Monday, July 22 would have been director James Whale’s 124th birthday, and, as in previous years, the Thursday Horror Picture Show is acknowledging the fact by showing one of his quartet of horror films. Whether or not Whale would have entirely appreciated this is open to debate (though he’s yet to complain), since he never set out to be a horror-movie specialist. In fact, part of his reason for tackling Frankenstein in 1931 was that he felt he was in danger of being stereotyped as someone who only made war movies. (He’d directed the dialogue scenes for Howard Hughes’ Hell’s Angels in 1930, made Journey’s End the same year and followed those up with Waterloo Bridge in 1931, so the possibility was there.) It is unlikely that he ever imagined his legacy would — unfairly — rest on Frankenstein, The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). But that is the case.
However, choosing The Invisible Man would have pleased him, since it was his favorite of those films — and supposedly tied with Remember Last Night? (1935) as his overall favorite. He might even be pleasantly surprised to see what the film looks like in its new restoration — with a cleaner, sharper image and soundtrack. (And for the hardcore geeks among us, this version also restores the long-excised dance-band music playing on Dr. Kemp’s (William Harrigan) radio. Apparently, Universal finally ponied up for the ancillary rights to the music.) And as a side note, I should point out that it is Mr. Souther’s favorite James Whale picture.
Here’s my review from the last time this was run: The Invisible Man
The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Invisible ManThursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.