One of the most stylized and talented filmmakers of the 1930s, director James Whale was also one of the most successful; a fact that stood in direct contrast to his long-underappreciated stature in the history of cinema. Arriving in Hollywood at the dawn of the sound era, he made a name for himself around town with the war dramas "Journey's End" (1930) and "Waterloo Bridge" (1931). It was, however, the Universal horror classic "Frankenstein" (1931) that established Whale as an A-list director, influential enough to choose his own projects and cast them as he saw fit. Despite his best efforts to diversify, hugely popular films like "The Invisible Man" (1933) and "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) pigeon-holed him as a horror director, even as critics who were dismissive of the genre failed to recognize his formidable visual and aesthetic brilliance. Although the critically hailed musical drama "Show Boat" (1936) gave unassailable proof as to his versatility, a regime change at Universal and his general disillusionment with the industry eventually led to Whale's retirement from film after a decade's worth of work. Having fallen out of fashion with the French and American <i>auteur</i> critics of the 1960s and 1970s, more in-depth assessments by biographers and film historians in the years that followed allowed for a much deserved reappointment of Whale to the pantheon of influential 20th century filmmakers.