Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
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HOLLYWOOD GOLD

November 1, 2013

TOWER OF LONDON

An amazingly rare candid, unretouched photograph of Boris Karloff (l) and Basil Rathbone from Universal's 1939 Tower of London. It was the same year that the duo co-starred in Son of Frankenstein, which ignited another cycle of Universal horror films. (c) Universal Studios

Universal’s 1939 entry, Tower of London, is part of the studios horror heritage while not exactly being a ‘monster’ film. It starred genre icons Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone (who also played together in Son of Frankenstein), as well as film newbie Vincent Price. While the trio did an admirable job chewing the scenery, Karloff was accorded the showiest role as Mord, a chortling, club-footed torturer. Ironically like his original Frankenstein monster, Karloff essayed his part with no dialogue, letting his actions and facial expressions do all the work.

The film was supported by a great supporting cast of Ian Hunter, Rose Hobart, Leo G. Carroll, Barbara O’Neil and Nan Grey. Ms. Grey appeared in a number of genre films herself, among them a showy role in the classic Dracula’s Daughter, The Invisible Man Returns, and The House of the Seven Gables. She was also featured in several Deanna Durbin musicals that saved Universal from bankruptcy at the time.

Below are a couple of rare stills from Tower for your enjoyment.

An amazingly rare candid, unretouched photograph of Boris Karloff (l) and Basil Rathbone from Universal's 1939 Tower of London. It was the same year that the duo co-starred in Son of Frankenstein, which ignited another cycle of Universal horror films. (c) Universal Studios

An amazingly rare candid, unretouched photograph of Boris Karloff (l) and Basil Rathbone from Universal’s 1939 Tower of London. It was the same year that the duo co-starred in Son of Frankenstein, which ignited another cycle of Universal horror films. (c) Universal Studios

 

 

A youthful Vincent Price (l), alongside Ian Hunter (c) and Basil Rathbone confer in a scene from 1939's Tower of London. While they look nefarious here, the three actors--plus Karloff--spent much of the time kibitzing on the set and playing practical jokes on each other throughout filming. Price was freshly contracted to Universal and this was one of his earliest screen roles. (c) Universal Studios

A youthful Vincent Price (l), alongside Ian Hunter (c) and Basil Rathbone confer in a scene from 1939’s Tower of London. While they look nefarious here, the three actors–plus Karloff–spent much of the time kibitzing on the set and playing practical jokes on each other throughout filming. Price was freshly contracted to Universal and this was one of his earliest screen roles. (c) Universal Studios

 

 






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