The Lady from the Black Lagoon

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent PatrickThe Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this biography of Milicent Patrick to be highly readable, and O’Meara’s authorial voice to be quite charming as she crafts a sympathetic portrait of an artist and designer who was more important to 1950s science fiction filmmaking than people remember. Patrick’s makeup design work can be seen in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, of course, but also IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, and THIS ISLAND EARTH, and her animation work can be seen in the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment of Disney’s FANTASIA, which as we all know is the best segment. (She worked on a number of non-genre movies as well, but obviously these are the ones I’m most excited about, as is O’Meara.). Patrick was a groundbreaking professional, a pathfinder whose legacy was nearly squashed by a jealous male department head who took credit for her work and lobbied the studio heads to fire her. O’Meara rights this historical wrong with THE LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, introducing Milicent Patrick to a whole new generation and ensuring that her hard-earned legacy remains intact. Highly recommended!

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