Discover the remarkable film career of Robert Florey, in Robert Florey: The French Expressionist by Brian Taves.
During almost a half-century in the movies, from 1916 to 1963, Robert Florey directed sixty five features and 220 television films at most of the major studios. His greatest success came in thrillers, scripting the original Frankenstein and directing such horror classics as Murders in the Rue Morgue with Bela Lugosi and The Beast with Five Fingers with Peter Lorre.
Displaying skill in many genres, Florey also co-directed two renowned comedies, The Cocoanuts with The Marx Brothers and Monsieur Verdoux with Charlie Chaplin. Florey was always known as an artist, gaining fame first through his experimental Avant-garde shorts, such as The Life and Death of 9413 – a Hollywood Extra, and he is renowned for directing episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series. His features remained distinctive for integrating European filmmaking styles into the Hollywood studio system.
Author Brian Taves takes advantage of numerous primary sources, including studio archives, interviews with associates, and access to all of Florey’s papers. Taves thoroughly analyzes and locates Florey’s films within the context of the times, relating them to such topics as the influence of expressionism and other techniques, the realm of the “B” film, the position of the contract director in the studio system, and the transition of movie talent to television.
This new edition of a book out of print since 1995 delves more deeply into Florey’s remarkable career. In addition to a Bibliography, the book contains several appendixes, including a Filmography, a Television Filmography, and “Charles Chaplin’s Tirade Between Takes of Monsieur Verdoux" (transcribed by Robert Florey), as well as an Index.
“A book on Florey is long overdue… Now the job has been done, and done magnificently…. I’ve already used the book in one of my film history courses, and I hope it’ll find is way on to a lot of university shelves. And for the film history enthusiast, it’s a must…. Worth every penny…”
William K. Everson, Films in Review
"A crucial biography in the study of film history. ROBERT FLOREY: THE FRENCH EXPRESSIONIST reveals deep insight about the important director thanks to skilled writing and access to rare archival materials."
Gary Rhodes, Film historian and Bela Lugosi biographer
“One of the most ambitious studies of a director who worked largely in B filmmaking…”
Kristin Thompson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Essential…. An epic work that every horror fan should own…. The depth of interpretation of Florey’s style, his background, his detailed film career as recreated by Taves is simply gripping in its detail.”
Gary J. Svehla, Midnight Marquee