It has additional quotes from the performers and production folks. Also, there are many new pictures added to the book. It goes to show that what was perfect can still be improved upon!

This book is highly recommended for anyone with interest in the old horror films from Hollywood's golden years. Those who already have the 1990 version should really consider going for this new updated version.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jazzbeach@hotmail.com on September 27, 1998
Format: Library Binding
"Universal Horrors" is an excellent guide to the classic Universal Studios horror films. The authors are fans of these films, and their affection for the films makes this book fun to read. Besides facts and behind-the-scenes stories on each film, there is a great deal of humor thrown in, which makes this book all the more enjoyable. Highly recommended!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Almir Sadovic on January 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one absolutely unbelievable book. I think McFarland & Company publishes fantastic books. You check their website to see more interesting titles. Universal Horrors is one big book with many pages of fantastic texts. It covers every movie starting with Dracula (1931) and finishing with The Brute Man (1946). You get many background production informations for every movie, little tidbits on crew and actors. There are also some black and white photos inside but nothing special. What makes this book important is coverage of so many movie in one volume. I think if you want to start with something light to give you an overview of the classic monsters than first get Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror and then go ahead with this book, but don't miss it. It is fantastic peace of work. Enjoy :)
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Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946
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