August 11, 2015

The Brisbane Frankenstein

Delighted to visit again with Brisbane’s Frankenstein impersonator of 1932. Rarely were ballyhoo men ever identified, but this one we know as Lance Robartson, reputedly the tallest man in Australia, standing six feet and eleven inches sans monster boots.

In our previous encounter, a photograph of Mr. Robartson was a poor one, as is often the case with microfilm sources. Here, finally, we get a good look at our Monster. No elaborate makeup was necessary. Size, costume, a deadpan stare and a matted wig did the job.

This photo from The Telegraph of June 10, 1932 chronicles Robartson’s arrival at the train station on Thursday the 9th, greeted by the press and a brave young man. That same evening, Robartson was the special guest at a dance cabaret soirée, all of it promoting Universal’s FRANKENSTEIN, opening that weekend at the city’s storied Tivoli theatre.

For more details about the event, read our original post: The Monster, In Person!

Source: The Brisbane Telegraph archives on Trove.


wich2 said...

Prophetically, he looks more like Lee's "Creature" than Karloff's "Monster."


Rick said...

As before I agree with the Lee.

But, looking closely as I can, there seems to be a little something there on his neck. Might be a shadow, or just a flaw in the photo, but it could maybe possibly perhaps just be a neck bolt. Admittedly, it's awfully far forward on the neck, but who knows?

These old, old eyes see something there anyway.

Nice one, Pierre.

will27 said...

it's odd that in the public consciousness the Monster was always perceived as
being extremely tall or gigantic; but Karloff wasn't all that tall, even with the platforms.

Thomas Maloney said...

I think the olden Brisbane Frankenstein was not that tall after all even with his platforms. He was actually standing on top of a curb (or stairs), while the boy shaking his hand was barefooted and about a feet off of the curb. Nevertheless, he was still way taller than the average man around though.