Boris Karloff Movies

Boris Karloff

Want to know the best Boris Karloff movies?  How about the worst Boris Karloff movies?  Curious about Boris Karloff box office grosses or which Boris Karloff movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Boris Karloff movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Boris Karloff (1887-1969) was an British actor, who is recognized as one of the true icons of horror cinema.  Karloff appeared in movies from 1919 to 1971.  His two most famous roles were playing Frankenstein and The Mummy. His IMDb page shows an incredible 205 acting credits. This page will rank 65 Boris Karloff movies from Best to Worst in seven different sortable columns of information. Television appearances (43 credits), all of his silent movies (58 credits), shorts and many other movies that we could not find box office grosses on were not included in the rankings.

Drivel part of the page:  This is actually one of our oldest requests.  Steve Lensman and Lyle requested this page many many moons ago.  Well finally we decided to tackle Karloff’s massive career. Added bonus?  We have tweaked our tables slightly.  First of all when looking at the yearly box office ranks….realize this is now the rank of the movies in our database for the year the movie was made.  It used to be Variety’s yearly rank. Secondly we have included the overall UMR rank for Karloff’s movies compared to our entire database.

Boris Karloff in 1931’s Frankenstein

Boris Karloff Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Boris Karloff movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Boris Karloff movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Boris Karloff movies by yearly domestic box office rank (based on movies in our database for the year the movie was made)
  • SortBoris Karloff movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Boris Karloff movie received and how many Oscar® wins each Boris Karloff movie won.
  • Sort Boris Karloff movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Sort Boris Karloff movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score rank (based on all the movies in our entire database).

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Boris Karloff Table

  1. Eight Boris Karloff movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 12.50% of his movies listed. Frankenstein (1931) was easily his biggest box office hit when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Boris Karloff movie grosses $59.04 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  41 of Boris Karloff movies are rated as good movies…or 64.06% of his movies. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is his highest rated movie while The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Nine Boris Karloff movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 14.06% of his movies.
  5. Zero Boris Karloff movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 0.00% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  24 Boris Karloff movies scored higher than that average….or 37.50% of his movies. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) got the the highest UMR Score while The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) got the lowest UMR Score.

Boris Karloff in 1968’s of our favorite Karloff movies

Ten Possibly Interesting Facts About Boris Karloff

1. William Henry Pratt was born in Surrey, England in 1887.

2. Lots of different versions of how William Henry Pratt became Boris Karloff. (1) Some theorised that he took the stage name from a mad scientist character in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy called “Boris Karlov”.  (2) Some thought he got the name from Edgar Rice Burroughs fantasy novel H. R. H. The Rider which features a “Prince Boris of Karlova”.  (3) Karloff always claimed he chose the first name “Boris” because it sounded foreign and exotic, and that “Karloff” was a family name.  Well 1 & 2 were things published after Karloff had taken the name and 3 was denied by his daughter who says Karloff is nowhere in their family history.  Which leaves (4) The most likely truth is it is from a character in a 1904 book by Harold MacGrath called “The Man on the Box”, which was made into a play in 1905 and later, films starting in 1914.

3. Once Boris Karloff arrived in Hollywood, he made dozens of silent films, but work was sporadic, and he often had to take up manual labour such as digging ditches or delivering construction plaster to earn a living.

4. Boris Karloff appeared with Bela Lugosi in eight films: 1934’s Gift of Gab, 1934’s The Black Cat 1935’s The Raven, 1936’s The Invisible Ray, 1939’s Son of Frankenstein, 1940’s You’ll Find Out, 1940’s Black Friday and 1945’s The Body Snatcher.

5. Boris Karloff was one of the 12 original founders of the Screen Actors Guild and held SAG card number 9.  Boris Karloff made an amazing 16 movies in 1932.  Not a single Boris Karloff movie ever won an Oscar®.

6. Boris Karloff and Frankenstein trivia: (1) His make-up took four hours each day for Jack P. Pierce to apply and his cumbersome costume weighed 48 pounds in the uncomfortable heat of summer.  (2) The monster’s shoes weighed between 11 and 13 pounds.  (3) Karloff was already 44 when he became an “overnight” Hollywood sensation.  (4) Karloff was considered as such an anonymous actor by Universal that he was not invited to the December 6th premiere.

7. Boris Karloff was married six times…..he had one daughter.

8. Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee were neighbors for years….bet the neighbor kids had fun with that.

9. Boris Karloff’s last words to his wife as he was dying of pneumonia were “Walter Pidgeon.”.

10. Check out Boris Karloff’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

And finally…..we have adjusted Worldwide Box Office Grosses on 14 Boris Karloff Movies

  1. Bedlam (1946) $24.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  2. Five Star Final (1932) $162.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  3. Isle of the Dead (1945) $26.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  4. Scarface (1932) $106.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  5. Smart Money (1931) $70.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  6. Tap Roots (1948) $178.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  7. The Body Snatcher (1945) $37.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  8. The Haunted Strangler (1958) $26.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  9. The Invisible Menace (1938) $40.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  10. The Mad Genius (1931) $80.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  11. The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) $68.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  12. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) $335.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  13. West of Shanghai (1937) $44.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  14. Young Donovan’s Kid (1931) $75.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross

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42 thoughts on “Boris Karloff Movies

  1. Hi,
    A great page !!! I’ve shared it to my very own Facebook page, the Boris Karloff Information Centre.

    According to my friend Stephen Jacobs’s excellently researched biography “Boris Karloff – More Than a Monster ” ( 2011), Boris was married 5 times, not 6 times. He never married his “paramour” actress Margot Beaton. On tour they pretended to be married – to be able to share a room !

    As for his first name, I’ve got another version for you. Boris’s favourite author – and he really ADORED him & his books – was Joseph Conrad whose son was called Boris… (Btw, Conrad’s wife was Ewelina … Just like Evelyn, Boris’s wife of 23 years and finally his widow.)

    Thanks again for your fantastic page !

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