If I tout a triple feature of Bela films, nobody's going to ask "Bela who?"
Eighty years after his first Hollywood splash, Bela Lugosi remains an icon, whether it's from Martin Landau's delirious tribute in Tim Burton's Ed Wood or Lugosi's eerie work in films like the three '30s chillers unreeling Sunday night (Feb. 22) on Turner Classic Movies.
And we're not talking Dracula, either. These are three lesser-known but just as creepy, creaky and classic pre-Code early talkies -- 1932's Murders in the Rue Morgue (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET), 1934's The Black Cat (9:15 p.m. ET) featuring (Boris) Karloff, and 1933's Charles Laughton starrer Island of Lost Souls (10:30 p.m. ET, all on TCM).
That's three full features in a mere 4 hours, from the days when Hollywood could deliver an extravagance of effect from an economy of effort.
Read more about these still-arresting films at the links above, in TCM essays that deliver their own wealth of information and insight.
Stick around past midnight ET for TCM's Silent Sunday Nights showcase -- one of the wonders that makes this channel indispensable -- and discover 1922's indescribable Haxan (midnight ET). It's an influential journey through the history of witchcraft from Danish auteur Benjamin Christensen.
Oh -- and our headline? It's a crazy line from Lugosi in Ed Wood's Glen or Glenda? -- a legendary moment not airing Sunday night; but hey, that's what the internet and DVDs are for.
(And that's Island of Lost Souls at top, The Black Cat at right.)
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