Carl Laemmle Jr

9

Behind The Scenes Photos from Classic Universal Monster Movies

Spearheaded by producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. and visionary makeup artist Jack Pierce, Universal Studios’ series of monster movies were responsible for giving the world of cinema its first true horror icons, laying the groundwork for all other iconic boogeymen to follow. 

Beginning in 1925 with the Lon Cheney fronted silent horror classic The Phantom of the Opera, Universal Studios churned out a series of monster movies that were heavy in tension, suspense and atmosphere, setting the ominous mood and tone for each film by way of thick fog, classical music scores and towering gothic castles. Adapting the works of such prominent literary figures as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and H. G. Wells, Universal effectively established itself as Hollywood’s ‘House of Horrors’ and continued its landmark series through the 1960s, the last of its original iconic monsters arriving in 1954 with Creature From the Black Lagoon.

A current MoMA Film series celebrates the visionary behind the early years of Universal Pictures. Carl Laemmle, Jr., son of the studio’s founder, was known condescendingly as “Junior” Laemmle and was the butt of endless Hollywood jokes (“the son also rises”). The younger Laemmle was in fact a sophisticated, ambitious, risk-taking producer, who gambled the studio’s finances on a series of challenging projects—and eventually lost. See restorations and rediscoveries from the Laemmle, Jr. era through June 15 at MoMA Film. 

[Carl Laemmle, Jr. Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive]

10

Original Universal Monsters Theatrical Posters (Ten Images)

Spearheaded by producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. and visionary makeup artist Jack Pierce, Universal Studios’ series of monster movies were responsible for giving the world of cinema its first true horror icons, laying the groundwork for all other iconic boogeymen to follow.

Beginning in 1925 with the Lon Cheney fronted silent horror classic The Phantom of the Opera, Universal Studios churned out a series of monster movies that were heavy in tension, suspense and atmosphere, setting the ominous mood and tone for each film by way of thick fog, classical music scores and towering gothic castles. Adapting the works of such prominent literary figures as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and H. G. Wells, Universal effectively established itself as Hollywood’s ‘House of Horrors’ and continued its landmark series through the 1960s, the last of its original iconic monsters arriving in 1954 with Creature From the Black Lagoon.

2

Universal horror double bill on the big screen @ The New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles - March 23rd and 24th;

“Creature From The Black Lagoon” (1954)

Sun/Mon: 7:30 pm

  • 1954, USA, 35mm, 79 minutes
  • 60th anniversary! Presented from an anaglyphic 3-D 35mm print! 3-D glasses will be provided. Special guests at the Sunday show.
  • Directed by Jack Arnold; screenplay by Harry Essex and Arthur A. Ross; story by Maurice Zimm; starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno

“The Mummy” (1932)

Sun: 5:45 pm; Mon: 9:10 pm

  • 1932, USA, 35mm, 73 minutes
  • Directed by Karl Freund; produced by Carl Laemmle Jr.; written by John L. Balderston; starring Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Edward van Sloan

Admission:  $8.00 - The New Beverly Cinema, 7165 W. Beverly Blvd., one block W. of La Brea - ample free street parking and super reasonably priced yummy concessions