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Public Domain Horror "Bluebeard" - CinemaDave

Aug. 17th, 2010 09:32 am Public Domain Horror "Bluebeard"

According to IMDB trivia, "Bluebeard" was John Carradine's favorite performance. The role was written with Boris Karloff in mind, but Carradine handles the suave role with low key empathy. The actor would play Count Dracula in "House of Frankenstein" and "House of Dracula," but "Bluebeard" places Carradine front and center. It is a complex role and Carradine pulls it off.

Famed for directing Karloff/Lugosi inaugural teaming "The Black Cat" and the Film Noir classic, "Detour," Edgar G. Ulmer directed "Bluebeard" in six days. The Ulmer technique includes many memorable scenes involving light and shadows.

Bluebeard, whose career is puppet making, is seen walking up a staircase. In the background are shadows of puppets hanging on strings, like multiple criminals hanging from the gallows. "Bluebeard" is full of little details like that and is worthy viewing in the realm of Public Domain Horror. In fact, John Carradine's performance "Bluebeard" deserves a historical retrospection.

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