Welcome to The B-Side from The Film Stage. Here we talk about movie stars! Not the movies that made them famous or kept them famous, but the ones that they made in between.

Another year, another Halloween! This year we tackle the performers who played the titular monsters from the seminal Universal Studios monster movies of the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. To take on such a task, we brought back our good pal Gavin Mevius, talented editor and co-host of the incredible The Mixed Reviews Podcast. Be sure to listen to their podcast and support them on Patreon if you see fit!

Specifically, we examine a B-Side from Bela Lugosi (Murder by Television), Claude Rains (Crime Without Passion), Boris Karloff (Juggernaut), Elsa Lanchester (Passport to Destiny) Lon Chaney Jr. (Eyes of the Underworld), and Ben Chapman (Jungle Moon Men).

We examine why Claude Rains was one of the few to escape his monster persona, and what makes Elsa Lanchester such a natural star (despite her career in character work). We also get into some of the more torrid elements of each star’s life – from troubled beginnings and career woes, to the Hollywood blacklist and good old-fashioned gossip – spot checking a few short docs and TV appearances straight from the source along the way. Come for the (many) Minnie Driver shoutouts, stay for James Cagney as Dracula!

For more from The B-Side, you can check out highlights of actors/directors and the films discussed in one place here.

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