Friday, June 20, 2014
While not completely absent from the press, notoriety for Jack Pierce was not as abundant when compared to influential cosmetic giant Max Factor and the sheer numbers of the Westmore clan. Reviewers were also more likely to comment on the actors, director and cinematography of a film rather than the makeup artist. The paucity of screen credits for Pierce may have contributed to this, but Hollywood was, after all, all about the players.
In these reviews from Picture Play magazine's August 1935 issue. writer Norbert Lusk mentions the camera work during Henry Hull's transformation into the Werewolf of London, but does not name the person who applied the makeup (Pierce). He comes closer, but attributes a more substantial contribution (and rightly so) from Karloff in the Bride of Frankenstein, when he writes, "Boris Karloff leaves nothing undone in making The Monster a memorable masterpiece of make-up and curiously affecting acting."
Even though he had already been head of Universal's makeup department for some years, Jack Pierce's work went uncredited in both films. One wonders what the proud artist may have thought.