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10 Groundbreaking Uses of Special Effects Makeup

9

'Frankenstein' (1931)

The movie poster for 'Frankenstein' shows the trademark flattened head of the monster, which was created by makeup artist Jack Pierce. Universal/Getty Images
The movie poster for 'Frankenstein' shows the trademark flattened head of the monster, which was created by makeup artist Jack Pierce. Universal/Getty Images

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Bela Lugosi, who had starred in the stage version of "Frankenstein," turned down a role in director James Whale's big-screen version, in part because he figured the makeup would be too involved. Instead, it was Boris Karloff who had the honor-- and discomfort -- of being transformed by makeup director Jack Pierce, who used techniques that had never before been employed. Pierce gave the monster his trademark flattened head with a rubber skullcap, cotton and spirit gum [source: TCM].

One of his most subtle but ingenious tricks was to give Karloff's complexion a greenish tint, which the black-and-white film translated into a deathly gray on the screen [sources: Hechinger, Chase].

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