Jack Pierce: The Man Behind The Monsters
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JACK PIERCE - THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTERS chronicles the career exploits of Universal's classic monster creator, Jack Pierce, who was with the studio during their horror heyday of 1928-1947. After freelancing in Hollywood's earliest days as an actor, stuntman and assistant director, Pierce flourished in makeup in the 1910s and 1920s, first making himself into any variety of movie extras called for on fledgling studio lots. Then, from 1930-1947, Pierce created some of cinema history's most distinguishable icons of fright, including Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, The Bride of Frankenstein, Ygor, The Wolf Man, and The Phantom of the Opera among his many classic creations. Contained in this unique publication are detailed text and photos from every significant film of Pierce's career, spanning the mid-1910s to the mid-1960s.
talk, but the man is so wonderful, I think the greatest of them all as far as playing these parts.” Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein with Karloff Dwight Frye as Fritz torments the Monster Edward Van Sloan as Dr. Waldman Boris Karloff James Whale the mummy In 1932, Jack Pierce was called upon to realize two makeups for Boris Karloff in The Mummy. ‘Papa’ Karl Freund, the director of photography from Dracula, was brought in to direct the film, loosely based on the discovery of King
Phantom of the Opera and the numerous monster sequels of the late 1930s and early 1940s. She mysteriously drowned in a swimming pool at her home shortly after leaving Universal with Pierce and John P. Fulton in the spring of 1947. However, her legacy as one of the top fashion and specialty costume designers of the studio era remains intact and warrants further study by fans of the genre. the post-laemmle 1930s In 1936, Carl Laemmle Senior and Junior put their final Universal pictures into
production. Just before cash problems forced the Laemmles to sell the studio in 1937, they managed to make Dracula’s Daughter, featuring a stunning and yet simple Jack Pierce makeup on Irving Pichel (left). A sequel to 1931’s Dracula, the film was the last horror picture that the Laemmles produced. Pierce also worked on James Whale’s Showboat that year, a final bow for the father-son production team. Sadly, Senior Laemmle passed away in 1939; Junior passed forty years later, never having produced
get on their feet: they booked the original Universal Dracula and Frankenstein films and presented them on a double bill. The stunt worked more than anyone could have expected and did more than save the theater from ruin; Universal’s monster franchises were back in style. Immediately, Rogers demanded a Frankenstein sequel, and though Whale had left the studio and Colin Clive had passed away in 1937, Pierce and Karloff re-teamed to create a third version of the Monster (above). Karloff was now in
facial features, Chaney was fairly unrecognizable in his Mummy incarnations. In fact, despite his objection to using appliances, Pierce undoubtedly created full facial masks for several of Chaney Jr.’s Mummy appearances, plus additional “double” masks for Eddie Parker, who was Chaney Jr.’s regular standin/double/stuntman. Pierce also worked with Chaney Jr. on both Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) as the Monster and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), above, as Larry Talbot/The Wolf Man. In 1944,