"ONE MAN CRAZY!"
The Life and Death of COLIN CLIVE
He immortalized Henry Frankenstein in Hollywood's Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, but his too-brief life was often a horror saga as well.
"One Man Crazy!" The Life and Death of Colin Clive is the first full biography of this brilliant, hypersensitive actor.
Adventurously-researched, sympathetic yet unsparingly revealing, and featuring over 200
A Hollywood Tragedy
In 1944, Laird Cregar played Jack the Ripper in The Lodger, giving one of the most haunting performances in Hollywood history. It was the climax of a strange celebrity that saw the young American actor--who stood 6' 3" and weighed more than 300 pounds--earn distinction as a portrayer of psychopaths and villains. Determined to break free of this typecasting, he desperately desired to become "a beautiful man," embarking on an extreme diet that killed him at 31.
This first biography of Cregar tells the heartbreaking story of the brilliant but doomed actor. Appendices cover his film, theatre, and radio work. Many never before published photographs are included.
329 pages, 95 illustrations (many of them never-before-published)
Decades of research…the author brings Cregar back to vivid life in this culmination of an ‘almost lifelong’ fascination with the actor…as with most good Hollywood biographies, this one interweaves its subject’s life story with the story of the movie business itself…Mank finds joy as well as tragedy in Cregar’s attempt to live his dream…gives rich life to an unknown Hollywood story.—Booklist
Mank offers one of the first in-depth studies of Samuel Laird Cregar…a compelling, cautionary tale of an actor who held his own—Library Journal.
Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy... is a fascinating study of the noir legend...you'll be rewarded with a remarkable profile on a previously private actor who shrouded himself in mystery.—Classic Images (Award for Best Film Noir Book of the Year)
illustrations, this book illuminates Clive's genius - and the private demons that agonized the man who, as Monster-Making scientist Frankenstein, unforgettably cried, "It's alive!"
378 pages, 200+ illustrations (Photos of Clive at his prep school, and as a cadet at Sandhurst. Pictures of rare documents testifying to the tragedies in his family that tormented him. Stage shots, film stills, behind-the-scenes candids, portraits of his wife, his lover, shots of his homes, his haunts, the church where he was married, the mortuary that handled his funeral, art work dedicated to him, etc., etc.)
A juicy biography that is well-written and researched. If you only know Clive for his turn in Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) be prepared for a wild ride.—Classic Images (One of the five Best Books of 2019)
OF MICE AND MEN:
Mental Enfeeblement, Racism, and Mercy-Killing
in 1939 Hollywood
Accompanied by over 110 illustrations, this book takes the reader into the heart and soul of one of the most powerful and beloved films of Cinema’s Golden Age.
Of Mice and Men is one of the most haunting, passionate films in Hollywood history. Based on the tragic novella by John Steinbeck, it was a Best Picture Oscar nominee in 1939, “Hollywood’s Greatest Year,” and shattered taboos that film producers had never dared to challenge before.
Containing primary source material from the studio archives (the first time such research material has been available in 80 years), this book tells the full story of this film: the censorship battles, the secret screen tests, the day-to-day shooting, and the
controversial critical and popular response. The book also candidly examines the private lives of the film’s cast – particularly its three brilliant stars, Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, and Lon Chaney, Jr. – and its production staff, headed by its indomitable director Lewis Milestone.
338 pages, 110+ illustrations
Of Mice and Men: Mental Enfeeblement, Racism, and Mercy-Killing in 1939 Hollywood is available from BearManor Media OMM-BearManor, Amazon OMM-Amazon, and Barnes & Noble OMM-B&N
Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us!
More Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema
Like a lovingly guided midnight tour, this book covers the seductive shadows of the most fascinating horror films and melodramas from the 1930s and 1940s. From the bloody censorship battles behind 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, to the sexual controversies of 1941’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the gruesome Nazi atrocities of 1943’s Women in Bondage, this book delves into newly excavated research to tell the behind-the-scenes sagas of some of Hollywood’s most frightening films. Peek behind the scenes, revel in on-the-set anecdotes and get a look at the script notes illuminating characters like WereWolf of London, Richard III, Panther Woman and Rasputin. Included are profiles of the performers and filmmakers who made the nightmares feel all too real in the darkened theaters of yesteryear, and
an examination of the factors that have kept these films popular so many decades later.
458 pages, 159 illustrations
Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us! More Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema is available from McFarland A&M-McFarland, Amazon A&M-Amazon, and Barnes & Noble A&M-B&N.
"Another Manksterpiece!...This [book] has chapters centered on individual movies and people from the 'classic horror' era. Every chapter is chockfull of fascinating information, all presented in clean, highly readable prose by the author...This book shouldn't have ended. It should have gone on and on and I should still be reading it."
—Rick Pruitt, actor
“With his hyper-dramatic style and flawless research, Mank has become one of the finest classic film writers/historians working today, and he has been raising the bar of film scholarship for decades”—Midnight Marquee
Frankenstein’s Witch: Saint Lizzie, Pray For Us:
A Porter Down Hollywood Mystery
1931. Universal Studios, Hollywood, is placing its hopes for Depression survival on Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s blasphemous saga of a man who made a Monster. During the shooting, a self-proclaimed witch, who performs a Black Mass in Malibu, sinuously infiltrates the company, seducing Colin Clive, the young, brilliant, alcoholic actor who plays Dr. Frankenstein.
The result: a shocking scandal and murder that Universal desperately hides to protect its epic horror film.
1967. Come the psychedelic “Summer of Love,” a witch is once again amok in Hollywood...with striking similarities to her
1931 predecessor. Someone burns the old Frankenstein set that still was standing on Universal’s back lot. An aged Boris Karloff, who’d played Frankenstein’s Monster, has received a death threat. A horrifying, ritualistic murder occurs. A veteran P.I. named Porter Down, who’d battled the 1931 witch, claims the atrocities are those of the original witch herself...who’s been dead for 36 years.
“I should know,” says the investigator. “I was the one who killed her.”
Wildly colorful historic fiction, Frankenstein’s Witch: St. Lizzie, Pray for Us is a macabre, time-traveling thriller, taking the reader back and forth to both Golden Age Hollywood of the early 1930s and the revolutionary drug world of the late 1960s. Spiking together film history, cultural revolution, and religious mania, it’s a haunting, sometimes heartbreaking story.
Frankenstein's Witch: St. Lizzie, Pray For Us is available from Bear Manor Media
"The esteemed classic horror film historian Gregory William Mank has written his first novel....This is a dark, complex tale, dealing with guilt, sin, redemption, religious mania, and sexual obsession...Frankenstein's Witch is a fascinating, if at times disturbing, read. Despite the fact that the novel runs nearly 400 pages, the pace never slackens--it's a fast-moving story...If you are a film or history buff, and you are looking for some unique fiction, Frankenstein's Witch will fit the bill."—The Hitless Wonder Movie Blog
~ Nominated for the 2022 Richard Wall Memorial Award ~