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James Whale (22 July 1889 – 29 May 1957) was an English film director, theater director and actor, who spent the greater part of his career in Hollywood. He is best remembered for several horror films: Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), all considered classics. Whale also directed films in other genres, including the 1936 film version of the musical Show Boat. He became increasingly disenchanted with his association with horror, and many of his non-horror films have fallen into obscurity. Whale was born into a large family in Dudley, Worcestershire. He discovered his artistic talent early on and studied art. With the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the British Army and became an officer. He was captured by the Germans and during his time as a prisoner of war he realized he was interested in drama. Following his release at the end of the war he became an actor, set designer and director. His success directing the 1928 play Journey's End led to his move to the US, first to direct the play on Broadway and then to Hollywood, California, to direct films. He lived in Hollywood for the rest of his life, most of that time with his longtime companion, producer David Lewis. Apart from Journey's End (1930), which was released by Tiffany Films, and Hell's Angels (1930), released by United Artists, he directed a dozen films for Universal Pictures between 1931 and 1937, developing a style characterized by the influence of German Expressionism and a highly mobile camera.

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