The Ghost of Frankenstein / Son of Frankenstein (Universal Studios Frankenstein Double Feature)
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The Ghost of Frankenstein The monster lives! Again! Picking up where Son of Frankenstein left off, Bela Lugosi's gnarled Ygor survives yet another rampage by angry, torch-carrying villagers and frees the monster (The Wolf Man himself, Lon Chaney Jr., taking over from Boris Karloff) from his sulfur grave. The latest cinematic Frankenstein scion, brain surgeon Ludwig (Cedric Hardwicke), wants to dissect the creature, but the ghost of his father convinces him to save it by giving it a new, "good" brain. Ygor has his own devious plan and enlists Ludwig's shady assistant (Lionel Atwill) in a brain-switching scheme.
Ably directed by the pedestrian Erle C. Kenton, The Ghost of Frankenstein gives up the gothic mood and moral quandaries of the original films for the busy, action-packed plots that defined Universal horror films of the 1940s. The human characters are all rather dull (except for Lugosi's animated, eye-rolling performance), and Chaney has none of Karloff's pathos or subtlety under the make-up, but the film opens with a spectacular bang as the villagers dynamite the castle, and skips from one inspired scene to another. The monster rejuvenates himself during an electrical storm with a jolt of lightning, mutely undergoes a courtroom cross-examination (by a ridiculously intent Ralph Bellamy), and finally goes on a blind rampage in the fiery climax. Frankenstein's monster returns (this time with Lugosi as the creature) in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. --Sean Axmaker
Top Customer Reviews
In the Son of Frankenstein (sequel to Bride of Frankenstein), we see Karloff's last performance as the Frankenstein monster but as in Frankenstein and Bride of, he gives a great performance. I wonder how the series may have been if Karloff had continued in the monster's role. Basil Rathbone is the son trying to vindicate his father's name, but Ygor, played by Bela Lugosi, has other plans.
In the Ghost of Frankenstein (sequel to Son of Frankenstein), Lon Chaney Jr. plays the Frankenstein monster and Bela Lugosi again plays Ygor and both are superb in their roles. It picks up where the Frankenstein monster is discovered in the sulphur pits. Sir Cedric Harwicke wants to dissect the monster but is convince by his father's ghost to continue with his work. The sequel is Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.
It is fanatic to have these movies on DVD.
Try watching these movies on a late stormy night.
First, the good news. The prints look spectacular, even better than those used on the previous VHS editions. I don't know if it's just the increased resolution of DVD or if they did some additional work on the prints, but they are so much richer and detailed than the pre-records it's just stunning. Not to mention that my VHS copy of Son in particular is riddled with dropouts.
The extras are minimal, including chapter stops, talent bios, and a trailer for Ghost (Son's trailer is mysteriously missing). What annoys me about this DVD though, and keeps it from a five star review, is the irritating and self-serving way Universal has structured the disc. What I mean is that, besides the obligatory WARNING screen that we're now all forced to sit through when we pop in a DVD, on this disc when you press the onscreen "Play the Movie" button, you're also forced to sit through over a minute of Universal's marketing twaddle before the actual movie starts. OK, you can click through it to the opening titles or you can go straight into the movie from the chapter stops screen (an easy enough workaround once you figure it out) but it's still mildly annoying how they constantly try to shove this marketing crap in your face. Don't let this minor gripe stop you from buying, it's just a drag 'cause this disc would be near-perfect otherwise. I am waiting expectantly for all the rest of them. Monolith Monsters on DVD! I can dream can't I?
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to the original 1931 version
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