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Rare 1983 John Carradine Interview

Not an advert, I just wanted to share this and my thoughts on it.

- Great all around, I've never seen an interview this long with John Carradine.
- Shows off his reputation for exaggeration or changing facts. He claims that from all his films only 25 were horror, which is patently untrue from any point of view. He also claims Boris Karloff was born in India.
- Interviewer is polite, but a touch patronizing and clearly limited in his knowledge of Carradine's career.
- Not really surprised to see that John Carradine doesn't think much of the horror genre or their place in his filmography, but it's a bit disappointing. It's never a joy to watch an actor with a strong following saying to same fans, "Don't like me for that, like me for these things that I prefer."
- Carradine has sort of typical older actor stance on modern (1980's) Hollwyood, but I do agree that the quality of supporting actors, or character actors, have never matched that of classic Hollywood.
- Interview also shows off his well-known ego. He refers to himself as the best voice in Hollywood, then and now, an excellent sculptor, and a great singer. Fair enough, if not the most modest approach.
- He has the most striking eyes.

Great insight into this man whom we really don't know a lot about.


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his memory also was getting pretty bad by than. in his day he had a fantastic memory and could remember his lines better than anyone in the business no doubt about that. i think it was Fred Olen Ray worked with on Shockwaves in (1977) and than in 80's when he worked with him again i think for Prison Ship? in (1984) or whatever the hell that film is called? star slammer ? whatever he forgot he worked with him on Shockwaves.

as for his remark about horror films, he HATED doing them and the reason he did them was well for the money and that's all he was offered if you really think about it. he did have one of the best voices in Hollywood in fact. only one who was better than his is Christopher Lee. and another reason he HATED doing horror is because he was miscast in horror films. hell even Christopher Lee who no doubt did enjoy doing them even he got tired of doing them at some point as well and in fact did everything under the sun to NOT be typecast and it was only by some kind of miracle he wasn't. but that took YEARS for that to happen. anyways when he was at fox in the 30's and the early 40's. he kept changing his salary and i think he at that time was a free agent?

anyways Fox got tired of him doing that and so they even went as so far as not even telling him that his contract when it was over they weren't even going to tell him! so he did those horror movies cause he was offered them and he needed the money. and fox more or less typecast him in horror because of this.

in fact that's why he left Hollywood in (1949) because all the scripts he was getting were terrible scripts. Anthony Quinn in (1947) left Hollywood for pretty much the same reason in fact. Quinn Came back in in (1952) or (1953) i forget which. and Carradine came back in (1954) and i can't say that i blame either of them for doing that. he may have hated doing horror movies but let's face it most of the horror movies he did do were freaking terrible Z grade crap. some were B movies though at a higher budget. and a lot of the roles he did take through the years his fans gave them roles cause they loved him as an actor and in fact expanded his role. Joe Dante in fact made his role Bigger when Carradine agreed to the role and other directors did do the same.

so my guess is that's why he was the way he was.


There's a very funny moment in the DVD commentary for Shock Waves where the director talks about having lunch with Carradine before production started and asking if he wanted to talk about the character. I forget the exact phrasing, but Carradine responded "I think I'll just play it the same way I have for 40 years."

I certainly understand that John Carradine did horror films only for money and indeed had little in that group to be really proud of. However, to me personally, it's always a bit sad when an actor deliberately maligns that which inspired the most love from an audience. So few actors make an impact in any form, much less exactly the one they want.

Carradine, in particular, pretty much led the career he was meant to have. He actually discusses in the interview how his unusual look and cultured manor painted him in the horror genre corner. It's a shame that he looked that particular gift horse in the mouth so much.