Women in Horror Films, 1930’s
By Gregory William Mank
Published by McFarland & Co, 415 pages.
Along with Tom Weaver, Greg Mank is one of the leading writers who I think is doing amazing work keeping the memory and stories of some of our favorite actors and actresses alive, through their hard work and research. We can learn so much about our favorite horror stars because of them. And this book is a prime example of that.
Each chapter of the book is dedicated to one of the stars from the ’30’s, including names like Elsa Lanchester, Gloria Stuart, Frances Drake, and many more. In fact, there are 21 different actresses cover in this book. With each name, we are given a lot of information about the them, their early life and career. There are a lot of interesting stories within these pages, most of them told directly to the author himself from the many interviews that he conducted over the years. So kudos to him for keeping these memories alive and remembered.
One of the surprising elements here was that while other films the stars worked on are mentioned or talked about, not a lot of detail is given, only the ones in the horror genre. This makes it a lot more interesting for someone who might be just interested in the horror films, not necessarily the stars of that decade. Such as myself.
The book has over a hundred of photos and lists the filmography of each star. The only negative remark I could give this book would be the retail price. Coming from McFarland, the prices are high, but so is the quality. And if you are a fan of this golden age of horror films, then this is not only a great read, but really essential when it comes to research material. It really gives you a lot more insight to these lovely ladies of terror that we’ve grown up watching.