Down 1,008 this week

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Approved  |   |  Sci-Fi, Horror, Drama  |  13 January 1939 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,772 users  
Reviews: 106 user | 56 critic

One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.



(suggested by the story written in 1816) (as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) , (screenplay) (as Willis Cooper)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 07 Feb 2011
a list of 32 titles
created 04 Jun 2012
a list of 32 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 10 May 2014
a list of 33 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Son of Frankenstein (1939) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Son of Frankenstein.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, in hopes of freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill
The Wolf Man (1941)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Count Alucard (read his name backwards) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton
The Mummy (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A living mummy stalks the beautiful woman he believes is the reincarnation of his lover.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners
Dracula (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The juice of a rare Tibetan flower is the only thing that keeps Dr. Glendon from turning into a werewolf during a full moon.

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An ancient mummy is revived to destroy those that would invade the 3,000 year old tomb of an Egyptian princess.

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford
The Raven (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A high priest travels to America with the living mummy Kharis (Lon Chaney Jr.) to kill all those who had desecrated the tomb of the Egyptian princess Ananka thirty years earlier.

Director: Harold Young
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Dick Foran, John Hubbard
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.

Director: Charles Barton
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr.
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An irrigation project in the rural bayous of Louisiana unearths Kharis the living mummy (Lon Chaney Jr.), who was buried in quicksand 25 years earlier.

Director: Leslie Goodwins
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Peter Coe, Virginia Christine
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Donnie Dunagan ...
Emma Dunn ...
Edgar Norton ...
Perry Ivins ...
Lionel Belmore ...
Michael Mark ...
Caroline Frances Cooke ...
Mrs. Neumüller (as Caroline Cooke)
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Lorimer Johnston ...
Burgher (as Lorimer Johnson)


Wolf von Frankenstein returns to the Baronial manor from the United States with his wife Elsa and son Peter. He not made welcome by the locals who are still terrified of his father's works and the monster he created. The local Burgomaster gives him a sealed briefcase left by his father and inside, Wolf finds his father's scientific notes. At the manor house he meets his father's assistant Igor who has a surprise for him: the monster his father created is still alive, though in some sort of coma. Wolf's initial attempts to re-animate the creature seem to fail but when Peter says he saw a giant in the woods, it appears he's met success. When people are mysteriously killed in the village there is little doubt that the monster is responsible. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The black shadows of the past bred this half-man . . . half-demon ! . . . creating a new and terrible juggernaut of destruction !


Sci-Fi | Horror | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De zoon van Frankenstein  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At 99 minutes this was the longest English-language film in the classic Universal horror series (the Spanish version of Dracula (1931) [Drácula (1931)] was about five minutes longer). Most of the films had running times of less than 80 minutes, which served to increase the number of showings possible in theaters. See more »


On the train ride to his father's estate, the same tree passes by Baron Wolf Frankenstein's train window several times. See more »


Baron Wolf von Frankenstein: My son, herein lies my faiths, my beliefs and my unfoldments. A complete diary of my experiments, charts and secret formulas. In short, the sum total of my knowledge, such as it is. Perhaps you will regard my work with ridicule or even with a distaste. If so, destroy these records. But if you like me burn with the irresistable desire to penetrate the unknown, carry on. The path is cruel and torturous, carry on. I put secret after truth, you will be hated, blasphemed and condemned. You have ...
See more »


Referenced in Snix (1993) See more »


Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main
Written by Godfrey Marks
Sung a cappella by Donnie Dunagan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Frankenstein III: Monster & Son
1 November 2001 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Son of Frankenstein" (Universal, 1939), directed by Rowland V. Lee, marked a new beginning to the second cycle of Universal horror: a lavish, stylish, stagy production as well as the longest (94 minutes) movie in the FRANKENSTEIN series. Boris Karloff returns for the third and final time as The Monster, but unfortunately, after such a grand performance in "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), in which Karloff got star billing, The Monster in this production is of secondary importance, coming late into the story and spending more than half the film lying in an unconscious state on an operating table inside the lab. Star billing goes to Basil Rathbone as Baron Wolf Von Frankenstein, the son of the scientist who brought nothing but misery in the German town, but the scene stealer in this production happens to be Bela Lugosi, almost unrecognizable as the bearded character of Ygor, possibly his best performance in his latter day career. It features Lugosi in a performance unlike anything he has done thus far, and he virtually helps the story along especially during its numerous slow spots. This also marked his fourth teaming opposite Karloff, but this time, Lugosi outshines Karloff's performance. Then there is Lionel Atwill, another horror film veteran, making his debut in the series, playing a one armed police inspector, another interesting presence to the story.

