London: Secker & Warburg, 1968, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.
First published 1967 as Illustrated History of the Horror Film By G. P. Putnams Sons, New York. Contains: Black & white photographs; Photographic end papers & blanks;
From the cover: In the dream palace of the cinema there is an underworld, a place of nightmare and terror and catalepsy and death, where Frankenstein in his laboratory creates his nameless monster and Count Dracula rises each evening from his tomb.
The films potential for the fantastic was realised from the very beginning, by Melies in 1902 with his Trip to the Moon. The first recognisably horrific films came however more than ten years later, from Germany; and when these German films (and many of their directors) went to America in the twenties the Hollywood horror movie was born. Since then the traditional elements have hardly changed, some stories Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, for example-being remade for every new generation of filmgoers. And in recent years Hammer Films productions, Roger Cormans elaborate versions of Poe stories, and the Italian cinemas imaginative essays in the macabre have shown the traditional images and narratives to be as potent and disturbing as ever.
In this level-headed and well-researched history of the fantastic film Carlos Clarens surveys the subject in its widest sense (he includes science fiction) from the beginnings to the present, describing important films in detail and concentrating upon the work of key directors and actors such as Tod Browning and Lon Chaney. Mr Clarens makes his own analysis of the fascination the horrific holds for us, and with sympathy and sense discusses the meanings of the main themes. He provides with his text a selective but very full index, with casts and credits, of the principal films.
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper pulled along the top edge with a little fraying to the head of the spine. Top edge of the text block tanned. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 264 pages. Index. 10″ x 6¼”.