"Karloff Boris" The 1st Boris Karloff Australian Film Advertisment

Everyone's 23 July, 1924
As I do deeper research for my ongoing project - The History Of The Horror Film In Australia 1897-1973* I'm attempting to track down the first mention of many actors, and directors, in Australia. This isn't as easy as you might think, believe it or not, but I do think I've snagged the first mention of the man who would earn infamy as the Monster in 1931's Frankenstein - Boris Karloff. However, in this ad, for The White Panther, he's billed as Karloff Boris.

Directed by Alan James and produced by Phil Goldstone, The White Panther was of interest to Australians for the featured star, Reginald 'Snowy' Baker, who, along with others too numerous to mention, but including Louise Lovely, Annette Kellerman and J.P. McGowan, was an Australian in Hollywood making a name for himself. The film was released by the Australasian Releasing Corporation and distributed through the Co-Operative Film Exchange. All these companies are long, long gone now.

Karloff appears in the cast list as "A Native".

Everyone's 6 August, 1924. Note 'Karloff Boris' in the bottom right hand corner

The movie gained excellent reviews but, at this point in history, Snowy Baker could have murdered a kitten on the screen and the Australian media would have lapped it up and hailed it as a masterpiece on a par with anything that Shakespeare or Douglas Fairbanks had ever done.

At least Boris got a mention, and a suitable menacing image on the advertising display. And playing eight fiddle to Snowy wasn't as bad as playing tenth fiddle to Boomerang The Wonder Horse.


Den said…
Great fond, sir! FYI, you might want to forward this to Karina Longsworth, who does the “You Must Remember This” podcast (on iTunes, etc). She did a wonderful 6-part series on Boris and Bela.

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