To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
James Whale: A New World Of Gods And Monsters Paperback – October 10, 2003
How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales | Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
In 1982, film historian James Curtis wrote his first biography of Whale. James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters is not a revision of that book, however, but a substantial reworking involving much in the way of new research. Whale's life story is emblematic of an entire generation of European émigrés who made critical artistic contributions to American film only to find themselves in ultimate obscurity. Although recent fictional and truthful accounts of Whale's life have emphasized his homosexuality--even the jacket cover of this book cites it as the reason for Hollywood's eventual rejection of Whale--Curtis himself tells a more nuanced tale. Certainly, Whale made no attempts to hide his preference for men; at the same time, he made his sexual orientation neither a prominent feature of his personal life nor his movies. While it's possible that he was fired from Columbia Pictures in 1941 because of homophobia on the part of studio owner Harry Cohn, it should also be noted that it didn't take much to get on the bad side of Harry Cohn and that, perhaps more to the point, Whale hadn't had a significant commercial hit in five years.
Curtis's biography is filled with fascinating anecdotes from David Lewis, Whale's longtime companion, and several of the actors who worked with Whale, including Peter Cushing and Gloria (Titanic) Stuart. It also has a rich appreciation of the artistic qualities of Whale's work. It is, in short, the sort of critical biography that any film director would hope to have. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Curtis gives us a lot of detail about James Whale's life and I sometimes found myself skimming a bit, particularly in the beginning of his career as an actor. We get a lot of information about the films Mr. Whale directed, including the story behind the fascinating effects in The Invisible Man. The book is illustrated with numerous photographs spread through the book and is well written, particularly when Mr. Curtis speaks of James Whale in his years of retirement. The book is a must for fans of the Frankenstein movies and people interested in Universal Pictures but for the person who knows James Whale only thought his horror films, this book with bring a much needed perspective on his life. I found myself wanting to see the James Whale films as I was reading, including Show Boat and his lesser known films. In sum, this is an interesting portrait of who James Whale was and what Hollywood was like in the 1930s.
This biography by James Curtis is probably the best look at Whale the person we are going to get; Curtis seems to have interviewed literally everyone who knew Whale and would talk to him about Whale. We learn very little about Whale as a child, perhaps because there was no one alive to remember when Curtis came by interviewing, but otherwise we get a detailed look at Whale's show biz career before and after BRIDE. Whale had difficulty finding worthy projects after the collapse of the Lammele-era Universal, and his final years exhibit increasing severe depression and strange "post-menopausal" behavior.
A recent film, GODS AND MONSTERS, loosely based on events of Whale's later years, I haven't seen but perhaps it will awaken some additional interest in Whale and his films among the younger generation. It is a sad fact that, apart from his Universal horror work, virtually nothing directed by Whale is available on video tape, not even (as far as I know) his famous film version of the musical SHOWBOAT.
If you're curious about Whale, this book is the place to start.
Dr. H. James Birx
716 888-2745 USA
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Author and film historian James Curtis has produced several books on Hollywood people who, for reasons far-removed from questions of talent, lived at least part of their lives... Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by pasquale55
James Whale made one great film, "The Bride Of Frankenstein", and a number of other very good ones, like "The Invisible Man". Read morePublished on October 29, 2006 by Mr. Nowhere
When I saw the movie "Gods And Monsters," I was intrigued enough to look for the book that it was based upon. Read morePublished on August 15, 2006 by Robert S. Gartner
Written with detail, candor and insight, this seems to be the definitive biography of the interesting and eccentric film director. Read morePublished on March 14, 2004 by Nelson Aspen
I bought and read this biography after seeing the film "Gods and Monsters" and reading the novel Father of Frankenstein. Read morePublished on July 27, 2002