Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN


THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942). Director: Erle C. Kenton.

Yes, it's no surprise that Ygor (Bela Lugosi) and the monster (Lon Chaney Jr.) survived the conflagration at the end of Son of Frankenstein. Together the two travel to Vasaria, where they hope to find another son of Frankenstein, Ludwig von Frankenstein (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), who runs a sanitarium. Realizing that only dissection will dispose of the monster, but not wanting to commit murder, Ludwig decides to replace the monster's criminal brain with one from a decent colleague slain by the creature. Doctor Bohmer (Lionel Atwill), a jealous assistant, decides instead to accede to Ygor's suggestion and place his brain in the monster. Lon Chaney's monster isn't especially memorable, but Hardwicke, Atwill and especially Lugosi, are marvelous. Ralph Bellamy is the boyfriend of Elsa Frankenstein (Evelyn Ankers), and Dwight Frye is on hand in the small role of a villager. If anything this is more illogical than Son of Frankenstein, but it's also fast and entertaining, with a fine musical score by Hans J. Salter. Followed by Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.

Verdict: There's no stopping Franky boy! ***.

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