Do yourself a favor— visit Tom Sutpen’s If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger… right now for a sublime, eloquent, strange and quite moving visual series on Bela Lugosi, whose death 50 years ago yesterday is commemorated by Tom’s Wednesday posts:
”Fifty years ago today, Hungary's most invaluable export to American culture... surrendered the last measure of his health; passing away after decades of steady dissolution and the rigors of his own rather weighty theatricality. If he was fated to be Hollywood's answer to DeSica's Umberto Domenico Ferrari, then he at least refused to go quietly, thereby instilling a ray of hope into those similarly dispossessed. For that, and much else, we here at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger . . . wish to remember Bela Lugosi as fondly as America's film industry wanted to forget him.”
UPDATE 8/17/06 2:56 p.m.: Chris Oliver thankfully reminds me and everyone that tomorrow is Bela Lugosi Day on Turner Classic Movies-- 17 films in all, including Tod Browning's Mark of the Vampire and Erle C. Kenton's magnificently unsettling Island of Lost Souls. To find out the entire schedule, click the link above or, if you don't want to move your mouse quite that far, here.