If ever there’s a time that All Things Dracula deserves some attention, it’s during the spooky season of Halloween. And it’s a great time to be a fan of Bram Stoker’s work: Orlok Press has a Kickstarter up to bring a new spin on the Count to life, while Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment just launched a series focusing on the supernatural man-beast.
But what about the silver screen and, arguably, the most famous version of the character, portrayed by actor Béla Lugosi? A new Kickstarter from Clover Press is giving Lugosi some well-deserved attention with a new book by journalist and expert on Lugosi lore Robert Cremer. In Béla Lugosi: The Man Behind the Cape, Cremer has compiled stories, photos, and letters in a comprehensive tome that acts as a portal to the man behind the acting titan.
The Man Behind the Cape puts the spotlight on a wide range of tales about Mr. Lugosi, both from in front of and behind the camera. Cremer discusses topics ranging from his time in the army, his exile from Hungary, his hand in forming Hollywood’s Screen Actors Guild, and so many stories.
As of press time, the Kickstarter Béla Lugosi: The Man Behind the Cape has more than tripled its funding goal, with 21 days left to go. Check out the campaign and its official trailer, and look below to learn about the extensive list of contents that the book has to offer.
From the official press release:
Béla Lugosi was more than just an actor; he was a cultural icon and a legend of the silver screen whose commanding presence, hypnotic voice, and mesmerizing gaze made him the embodiment of Count Dracula. Now acclaimed journalist and Lugosi expert Robert Cremer has written BÉLA LUGOSI: THE MAN BEHIND THE CAPE, a comprehensive and essential biography that features over 700 photographs, including many rare or never-before-seen family photos, letters, documents and historical artifacts curated by Lynne Lugosi Sparks of the Lugosi Family Archives, many of which have never before been published. The book, which is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter by Clover Press, also features an all-new foreword by Béla Lugosi, Jr. and an afterword by noted Lugosi historian Dr. Gary Rhodes.
BÉLA LUGOSI: THE MAN BEHIND THE CAPE includes exclusive interviews conducted with Lillian Lugosi Donlevy, Lugosi’s wife of 20 years, as well as his closest Hungarian relatives and friends. The biography explores the actor’s humble beginnings in Hungary; his political activism, which cost him his wife, family and almost his life; his harrowing transatlantic crossing to America; and his struggles to realize his dream of becoming a success on stage and on the silver screen. The book also provides compelling insight into the reasons for Béla’s decline into B-movie productions in Gower Gulch in the 1950s, with extensive interviews with Edward D. Wood, Jr. which unlock heretofore unknown background on Béla’s involvement in the filming of the cult classics Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space.
BÉLA LUGOSI: THE MAN BEHIND THE CAPE provides unprecedented look into many aspects of Lugosi’s life, including:
Why Béla enlisted in the army in 1914, when he could have been excused from military service.
How Béla became a major union organizer in 1918 that catapulted him to fame and then to exile from his beloved Hungary.
How a sailor and his cat saved Béla’s life during his transatlantic crossing to the U.S.
Why Béla was not the first choice for the role of Count Dracula.
Why Béla risked involvement in the founding of the Screen Actors Guild in Hollywood, given his near-fatal experience with union activism in Hungary.
Who was really behind the ban on horror films in 1936.
Why Béla’s film The Raven was a personal nightmare for the actor, despite being a box office hit.
Why Béla risked his health repeatedly on cross-country barnstorming tours.
What role fishhead stew played in Béla’s embarking on a second career with filmmaker Ed Wood.
Why Béla asked his son not to drive him to his wedding ceremony with Hope Lininger.
Perfect for film buffs, horror aficionados and readers with a taste for the macabre, BÉLA LUGOSI: THE MAN BEHIND THE CAPE is now on Kickstarter. Visit the campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.