Friday, February 24, 2012


It is not often that The Great Karloff is portrayed in ways less rosy than the usual near-idolotry heaped upon him in genre-friendly books and magazines. Frankly, I believe Karloff more than worthy of the praise from the knowledge I have gained over the years. True, like most working actors, he wasn't very particular about the roles he played, so long as it kept him in creature comforts. Look at Lugosi, for God's sake. But, I can't begrudge a man that, can you?

Apparently Jack Edmund Nolan, the author of Karloff on TV in Issue #102 of FILM FAN MONTHLY, could -- and did, to a certain extent. It was December, 1969, and Dear Boris had hardly gone cold in the grave when Nolan called out Karloff in his article, admonishing him as an agent's nightmare not once but twice, along with giving him short shrift regarding his acting choices, and, indeed, his acting ability.

Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin edited the long-running FILM FAN MONTHLY. The little digest-sized magazine of film criticism and comment packed a punch the size of most full-sized serious movie review mags of the day. The result was content that was sometimes erudite, sometimes controversial, but usually always entertaining.

If you can get past the self-indulgent tone and the literary shivs between Karloff's ribs, the article does include some worthwhile historical information. Maybe I'm being a little defensive with Boris' memory, and maybe I'm being too critical of the film critic. I'll let you be the judge of that after you've read it.

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