The film is founded on pure irrationality and the primacy of the visual. Atmosphere transcends logic; Mr. Lugosi’s pronouncements notwithstanding, music is more important than dialogue. While Mr. Varnel, a French-born former actor, specialized in comedies, Mr. Menzies (1896-1957) was arguably Hollywood’s premier art director. It almost seems as if the sets he designed for the lavish silent version of “The Thief of Bagdad” with Douglas Fairbanks are being recycled here.
September 01, 2016