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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Bela Lugosi!

Hungarian-American actor, Bela Lugosi, was born October 20, 1882. He is perhaps best known for his role as Count Dracula in the original 1931 film. The Library has tried to order Count Dracula, but it's out of stock. We'll try again at a later date.

Meanwhile, catch Bela Lugosi in the classic comedy film, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein [DVD ABB].

Or, you can read about him as a character in the novel, Alive! by Loren D. Estleman [F EST].
Everyone knows the Frankenstein monster was played by Boris Karloff. His portrayal is so famous that the play Arsenic and Old Lace was filled with Karloff/monster jokes--even when the part of the monstrously deformed villain was played by another actor. But before Karloff's memorable portrayal, another famous 1930s Hollywood icon, Bela Lugosi, tested for the part of the monster.The screen test footage was lost for decades, until Valentino, that never-say-die film archivist, gets a hot tip about the whereabouts of the incriminating (for really bad, heavily accented acting) footage. But it comes with a price far greater than the money he'll have to pay. Someone would kill to get that reel of film, and that makes Valentino a mortal obstacle who would rather not die for art.

Next week, I'll be posting a list of movies suitable for halloween. It'll be a strange mix of horror and comedy!

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