Course Description

Explore Hollywood horror in the 1930s and 1940s, the period when the genre was first recognized as a popular staple of Hollywood production. The films reflect the state of the Hollywood studio system as well as the social, political and aesthetic trends of the Depression and World War II years.


Course Outline

In this class, we will watch and discuss the following films:

  • The Spanish-language Dracula (1931)
     Made with a Spanish-speaking cast for distribution in Latin America. Starring Carlos Villarías.
  • The Black Cat (1934)
    Universal pairs their new stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in a macabre pre-Code thriller.
  • Mad Love (1935)
    A visually impressive film based on the French novel The Hands of Orlac. Directed by renowned German cinematographer Karl Freund and starring Peter Lorre.
  • I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
    One of Producer Val Lewton's best moody, low-budget psychological horror films made at RKO during the war years.
  • Hangover Square (1945)
    In his final role, cult star Laird Cregar plays a tormented concert pianist, while Linda Darnell plays the singer who perilously trifles with him.


  • Online registration closes at 6 p.m. one day before the start of the class, unless noted on individual sections.
  • Late registration is welcome! Please contact SMU CAPE at 214-768-2273 for assistance.
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