The 1991 Best Picture Oscar sweep of Silence Of The Lambs aside, one of the most egregiously overlooked genres when it comes to voting for Academy Awards is getting a big make-good the entire month of October from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In honor of Universal‘s year-long 100th anniversary, the Academy tonight begins its celebration of classic horror films in “Universal’s Legacy Of Horror”, the genre in which the studio made its early reputation and a perfect Halloween treat for fans.
Modern horror-meister and enthusiast Guillermo del Toro will host tonight’s opening program, which includes a double bill of newly restored prints of The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) and Dracula (1931). Among those expected to be in attendance this month is Carla Laemmle, who will turn 103 on October 20. She is the niece of Universal founder Carl Laemmle and an actress who appeared in Phantom Of The Opera (1925) — screening to close the series on October 30 –and tonight’s opener Dracula, a movie for which she is known for speaking the first line of dialogue ever heard in a horror film. She’s the last surviving cast member of both pics. Phantom, by the way, will be an original restoration with the color sequence intact and presented by Oscar-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow.