Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Scream Queen: June Collyer

June Collyer's film career began in silent movies when she was cast in the 1927 drama "East Side, West Side." She made 11 films before making a successful transition to sound pictures where she was counted among the most radiant leading ladies of thrillers and horror films from the smaller studios; while most of her roles during the silent era were in romantic dramas, most her sound era parts were in mysteries and horror films.

Collyer's greatest chillers and thrillers include "Illusion" (1930), "The Drums of Jeopardy" (1931), "Before Midnight" (1933), "The Ghost Walks" (1934), and "A Face in the Fog" (1936). Also of note is "Murder By Television" (1935), in which Collyer was featured along side the great Bela Lugosi. However, it is not a good film by any measure, and it is only worth viewing for the greatest Lugosi or Collyer fans.

Collyer retired from film after completing "A Face in the Fog" to focus on raising her two children. In 1950, after they were grown, she returned to acting on "The Steve Erwin Show," a sit-com  starring her husand which aired until 1955. The end of that series was also the end of Collyer's acting career, as she retired a second and final time.

June Collyer passed away in 1968. As the years go by, more and more of her films are being lost to time, with many of her silent pictures already gone forever and the same is true of many of her talkies. For some, only one or two known prints are known to survive on fragile nitrate stock and they are not slated for preservation. For all the negative things film snobs like to say about the shoddy transfers on budget-priced DVDs, at least they're keeping otherwise lost classics available for viewing.

1 comment:

  1. Boy you said a mouthful there, Steve. EVERY old film needs to be preserved - they are one of a kind records of our past, good or bad.

    And she's rather thick and nice, isn't she?