Tuesday, 22 July 2014

No monster, he

It is the 105th anniversary today of the birth of British director James Whale, most famous for his seminal early horror movies such as Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein.

Mr Whale scandalised Hollywood in the "Hay's Code"-era by refusing to compromise or cover up the fact he was gay, and, perhaps because of this (and political interference in films he produced) his mainstream movie opportunities largely dried up by the 1940s. He retired from film-making and concentrated on his other loves: men, theatre and art. Sadly, in pain and debilitated, he later committed suicide in his pool.

Many decades later the biographical (and Oscar-winning) movie Gods and Monsters, with the sublime Serena (Sir Ian) McKellen as Mr Whale, focused on those latter days - and became a gay classic.

Inevitably, of course, this has a lot to do with gorgeous co-star Brendan Fraser - effortlessly sexy as the young gardener who grabs the eye of the old man in his lonely isolation - as much as the Oscar-nominated performances of Serena and Miss Lynn Redgrave.

Let us turn (as we regularly do) to Steve Hayes - "Tired Old Queen At The Movies" - to provide us with a most a fitting tribute to this fabulous film:

James Whale (22nd July 1889 – 29th May 1957)

Gods and Monsters (1998)


  1. Have you ever read the book the movie is based on, Christopher Bram's Father of Frankenstein? It's excellent. As much as I loved the movie, I liked the book as well.

    1. To my eternal shame, I never have... However, I'll add it to my burgeoning list of titles to seek out. Jx


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