The story, set in a Gothic German village, finds Wolf Von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) returning by train to the town where his parents once lived. He is accompanied by his charming wife, Elsa (Josephine Hutchinson), and their little boy, Peter (Donnie Donegan). Wolf hopes to make amends to the villagers from what his late father had done (creating a Monster who terrorized their village years ago) and become their good neighbors, but with the Frankenstein name, the family is cursed, and nobody wants anything to do with them. The Frankensteins are first met by Inspector Krough (Atwill), a police official with an artificial arm, claiming to have lost his real arm when he was a young boy when the Monster ripped from his body by the roots, but in spite of all this, Krough is on duty to aide the Frankensteins in case trouble amongst the villagers prevails. Also in the castle where the Frankensteins are staying are Aunt Amelia (Emma Dunn), and Thomas Benson, the butler (Edgar Norton).

While the movie starts off rather slowly, it then comes to life when Wolf encounters Ygor (Bela Lugosi), a crazed bearded shepherd who was once or twice sentenced and hanged for grave robbing, and still lives. Ygor is also the master of the Monster (Karloff), who "does things for him." His coma condition happens to be a result of an aftereffect of being struck by lightning, and Ygor calls on Wolf to help revive the monster.

"Son of Frankenstein" is more of a science fiction nature than horror, since the movie spends a great deal of footage in the laboratory having Frankenstein examining his father's creation and how this physical being has survived such ordeals after finding his heart containing two bullets, etc. But after Karloff's monster is revived, he manages to present himself with some key scenes, such as looking at himself in the mirror and pulling Wolf along side him as a comparison; and the Monster's fondness of children, especially Wolf's little boy who fears him not.

The storyline, however, contradicts what had been said and done in previous movies, such as letting the Monster, who had learned to talk in "The Bride of ...," resorting back to only grunts. It even fails to explain how the Monster had survived his demise from the earlier film. And what's the deal with the woolly garment he is wearing? In spite of these drastic changes, the movie itself is full of characters, ranging from Lionel Bellmore, the Burgomaster in 1931's "Frankenstein," now playing Emile Lang, along with Gustav Von Seyffertitz (the villainous Grimes in the 1926 silent classic, "Sparrows") as one of the jurors. While Colin Clive's Frankenstein character allowed himself to become hysterical in the first two entries, viewers expect and accept this, but when Rathbone's character calls for him to do the same, especially during the dart playing sequence with Krough, this somewhat becomes embarrassing to sit through, in spite that Rathbone is a very capable actor who seldom overacts as he does here.

While not on the same scale as James Whale's earlier carnations of the Frankenstein films, "Son of Frankenstein" is still watchable, mainly because of its Universal staff players, and added sound effects of thunder and lightning, as well as very moody setting made to the comforts of home for the Frankenstein family. The underscoring by Frank Skinner introduced here would be heard time and time again in other Universal horror films of the 1940s. This movie played on numerous cable channels, including the Sci-Fi Channel, American Movie Classics (1991, and again from 2000 to 2002, 2006), and finally on Turner Classic Movies where it premiered in January 2003. It can also be found as a video/DVD purchase or rental. (***)

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Very Odd Question exchronos
The Character of Ygor moonstorm4
I love inspector krogh barron0skar
Why the Monster does not speak rorydaulton
Why do so many think Ygor was a shepherd? Doghouse-6
Am I the only one who noticed maloneyonweb
Discuss Son of Frankenstein (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: