White Zombie (Amusement Securities Co., Ltd., 1932)

White Zombie Six Sheet PosterSix Sheet Poster

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Based on William B. Seabrock’s travelogue The Magic Island, a book which contained “firsthand accounts of Haitian voodoo and witchcraft rituals,” White Zombie was the first film to bring the now familiar zombies to the screen. Shot on sets from Dracula and Frankenstein at Universal studios, with additional scenes filmed at RKO-Pathe, the low-budget film was a  commercial success. Lugosi’s role of zombie master ‘Murder’ Legendre was one of his most memorable. Close-ups of Lugosi’s eyes, recycled from White Zombie, were used in a less-successful 1936 sequel, Revolt of the Zombies. The film was to have starred Lugosi, but his role was eventually taken by Dean Jagger.  Lugosi himself announced a second sequel, Return of the White Zombie, in the 1950s, but the film was never made.  In 1942 Bela Lugosi was reunited with fellow White Zombie actors Clarence Muse in Invisible Ghost (1941) and Robert Frazer in Black Dragons (1942).

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Production Company: Amusement Securities Co., Ltd.

Distribution: United Artists

Producers: Edward Halperin and Phil Goldstone (uncredited)

Director: Victor Halperin

Assistant Directors: William Cody and Herbert Glazer

Story & Dialogue: Garnett Weston

Based on the book The Magic Island by William B. Seabrock

Cinematography: Artur Martinelli

Editor: Harold MacLernon

Sound Engineer: L.E. Clark

Art Effects: Conrad Tritschler

Settings: Ralph Berger

Make-up: Jack P. Pierce and Carl Axcelle

Technical Director: Herbert Glazer

Camera Operator: Jockey Arthur Feindel

Assistant Camera Operators: Charles Bohny and Enzo Martinelli

Special Effects: Harold Anderson

Production Assistant: Sidney Marcus

Dialogue Director: Herbert Farjeon

Musical Supervisor: Abe Meyer

Original Music: Guy Bevier Williams and Xavier Cugat

Additional Music: Nathaniel Dett, H. Herkan, Gaston Borch, H. Maurice Jacquet, Leo Kempenski and Hugo Riesenfeld

Assistant to the Producer: Sidney Marcus

Running Time: 68 minutes

Copyright Number: LP3357, August 1 1932

Cast:

Bela Lugosi: ‘Murder’ Legendre

Madge Bellamy: Madeline Short Parker

Joseph Cawthorn: Dr Bruner

Robert Frazer: Charles Beaumont

John Harron: Neil Parker

Clarence Muse: Coach driver

Brandon Hurst: Silver

Dan Crimmins: Pierce

Frederick Peters: Chauvin 

George Burr Macannan: Von Gelder

John Printz: Ledot

Claude Morgan: Zombie

John Fergusson: Zombie

Annette Stone: Maid

Velma Gresham: Maid

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Trade Advertisement

White Zombie Trade Ad 1

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 San Francisco Chronicle, March 10, 1932

White Zombie, San Francisco Chronicle, March 10, 1932

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New York Times, July 29, 1932

