Son of Frankenstein

Son of Frankenstein

Infobox Film
name = Son of Frankenstein


image_size =
caption = Son of Frankenstein movie poster
director = Rowland V. Lee
producer = Rowland V. Lee
writer = Mary Shelley (novel)
Wyllis Cooper (screenplay)
narrator =
starring = Basil Rathbone
Boris Karloff
Béla Lugosi
Lionel Atwill
music = Frank Skinner
cinematography = George Robinson
editing = Ted Kent
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = United States: January 13, 1939
runtime = 99 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget =
gross =
preceded_by = "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)
followed_by = "The Ghost of Frankenstein" (1942)
website =
amg_id = 1:45612
imdb_id = 0031951

"Son of Frankenstein" is the third film in Universal Studios' "Frankenstein" series and the last to feature Boris Karloff as the Monster as well as the first to feature Bela Lugosi as Ygor.

The film was a reaction to the incredibly popular re-releases of "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" as a double-feature in 1938. ["Revival of the Undead", "New York Times", October 16, 1938, p. 160.] Universal's declining horror output was revitalized with the enormously successful "Son", and the studio enjoyed two more decades of popular monster movies.

Plot summary

The story begins with Wolf Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), the son of the monster's creator, relocating his wife and young son to the Frankenstein estate in the village that bears the family name. Wolf's dedication to recasting his father's reputation is strengthened to obsession by what he believes to be unfounded hostility from the villagers.

With the help of demented blacksmith Ygor (Béla Lugosi), Wolf finds the monster's ailing carcass, and he imagines rehabilitation of the creature to be the perfect means by which to restore the family's honor. When he heals the monster (Boris Karloff), but only to consciousness, Wolf discovers that its horrible legend is a reality, but his residual denial prolongs the search for the monster and its eventual destruction. By the film's end, Wolf has realized his role as a father is more important than his role as a son.

Cast

*Basil Rathbone as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein
*Boris Karloff as The Monster
*Béla Lugosi as Ygor
*Lionel Atwill as Inspector Krogh
*Josephine Hutchinson as Elsa von Frankenstein
*Donnie Dunagan as Peter von Frankenstein
*Emma Dunn as Amelia
*Edgar Norton as Benson
*Perry Ivins as Fritz
*Lawrence Grant as Burgomaster
*Lionel Belmore as Lang
*Michael Mark as Ewald Neumüller
*Caroline Frances Cooke as Mrs. Neumüller
*Gustav von Seyffertitz as Burgher
*Lorimer Johnson as Burgher
*Tom Ricketts as Burgher

Uncredited

*Dwight Frye as Villager
*Ward Bond as Gendarme at Gate
*Ed Cassidy as Webber (burgher)
*Russ Powell as Webber (burgher)
*Harry Cording as Bearded gendarme
*Clarence Wilson as Dr. Berger
*Betty Chay as Extra
*Jack Harris as Extra
*Bud Wolfe as Extra

Production

After director James Whale had departed from Universal Films, Universal selected Rowland V. Lee to direct "Son". Lee's film explores dramatic themes: family, security, isolation, responsibility, and father-son relationships.

"Son of Frankenstein" significantly alters the monster's evolving persona from the previous film, "Bride of Frankenstein". Gone are his alert intelligence and speech capabilities; in "Son", the monster is duller and mute, which is his basic image through not only the rest of the series but also in the lasting public perception of the character. The monster's brain was obviously damaged in the explosion from the end of the last film, and has reverted into a childlike state. He is immensely fond of Ygor, and finds faith only in him. Although he lost his ability to talk, he obviously remembers his creator, as he sees the resemblance of Henry Frankenstein in Wolf. The films most touching scene is when the monster finds Ygor dead, trying to wake him up, and when he understands that his only friend is gone, he screams out in sorrow.

In the next film, "Ghost of Frankenstein", Lon Chaney, Jr.'s performance solidifies the monster's reputation as a frowning, robotic brute.

The role of Baron Wolf von Frankenstein was originally going to be played by Peter Lorre. He had to back away from the production when he became ill. This is explained in the 1996 Ted Newsom horror film documentary, "100 Years of Horror: The Frankenstein Family".

ee also

* Boris Karloff filmography
* Béla Lugosi filmography

References

External links

* [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:45612~C "Son of Frankenstein"] at Allmovie
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031951/ "Son of Frankenstein"] at the Internet Movie Database
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0305153/ "100 Years of Horror: ] at the Internet Movie Database


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