Ygor resurrects Frankenstein's monster and brings him to the original doctor's son, Ludwig, for help. Ludwig, obsessed with the idea of restoring the monster to full power, is unaware that his various associates all have different ideas about whose brain is to be transplanted into the monster's skull. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Part of the SON OF SHOCK package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original Shock Theater release of 52 features one year earlier. See more »
When the monster appears outside Elsa's window, it casts a
nearly full-body shadow on the library wall, with one arm fully visible, but in the close-ups of the monster the arm in question is obscured behind the window frame. Later in the same sequence, Ygor pops up over the monster's shoulder, yet the shadow cast seconds later shows only the monster. See more »
`Son of Frankenstein,' the third Frankenstein movie from Universal, started a trend. In the first two movies, the Monster was an active force in the story his actions carried the story along. By the third film, he became a background character, more prop than participant (which is what Boris Karloff feared would happen). By the fourth film in the series, `Ghost of Frankenstein,' the transformation is complete: the Monster is now a supporting character in his own movie.
The real star of the movie is Bela Lugosi as Ygor, continuing his role from `Son of Frankenstein.' Miraculously recovered from death by gunshot wounds, he finds the Monster (now played by Lon Chaney Jr) and sets off the restore his friend to full power. He locates Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke), a respected physician in the nearby town of Visaria, and blackmails him into helping with his father's creation. But Ygor is also plotting with Dr. Frankenstein's fellow scientist Dr. Bohmer (Lionel Atwill in his second Frankenstein film) to alter the experiment a little
`Ghost of Frankenstein' comes across as insubstantial when you compare it to the first three Frankensteins. The acting is decent: Bela Lugosi does a good job hamming it up as Ygor (a far cry from the elegant Count Dracula), and the other players go through their paces admirably. Lon Chaney makes a competent Monster; he can lurch pretty well, and has a few moments of pathos, but he doesn't get much a chance to really act. Of course, that's not really his fault; the script didn't give him much to do.
I suppose `ghostly' is the best word to describe this movie after all. It manages to generate atmosphere and thrills when you're watching it, but it dissipates in the light of day.
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