Listen to this week’s episode (link in bio!) for an earful about my feelings for this one. I’ve also written about this extensively and sentimentally before. In short, PERFECT MOVIE, basically.
Although, I forgot to mention that it’s interesting to see here that the Boring Mannequin Semi-Hero role here is much more active than, say, David Manners in Dracula. Progress! Not a huge leap, but progress. Russell Wade plays Dr. Fettes, assistant to the superb, tortured, Henry Daniell’s Dr. MacFarlane. Wade was born in Oklahoma, and wow can you hear it. His midwest/western twang REALLY stands out as this is set in Edinburgh…and everyone else (save Bela Lugosi) has accents that track at least somewhere in the UK. I didn’t catch any dialogue about his coming from America, so it feels sort of like RKO basically said “who can we get to be handsome and likeable in this film?”
Russell Wade is fine and indeed likeable enough, but just a bit boring. There is so much talent around him in every scene, maybe he didn’t stand a chance. Still, a more charismatic actor could have elevated Fettes into someone you could really care about it. As it is, all my loyalty goes to Karloff…until that scene with Lugosi holy crap. Karloff is AMAZING. Oh! And I need to correct myself: This is Karloff and Lugosi’s final time together on screen – not The Raven (1934). Anyway, SEE THIS MOVIE.