He was tall, lean and aristocratic-looking. He had piercing eyes, a mellifluous & powerful baritone voice, and a commanding stage presence. You could hand him a script in the morning, and by early afternoon he knew not only his own part, but everybody else’s as well. He was a supremely accomplished actor on stage and screen, who established himself as a member of John Ford’s regular troupe, and worked with other fine directors including Douglas Sirk and Rouben Mamoulian.

But we’re prepared to forgive him for all that.

For unlike other talented actors — who find themselves forced to take on ever-more embarrassing roles as age and changing fashions catch up with them — John Carradine actually liked making terrible movies. He made ’em even when he didn’t have to. He had a tremendous sense of humor about himself and his career, and found that doing low-low-low-budget schlock gave him the chance to cut loose and really enjoy himself. Thus he also found himself listed in the stock company of directors like Al Adamson and Jerry Warren, making some of the most ridiculous movies ever made.

So join us through the month of May, as we look at the (often simultaneous) highs and lows in the career of a man who rarely turned down a role:

CARRADINE, Thou Wayward Son
Will Laughlin is the Braineater.

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