“They die? Dead. I die? Live!” Okay. Die-dead and die-live. What about live-live? Wouldn’t that be better? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they play a fun-filled game of darts with the cast and crew of the third Universal Pictures Frankenstein movie, Son of Frankenstein (1939)!
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 121 – Son of Frankenstein (1939)
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Returning to the ancestral castle long after the death of the monster, the son of Dr. Frankenstein meets a mad shepherd who is hiding the comatose creature. To clear the family name, he revives the creature and tries to rehabilitate him.IMDb
- Director: Rowland V. Lee
- Writers: Wyllis Cooper (screenplay); Mary Shelley (suggested by the story written in 1816)
- Music by: Frank Skinner
- Cinematography by: George Robinson (director of photography)
- Film Editing by: Ted J. Kent (as Ted Kent)
- Art Direction by: Jack Otterson
- Set Decoration by: Russell A. Gausman (as R.A. Gausman)
- Costume Design by: Vera West (gowns)
- Makeup Department: Jack P. Pierce, makeup artist (uncredited)
- Selected Cast:
- Basil Rathbone as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein
- Boris Karloff as The Monster
- Bela Lugosi as Ygor
- Lionel Atwill as Insp. Krogh
- Josephine Hutchinson as Baroness Elsa von Frankenstein
- Donnie Dunagan as Peter von Frankenstein
- Emma Dunn as Amelia
- Edgar Norton as Thomas Benson
- Perry Ivins as Fritz
- Lawrence Grant as Burgomaster
- Michael Mark as Ewald Neumüller
- Lionel Belmore as Emil Lang
- Gustav von Seyffertitz as Burgher
- Lorimer Johnston as Burgher
- Tom Ricketts as Burgher
- Russ Powell as Burgher
- Caroline Frances Cooke as Frau Neumüller (as Caroline Cooke)
- Ward Bond as Gendarme at Gate
- Harry Cording as Bearded Gendarme
Son of Frankenstein is Jeff’s pick. It’s always been one of his favorites, but even more so since the release of the Mel Brooks film, Young Frankenstein (1974). He also loves the expressionism and the humor evident in this entry to the Frankenstein canon and has a special fondness for Bela Lugosi’s performance, which to his mind steals the film from Boris Karloff’s monster. He’s also a little embarrassed that he didn’t mention Ward Bond or Harry Cording, two of his favorite character actors, in their bit parts as gendarmes.
Daphne absolutely loves Son of Frankenstein and vows to watch it more often, along with Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). She describes it as being so much fun, giving her an even greater appreciation of the Mel Brooks film. Whitney also chimes in with her appreciation for what was done with this film in Young Frankenstein. For her, Son of Frankenstein is a top-notch, fun film to watch with a classic look that has been inspirational to so many people. Chad saw Son of Frankenstein as a youngster and immediately wanted a wooden arm. He describes it as a good successor to the first two Universal Frankenstein films that has always been a favorite of his with its winning mix of monster mayhem and humor. And, of course, Baron Wolf von Frankenstein is the best name for a Frankenstein ever. On the other hand, he can’t get behind the monster’s sheep’s wool vest.
You know you need to watch this again… and again and again! As of this writing, Son of Frankenstein is available to stream from various PPV sources and on physical media as a Blu-ray disc included in a multitude of Universal Horror collections.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Daphne: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), starring Fredric March!
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