LUGOSI IN HOLLYWOOD: A HUNGARIAN ACTOR'S RISE AND FALL AS A MOVIE STAR

Posted by Satanizmo | Posted in , , , | Posted on 15:47


LUGOSI IN HOLLYWOOD: A HUNGARIAN ACTOR'S RISE AND FALL AS A MOVIE STAR
KEVIN E. KELLY
Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Gallipolis, Ohio, U.S.A.

Béla Lugosi, the actor most identified with the role of Count Dracula, the Transylvanian vampire immortalized in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula and in countless stage and screen adaptations, fled Hungary in 1919 to escape almost certain punishment and perhaps death for his brief and somewhat naïve involvement with the socialist movement that swept the country immediately after World War I. He left Europe two years later to seek the promise of a stage career and wealth offered in the United States.
Fame and fortune he did find in the late 1920s with his portrayal of Dracula in the Broadway production of the popular Hamilton Deane-John L. Balderston version of the Stoker novel, and his star rose even further when he starred in the 1931 Hollywood film drawn from the novel and the play. Unfortunately, it would be the pinnacle of his professional career, and his stardom in the American film capital, would be brief. Years of roles in atrocious films and the ever-present shadow of Dracula would follow, culminating in near-unemploya- bility in the years preceding his death in 1956.
While a number of Lugosi's countrymen, such as Paul Lukas and Victor Varconi, also emigrated to Hollywood and at first received starring roles as suave Continental types, they were eventually committed to character roles for the rest of their careers. Lugosi, however found to his everlasting regret that Dracula put him in a particular niche - as a star of horror films, with the resultant typecasting barring him from the varied roles that Lukas, for example, would enjoy as a supporting player for several decades. By the time Lugosi got around to making one of those classically bad movies he was bound to do, Voodoo Man (1944), his screen persona had been irrevocably set. At the end of the film, the screenwriter-hero of the story comes up with a novel suggestion as the lead for the script he's written. "Why don't you get that horror star... uh, Béla Lugosi? It's right up his alley."
In spite of this, Lugosi has endured in filmgoers' minds much longer than his more successful contemporaries. 

Read the full article: http://epa.oszk.hu/01400/01462/00018/pdf/115-135.pdf

Comments (0)

Megjegyzés küldése