|Boris Karloff checks out the latest newfangled gadget of 1939, the slimline widescreen television|
Meanwhile I'm currently re-visiting Simon Callow's Orson Welles biography The Road to Xanadu (in preparation for reading Vol 3) and I was struck by something I read in the passage that describes Bright Lucifer, a play Welles initially wrote in 1932 and returned to throughout the decade before ultimately shelving it with the arrival of War of the Worlds and Citizen Kane. What I found particularly interesting about this Gothic melodrama is that one of the characters is described in Callow's words as a "star of Horror movies". Callow opines that Welles was drawing his characters from life and I wonder did Welles have a particular actor in mind ? The New Yorker, writing about the play in 1938 considered Boris Karloff as Welles' inspiration, while in 2014, Mike Teal over at Wellesnet felt the character was "clearly modeled on John Barrymore". Welles' script is currently unavailable, so it's hard to say either way, but it's interesting to consider that Welles' champion in later life, Peter Bogdanovich also devised a character who was a Horror movie star (albeit one in descent) for his debut feature Targets. Bogdanovich first met Welles in 1968 so it's extremely unlikely he lifted the idea from Welles' unproduced, and as far as I know, unpublished play, so I would consider this a rather delightful coincidence.