Screen

Beyond The Pale

LN

Necromancers waved their sinister hands from the screen of the Rivoli yesterday and tried to hypnotize blondes into killing their boy friends. A legion of individuals, with deceased minds but alert bodies, threw butlers into subterranean streams. Eagles screamed and vultures carried on a terrific caterwauling all around a mountainous castle. And half way through the picture that inspired all these things an actor wistfully remarked: “The whole thing has me confused; I just can’t understand it.” That was, as briefly as can be expressed, the legend for posterity of “White Zombie.” Charity—still the greatest of the trilogy—suggests that the sentence be allowed to stand as comment. To go on would lead only to a description of why the eagles screamed, and that would prove very little, indeed, in the orderly scheme of life. There was, in short, no great reason. Nor was there, to be candid, much reason for “White Zombie.” The screen, shuddering slightly, can go on; it can forget, it can be a Zombie, too. The idea of the picture is that in Haiti there are individuals who dig up bodies, invest them with motive power but not with intelligence, and set them to work. They make good servants. They can carry off blondes without getting ideas in their heads, which helps in these mad days. When they have served their fell purposes, moreover, they can walk off high cliffs and out of the picture. But not the necromancers; they must be shoved over, off and out. Of the cast, Bela Lugosi plays the chief part—that of the lad who has the power to turn corpses into automatons. Madge Bellamy is the blonde, John Harron the young man in the affair and Robert Frazer a sort of semi-tropical villain. All the actors have strange lines to say, but appear to enjoy saying them. Those given to Mr. Harron seem, on retrospection, to be the most fantastic—if a superlative of any sort is allowable in a discussion of “White Zombie.” “Not that,” he says at one point. “Better death than that.” Yes, indeed, much better. Beyond the Pale.  WHITE ZOMBIE, based on a story by Garnett Weston; directed by Victor Halperin; a Halperin production; released by United Artists. At the Rivoli Theatre.  Murder Legendre . . . . . Bela Lugosi  Madeline Short . . . . . Madge Bellamy  Dr. Bruner . . . . . Joseph Cawthorn  Charles Beaumont . . . . . Robert Frazer  Neil Parker . . . . . John Harron  Driver . . . . . Clarence Muse  Silver . . . . . Brandon Hurst  Pierre . . . . . Dan Crimmins  Chauvin . . . . . John Peters  Von Gelder . . . . . George Burr McAnnan

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Trade Advertisement

White Zombie Trade Ad 2

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Canton Repository, August 7, 1932

White Zombie, Canton Repository, August 7, 1932

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The Film Daily, August 9, 1932

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Reading Eagle, August 10, 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 10, 1932 b

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 10, 1932 c

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Reading Eagle, August 11, 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 11, 1932 a

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 11, 1932 b

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Reading Eagle, August 12, 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 12, 1932 a

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 12, 1932 b

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The Montreal Gazette, August 13, 1932

White Zombie, The Montreal Gazette, August 13, 1932

White Zombie, The Montreal Gazette, August 13, 1932 b

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Rockford, Richmond Times Dispatch, August 13, 1932

White Zombie, Rockford, Richmond Times Dispatch, August 13, 1932

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Unknown newspaper

White Zombie 5*

 Reading Eagle, August 14, 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 14, 1932c

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 14, 1932b

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 14, 1932

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San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 1932

White Zombie, San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 1932

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Reading Eagle, August 15, 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 15, 1932

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Reading Eagle, August 16, 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, Aug 16, 1932

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Reading Eagle, August 17 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 17 1932

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, August 17 1932 b

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The Times-Picayune, August 19, 1932

White Zombie, The Times-Picayune, August 19, 1932

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The Times-Picayune, August 21, 1932

White Zombie, The Times-Picayune, August 21, 1932

White Zombie, The Times-Picayune, August 21, 1932 2

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Rockford, Springfield Republican, August 28, 1932

White Zombie, Springfield Republican, August 28, 1932 2

White Zombie, Rockford, Springfield Republican, August 28, 1932

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 Dallas Morning News, September 5, 1932

White Zombie, Dallas Morning News, September 5, 1932

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 Evening Tribune, September 7, 1932

White Zombie, Evening Tribune, September 7, 1932

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San Diego Union, September 8, 1932

White Zombie, San Diego Union, September 8, 1932

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Evening Tribune, September 10, 1932

White Zombie, Evening Tribune, September 10, 1932

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Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 15, 1932

White Zombie, Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 15, 1932

White Zombie, Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 15, 1932 b

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Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 16, 1932

White Zombie, Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 16, 1932

White Zombie, Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 16, 1932 b

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Unknown newspaper

White Zombie 4

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The Pitsburgh Press, September 19, 1932

White Zombie, The Pitsburgh Press, September 19, 1932

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 Trenton Evening Times. September 20, 1932

White Zombie, Trenton Evening Times. September 20, 1932

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The Big Spring Texas Daily Herald, September 23, 1932

White Zombie Is Given Pan By Gotham Critics, But Public Wanted It

Within the past decade a play blossomed forth on Broadway and was mercifully “panned” by Gotham’s leading dramatics critics. Notwithstanding critical derogation, the play ran on and on — for four years. The public knew what it wanted, and wanted “Abies’s Irish Rose.”

