Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 078 – Jack Pierce

Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 078 – Jack Pierce

Friends, for this latest Saturday Frights Podcast the focus is on Jack Pierce, the iconic make-up effects artist responsible for many of the pantheon of Universal Monsters. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and The Wolf Man are only a few of the films he worked on during his lifetime. In total, Jack Pierce would amass 172 make-up credits – even if many of those were sadly uncredited when the films were originally released. This episode is a little different by the way as for someone as legendary as Jack Pierce was – the Projectionist and myself decided to focus on his achievements instead of playing clips from the movies he worked on.

I truly feel we have done a pretty good job of giving you an overview of the career of Jack Pierce – in particular his contribution to the Universal Monster films. It might surprise you how many time that the make-up artist ended up working with the likes of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney Jr. We made sure to touch upon Pierce’s rather intense devotion to his art, which sometimes came at the price of the actor’s sitting in his make-up chair. Which as I point out on the show itself is one of the reasons I think Karloff is made up to look like Jack Pierce in 1940’s Black Friday!

Fair warning before you listen to the show, the truth of the matter is that Jack Pierce’s end days were rather tragic. While thankfully the artist was able to find work for most his life – thanks to his resisting new make-up techniques in the industry… his last credited work was on the popular Mister Ed television series. A good job and a steady one for a good four years – but applying monofilament to the lips of Mister Ed is a far cry from working with the likes of Conrad Veidt, Basil Rathbone, Elsa Lanchester, or Claude Rains.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

The theme used at the beginning of this episode was provided by Peachy, if you have musical needs why not contact him at Peachy@Retroist.Com. And be sure to “like” him on his Facebook Page.

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Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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