Picture of the Week #2: Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster

Boris Karloff on the set of Son of Frankenstein

It’s been  a bit of a monster-fest around here lately. I promise to write something about Bela Tarr, and a piece on Shinoda’s Double Suicide will follow shortly. In the meantime, let’s all enjoy the spectacle of Boris Karloff hanging out with a family (does anybody know who they are?) on the set of 1939’s Son of Frankenstein. I love these backstage portraits, especially when they show such an iconic figure with his guard down. So complete is Karloff’s physical performance, and so distinctive the make-up that completes the character, that it is strange to see him acting loose and cool. These shots (there’s another one I’ve seen of him taking a cup of tea and cigarette break with Colin Clive) demonstrate the totality of his onscreen presence – all it takes is a bit of slouching or an incongruous prop and all of a sudden he’s just some guy again, albeit one with some apparent cranium issues.

[Picture sourced from Dr Macro’s incomparable gallery of high quality movie scans.]