6.3/10
1,267
43 user 22 critic

Black Friday (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 12 April 1940 (USA)
Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Kurt Siodmak), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
The Raven (1935)
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan 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
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames
The Black Cat (1934)
Adventure | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.

Director: Joe May
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dr. Laurience, a brilliant but unstable scientist experimenting with transferring minds, becomes vengeful when his magnate patron withdraws his support.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, John Loder
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
The Black Cat (1941)
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death.

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An eccentric scientist helps a fugitive from the law become invisible, unwittingly giving him the power to exact revenge on his former friends.

Director: Ford Beebe
Stars: Jon Hall, Leon Errol, John Carradine
White Zombie (1932)
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Stanley Ridges ...
...
...
Jean Sovac
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Margaret Kingsley
...
Frank Miller
...
William Kane
...
Bellhop
...
Bartender
Joe King ...
Chief of Police
John Kelly ...
Taxi Driver
Robert Morgan ...
Hotel Associate
Edit

Storyline

When his friend Professor Kingsley is at deaths door, brain surgeon Dr. Sovac saves his life by means of an illegal operation that transplants part of injured gangster Red Cannon's brain. Unfortunately, the operation has a disastrous Jeckll and Hyde side effect and under certain conditions the persona of Cannon emerges. Sovac soon learns of the duel personality and of half a million dollars the gangster has hidden away. He attempts to find the money through the manipulation of his friend, an attempt that brings Kingsley closer to madness as he alternates between a meek professor of English and a brutal gangster out for murderous revenge on those who tried to kill him. Written by Carlos Valverde <revchuck@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Reign Of HORROR... a man-made monster on the loose!

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Friday the Thirteenth  »

Box Office

Budget:

$125,750 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Professor Kingsley slightly misquotes William Cowper's line from "The Progress of Error," "How much a dunce that has been sent to roam excels a dunce that has been kept at home." Kingsley sadly cites to his students, "'How many the dunce that has been sent to Rome excels the dunce that must stay at home.'" Perhaps this to conform the idea to his situation. See more »

Connections

Edited into Mondo Lugosi (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Karloff and Lugosi Stand Back!

There are so few films in which either Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi are in where they do not steal each and every scene, but Black Friday is indeed one such film. Character actor Stanley Ridges delivers the performance of his career as a dottering English literature professor that has the brain cells from a gangster implanted into his brain in order to save his life. Dr. Slovac, deliciously played by Karloff, performs the necessary surgery and soon puts his friend's life in peril as he tries to force him to relive memories in order to find five hundred thousand dollars. Ridges basically flows from one personality to another. The transformation is incredible as he looks and speaks and moves like a completely different actor in every way. He certainly deserved some recognition for this acting feat. The story has the feel of a gangster film mixed with supernatural elements. Lugosi has a small(and I would argue thankless) role as a gangster. He has little to do with his role and does little with it. The cast is fine overall with a surprisingly good performance from the lovely Anne Nagel as the former gangster's moll. Fine Universal production values, intriguing writing by Curt Siodmak, and the performance of a lifetime from Ridges make this film a cinematic treat. Just for added measure are a couple of guys named...Karloff and Lugosi. Too bad they do not share a scene in the film!


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My 'Black Friday' tradition puddleglum5999
Interesting Genre nickneill12
Was Anne Nagel actually singing? prince-of-shibuya
Observation regarding Karloff and Lugosi danzeisen
Why is Dr Sovac being executed? What capital offense did he commit? pap2348
Discuss Black Friday (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?