Universal Monsters

Universal Monsters - Barrientos 1 Giovanny Barrientos Proff...

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1Giovanny Barrientos Proff. Kuntz Film 106A Dis. 1B The Impact of Universal’s Horror Movies Universal’s monster movies during the 1920’s and 1930’s were well received films by both the audience and critics alike during their original screenings and at the same time established Universal as the dominant force in the horror movie genre. In fact, it can be argued that Universal created the horror genre, popularized, and made it mainstream in American Cinema due to its constant production of films. It seemed that every monster movie Universal made was destine[D] to become an instant classic and brought [SHOULD be “bring”] monetary value to the studio. Even today, the monster movies of the golden age in horror cinema are consider being the archetype for new horror movies and are consider as great cinematic achievements. However[,] [though the original monster movies have inspired several films] many films the original monster movies have inspired [GET rid of shit before this comma], none of them will ever recapture and surpass the original classic horror films captivation of the audience and consider[ation] as cinematic achievements. During the 1920’s Universal produced only two horror films entitled The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925) .Both movies were praised for their breathtaking and expensive production set[s] 1 . However, at the same time[,] they were admonished for their horrendous creatures and gloomy themes. In fact, the genre was [so] misunderstood and unfamiliar to some critics that they wrote negative reviews about the lack of consideration for children and the gratuitous violence. Variety warned the audience about The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s being a “murderous, hideous, and repulsive two-hour nightmare” Barrientos 1
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and that “children won’t stand the morbid scenes” (Eime, Sept. 6, 1923) 2 . Variety also reported that The Phantom of the Opera was “the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened” and would “cause the children who view it to have sleepless hours, keep children away from the theaters, and being [SHOULD be “be” sinc ehave to keep proper tense w/ “would”] ruinous to any juvenile appeal” (Skig, Sept. 9, 1925) 3 . Conversely, both films obtained commercial success- The Hunchback of Notre Dame estimate profit was $1.5+ million and The Phantom of the Opera made $539,682 (Blake, p.135 & 147) 4 - and acceptance by most critics and audience- The Hunchback of Notre Dame was voted one of the year’s best picture by the New York Times, Film Daily, Harrison’s Report, Life, and etc (Blake, p.135) 5 . Because the horror genre was barely being introduced to the American theaters both movies were categorized as either mysteries or fantastic melodramas (Hall, p.274) 6 , however, this changed during the 1930’s when Universal bombarded the audience with countless horror movies. The two movies that ultimately led Universal to become the sole studio in specializing in
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Universal Monsters - Barrientos 1 Giovanny Barrientos Proff...

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