Within the past month a picture opened at the Rivoli on Broadway and was panned as “Abie’s Irish Rose” had been panned. But the public flocked, regardless. And kept on flocking until New York in particular and the county in general realized that the screen had a new sensation. That sensation is “White Zombie.”  Clan analysis reveals that there is nothing strange about the public clamor for “White Zombie.” It is the first picture in ages with a theme never before used for the screen, and its plot is motivated by superstition and  manifestations of the supernatural.

“White Zombie” is coming to this city to be exhibited at Ritz Theatre. Said to be more spooky and fantastic than “Dracula” and “Frankenstein,” it promises the ultimate in thrills. Bela Lugosi (the “Dracula” of screen and stage) plays the leading role.

“In order to get the fullest measure of thrills in ‘White Zombie,'” says Manager J. Y. Robb, “one should attend a midnight performance of the picture; and in order to accommodate those who want their thrills at their thrillingest, we will hold a midnight show Saturday, starting at 11:30 o’clock. Regular performances will be held Sunday and Monday.” Mr. Robb states further that persons not in tip-top physical condition should refrain from attending exhibitions of this weird picture.

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 Lexington Herald, September 25, 1932

White Zombie, Lexington Herald, September 25, 1932

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Unknown newspaper

White Zombie 3

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Daily Herald, September 26, 1932

White Zombie, Daily Herald, September 26, 1932

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Lexington Herald, September 27, 1932

White Zombie, Lexington Herald, September 27, 1932

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State Times Advocate, September 28, 1932

White Zombie, State Times Advocate, September 28, 1932 2

White Zombie, State Times Advocate, September 28, 1932

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Daily Herald, September 29, 1932

White Zombie, Daily Herald, September 29, 1932

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State Times Advocate, September 29, 1932

White Zombie, State Times Advocate, September 29, 1932

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 State Times Advocate, September 30, 1932

White Zombie, State Times Advocate, September 30, 1932

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Omaha World Herald, October 14, 1932

White Zombie, Omaha World Herald, October 14, 1932

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Morning Olympian, October 26, 1933

White Zombie, Morning Olympian, October 26, 1933

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Sydney Morning Herald, October 31, 1932

White Zombie, Sydney Morning Herald, October 31, 1932

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Rockford, Register-Republic, November 1, 1932

White Zombie, Rockford, Register-Republic, November 1, 1932

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The Sidney Mail, November 2, 1932

White Zombie, The Sidney Mail, November 2nd, 1932

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Seattle Daily Times, November 7, 1932

White Zombie, Seattle Daily Times, November 7, 1932

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Los Angeles Examiner, Nov 16, 1932

White Zombie, Los Angeles Examiner, Nov 16, 1932

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San Francisco Daily Chronicle,  November 25, 1932

White Zombie, San Francisco Daily Chronicle, November 25, 1932

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San Francisco Daily Chronicle, November 30, 1932

White Zombie, San Francisco Daily Chronicle, November 30, 1932 2

White Zombie, San Francisco Daily Chronicle, November 30, 1932

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San Francisco Daily Chronicle, December 5, 1932

White Zombie, San Francisco Daily Chronicle, December 5, 1932

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San Francisco Daily Chronicle, December 11, 1932

White Zombie, San Francisco Daily Chronicle, December 11, 1932

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San Jose Evening News, December 14, 1932

White Zombie, San Jose Evening News, December 14, 1932

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San Jose Evening News, December 15, 1932

White Zombie, San Jose Evening News, December 15, 1932

White Zombie, San Jose Evening News, December 15, 1932 b

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San Jose Evening News, December 16, 1932

White Zombie, San Jose Evening News, December 16, 1932 b

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Unknown newspaper

White Zombie 1

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Seattle Daily Times, January 17, 1933

White Zombie, Seattle Daily Times, January 17, 1933

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Manchester United v Oldham Athletic Match Programme, 1932/33 Season

White Zombie Manchester United v Oldham Athletic 1932 33

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Seattle Daily Times, January 22, 1933

White Zombie, Seattle Daily Times, January 22, 1933

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Unknown newspaper

White Zombie 5

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Photoplay Magazine, February, 1933

WHITE ZOMBIE – United Artists. – An utterly fantastic tale about the half dead, known as zombies, who rise from their graves. Madge Bellamy and Bela Lugosi. And you don’t need to bother seeing it.

