8 Great ... Double Roles

Nov 07, 2011 Comments
Elsa Lanchester in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Like Armie Hammer, this was not exactly a work of acting genius, but rather a brilliant stroke of casting on the part of director James Whale. Even though she received only a "?" as a credit, everyone knows that Lanchester played the "bride," both beautiful and bizarre, with her tall, highlighted fright wig. But people sometimes forget that she also played the author Mary Shelley in the prologue. The movie begins on a stormy night as Mary, Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton) and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon), sit around the fire and talk literature, horror and morals. Mary then launches into the tale of the Bride. Scholars have read many layers into this duality, and it continues to fascinate.

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