James Whale
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

James Whale

Gods and Monsters

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About Him

Living… in a colonial style house in the Santa Monica Canyon of Los Angeles. The "house of Frankenstein," if you will. Most visitors assume James would live in a spooky old mansion or villa, but he likes to live simply.

Profession… former Hollywood director. His only truly well-known films are the Frankenstein series – including Frankenstein, Bride of, and Son of. James, though, only made the first two, while the others were directed by hacks. Now, he can’t seem to help but spend all of his day thinking about those times. His lack of mental clarity is most likely the result of the prescription pills he takes to help him cope with a series of strokes. While the pills make James “stupid as a stone,” not taking them makes his mind go a hundred directions at the same time.

Interests… sketching Clayton, his attractive new gardener. At this point in his life, James releases his sexual frustrations by sketching men. Years ago, young and attractive men used to visit his house constantly. James wistfully recalls how his house was once filled with “bare buttocks.” Now, sketching Clayton is enough.

Relationship Status… single. And he’s likely to remain so as long as Clayton refuses his advances. Entering an advanced age, James has become acutely aware of his slipping attractiveness. Having been alone for a long time, the repressed James has become obsessed with Clayton.

Challenge… overcoming his depression. He says, “There is nothing in the here and now to take my mind off it. All my diversions have abandoned me. Parties. Reading. Painting. Work. Love. All gone to me now. I'm losing my mind. Every day, another piece goes. Soon there will be nothing left.” But James is forging an unlikely bond with Clayton that is giving him some renewed hope.

Personality… unfulfilled, repressed, obsessive, and compulsive. James is a mere shadow of himself now. For him, each new day is a struggle. He recalls, “Making movies was the most wonderful thing in the world. Working with friends. Entertaining people. Yes, I suppose I miss it. I think we all want to feel we've left our mark on the world. Yes. I wish I had done more work.” James is an old, accomplished man who is raging against the dying of the light.

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