Films

Happy Birthday James Whale!

Happy Birthday James Whale!
Staff Writer

James Whale directs a scene from The Invisble Man


Today is the birthday of James Whale – the legendary English director who made some of Universal’s most well-loved horror films, including Frankenstein and The Invisible Man


James Whale

James Whale

James Whale (1889-1957) didn’t direct that many horror films.

In fact, he only directed four. They were:

These films are some of the greatest films ever in the horror genre. Frankenstein, in particular, defined the iconic image of the Mary Shelley creation and made stars of Boris Karloff and Claude Rains. (The Old Dark House was Charles Laughton’s first US film, but he was becoming a star already.)

It is for these very reasons that as we celebrate James Whale’s birthday today.

We should recognise the man had an perfect hit rate when it came to horror.

Born in Dudley to a working-class family, Whale worked in various labour-intensive jobs, including service during the First World War,  before finding his way into theatre in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.

His success with the Broadway Production of Journey’s End, which starred Colin Clive, lead him to Hollywood where he directed the film version as well as a number of other war films. He then directed Frankenstein (1931) with a little-known character actor, Boris Karloff, and the rest they say is history.

While James Whale made many other excellent films outside the genre – such as Journey’s End and Show Boat – it is his horror films for which he will be forever known.

James Whales deserve a longer article, but today I will just leave it this: James Whale made only four films which were all awesome, therefore he was awesome. Happy Birthday James Whale. The End.

For more information on James Whale, the Wikipedia entry is worthwhile reading. You could also do worse than read More Than A Monster by Stephen Jacobs, the authorised biography of Boris Karloff, which has some very entertaining tales of James Whale and the making of the films Frankenstein, The Old Dark House and The Invisible Man.


Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

More in Films

The-Sleeping-Room-image

The Sleeping Room where horror fills your dreams

Kayleigh Marie Edwards15th May 2015
Olivia Williams in The Haunting of Radcliffe House

Director reveals creepy goings-on shooting The Haunting of Radcliffe House

Matt Wingett6th May 2015
The-Legend-of-the-Seven-Golden-Vampires

Kung Fu meets Dracula in The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1974)

Barry McCann6th May 2015
Vampirella

11 greatest Hammer Horrors never made

Barry McCann28th April 2015
Nosferatu (1922) restored

Count Orlock’s shadowy vampire still chills with Nosferatu (1922)

Barry McCann24th April 2015
The-Snarling-1

The Snarling mixes laughs with old school horror

Pollyanna Jones23rd April 2015
The-Nanny-1965

The Nanny (1965) REVIEW

Peter Fuller18th April 2015
The Children (2008)

The Children (2008) REVIEW

Richard Phillips-Jones17th April 2015
Joan Collins in I Don't Want to be Born

I Don’t Want To Be Born (1975) REVIEW

Peter Fuller17th April 2015
Damien-from-The-Omen-(1976)

Top 10 Kills from The Omen

Richard Phillips-Jones16th April 2015
The Godsend

The Godsend (1980) REVIEW

Peter Fuller15th April 2015
Village of the Damned Main

Top 10 Creepiest Kids in British Horror

Richard Phillips-Jones15th April 2015