Tod Browning Stuart Rosenthal - Essay

Stuart Rosenthal

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The adjective most frequently applied to Browning's cinema is "obsessional." Although the work of any auteur will repeatedly emphasise specific thoughts and ideas, Browning is so aggressive and unrelenting in his pursuit of certain themes that he appears to be neurotically fixated upon them. He is inevitably attracted to situations of moral and sexual frustration. In this, as well as in his preoccupation with interchangeable guilt, interchangeable personalities and patterns of human repulsion and attraction, he coincides remarkably with Chabrol. What sets Browning apart is his abnormal fascination with the deformed creatures who populate his films—a fascination that is not always entirely intellectual, and...

(The entire section is 3284 words.)