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The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

 -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  13 March 1942 (USA)
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When Ygor brings the monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the monster's current criminal brain, with a normal brain.



(screenplay), (original story)
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Title: The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

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Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi


Complete credited cast:
The Monster (as Lon Chaney)
Ludwig Frankenstein (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Evelyn Ankers ...
Janet Ann Gallow ...
Barton Yarborough ...
Doris Lloyd ...
Leyland Hodgson ...
Olaf Hytten ...
Holmes Herbert ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You can't keep a good monster down! See more »


Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frankenstein kehrt wieder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lon Chaney Jr. was cast while he was still filming The Wolf Man (1941). 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 »


The Monster: [with Ygor's voice] Bohmer! You tricked me, Bohmer!
See more »


Referenced in Buenas noches, señor monstruo (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Highly impressive sequel effort
28 October 2008 | by (Los Angeles, Ca) – See all my reviews

"The Ghost of Frankenstein" is one of the better entries in the series.


Trying to rid themselves of the curse, villagers destroy Frankenstein's Castle, where Ygor, (Bela Lugosi) still lives. They accomplish the task, while Ygor finds the still-living Monster, (Lon Chaney Jr.) inside the sulfur pit and takes it to safety. Traveling to find Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein, (Cedric Hardwicke) the second son who also specializes in brain surgery. Getting themselves arrested upon entering the village, they are immediately questioned by Erik, (Ralph Bellamy) town constable and the fiancée of Dr. Frankenstein's daughter Elsa, (Evelyn Ankers) and are released into their custody to make The Monster better. Forced to reveal their existence to his daughter, his attempts to kill it instead become of a mission to transplant his criminal brain out and replace it so it doesn't become a monster of destruction. Successfully performing the operation, the villagers want answers and charge the house to demand answers, putting everyone at risk.

The Good News: This here manages a lot of good stuff. The best part is perhaps the fact that the monster gets a lot of screen-time here, allowing for its personality to shine through much more. There's the fact that it's allowed to be completely sympathetic with the fabulous scene where it helps a village girl out in front of a horrified group of adults yet the creature does nothing harmful until it's confronted by others. The later scene where it visits her in her home and gently takes her away without being even slightly violent. When it later becomes violent and destructive, there's a real reason why rather than a coincidental one. That it also features more time of it being gentle and more sedate makes it striking when something happens to it to provoke violence. The fact that this is also book-ended by fantastic action pieces also doesn't hurt the film. The opening destruction of the castle high atop the mountain is a pyrotechnic delight, taking a huge amount of firepower to take it down, and the spectacle of seeing the large buildings come down in a huge flame makes it all the grander. The ending rampage is quite exciting, taking out a large number of lives in addition to the high amount of electrical equipment destroyed through the monster's actions. These are greatly done, looking highly explosive and very flammable, which is always a good thing in these types. The sight of the huge building on fire is a superb visual and manages to make it look at the grander for what it should be. The film also has quite a nicely spaced out pace to it, never for once seeming like it's slowing down but rather moving forward for most of the film. Overall, this here is a pretty entertaining entry in the series.

The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot here that doesn't work, and most of it won't be of any importance anyway. The biggest one is the fact that the film doesn't really make it seem important for the creature and Ygor to seem like imposing figures for the townspeople. They wander up through the streets in broad daylight, engage many of them in conversation and openly declare their association with the infamous family and their intentions there. At first the villagers seem afraid but willing if it gets them on their way, then it doesn't bother them at all until the final third of the film, when the monster gets loose and starts rampaging. That's what spurs them into action, and many times often ignore the fact that they're out there, despite the fact the creature openly escaped custody in a nice courthouse jailbreak sequence, yet after they're chased off, nothing is given about their feelings until the monster goes into action. It's pretty inconsistent, as well as the fact that at one moment they seem to know everything that happened with the previous family that had performed the operation, yet there are times where they seem to have no clue who they were. Some may not pick up on these facts, but it's the little things that make or break the big films. The silly tone in here, where the monster isn't really all that much of a threat until forced into action might make it seem less serious than the others, it's not a huge detriment to it in any way.

The Final Verdict: With some minor flaws that might not seem all that noticeable for some, this is still an overall very satisfying entry in the series. There's enough connections and action to keep them interested, while those that want it a little more seriously might be better off with the earlier installments.

Today's Rating-PG: Mild Violence

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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