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The Spokane Daily Chronicle, February 1, 1933

White Zombie, The Spokane Daily Chronicle, February 1, 1933

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Spokesman-Review, March 24, 1933

White Zombie, Spokesman-Review, March 24, 1933

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Yale Daily News no. 146, April 13, 1933

White Zombie, Yale Daily News no. 146 April 13 1933

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Breeze Theater, Philadelphia, PA, programme for week of July 14, 1936

White Zombie, Breeze Theater in Philadelphia, PA, programme for week of June 14, 1936

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Herald-Journal, July 30, 1933

White Zombie, Herald-Journal, July 30, 1933

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Lawrence Journal-World, October 24, 1936

White Zombie, Lawrence Journal-World, October 24, 1936*

Madison State Journal, Wisconsin, October 20, 1938

White Zombie, Madison State Journal, Wisconsin October 20, 1938[1]

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San Diego Union, November 2, 1938

White Zombie, San Diego Union, November 2, 1938

White Zombie 1938, San Diego Union, November 2, 1938 2*

San Diego Union, November 10, 1938

White Zombie, San Diego Union, November 10, 1938

White Zombie, San Diego Union, November 10, 1938 2

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Red Bank Register, February 9, 1939

White Zombie, Red Bank Register, February 9, 1939

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The Times-Picayune, September 1, 1939

White Zombie, The Times-Picayune, September 1, 1939

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The Times-Picayune, September 4, 1939

White Zombie, The Times-Picayune, September 4, 1939

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Herald-Journal, September 16, 1939

White Zombie, Herald-Journal, September 16, 1939

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Seattle Daily Times, March 1, 1941

White Zombie, Seattle Daily Times, March 1, 1941

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Philadelphia Public Ledger August 12, 1942

White Zombie, Philadelphia Public Ledger August 12, 1942

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Philadelphia Public Ledger August 13, 1942

White Zombie, Philadelphia Public Ledger August 13, 1942

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Philadelphia Public Ledger August 14, 1942

White Zombie, Philadelphia Public Ledger August 14, 1942

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Reading Eagle, May 9, 1943

White Zombie, Reading Eagle, May 9, 1943

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Unknown Newspaper

White Zombie, Newspaper Ad

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The Hinton News, January 17, 1952

White Zombie, The Hinton News, January 17, 1952

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Posters

White Zombie Half Sheet Poster 2

Half Sheet

White Zombie Half Sheet

Half Sheet

1938 Re-Release One Sheet

1938 Re-Release One Sheet

1938 Re-Release Window Card

1938 Re-Release Window Card

White Zombie Spanish One Sheet

Spanish One Sheet

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Glass Slide

White Zombie Glass Slide

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Heralds

Original Herald

Herald 7

Re-Release Herald

Herald 3

White Zombie Herald 4

Spanish Heralds

White Zombie Spanish Heral 3

White Zombie Spanish Heral 2

White Zombie Spanish Heral 1

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Promotional Item

White Zombie Promotional Item

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Lobby Cards

1938 Re-Release Lobby Cards

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 1

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 2

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 3

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 4

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 5

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 6

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 7

White Zombie 1938 Re-Release Lobby Card 8

1930s Spanish Lobby Cards

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 1

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 2

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 3

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 4

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 5

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 6

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 7

White Zombie 1930s Spanish Lobby Card 8

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Advertising Block

White Zombie Advertising Block

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Pressbook

1938 Re-Release Pressbook

White Zombie Pressbook 1

White Zombie Pressbook 2

White Zombie Pressbook 3

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Cinema Promotion

The Regina Theater in Los Angeles, 1932

White Zombie the Regina Theater in Los Angeles (1932)The Ben Ali Theter (Courtesy Lafayette Studios Collection)   

White Zombie display at the Ben Ali Theatre, which was located at 121 East Main 27.9.1932, Lafayette Studios collection #1394a

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Stills

Bela Lugosi

Bela Lugosi

Madge Bellamy

Brandon Hurst, Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy and Robert Frazer

White ZombieBela Lugosi and John Harron

White Zombie Still 2Frederick Peters, Madge Bellamy and John Harron

White Zombie Still aMadge Bellamy, Bela Lugosi and Robert Frazer

White Zombie

Bela Lugosi and cast

White ZombieJoseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer, Madge Bellamy and John Harron

White ZombieBela Lugosi

White Zombie Still 4

The Zombies

White Zombie