The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  11 November 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,316 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 21 critic

When an errant bomb unearths the coffin of a vampire during the London Blitz, a gravedigger unknowingly reanimates the monster by removing the stake from his heart



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Complete credited cast:
Frieda Inescort ...
Matt Willis ...
Ottola Nesmith ...
Elsa Walter - Governess
Gilbert Emery ...
Dr. Walter Saunders
Leslie Denison ...
Detective Lynch
William Austin ...


In 1918, an English family are terrorized by a vampire, until they learn how to deal with it. They think their troubles are over, but German bombs in WWII free the monster. He reclaims the soul of his wolfman ex-servant, and assuming the identity of a scientist who has just escaped from a concentration camp, he starts out on a plan to get revenge upon the family. Written by Ken Yousten <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Can She Escape the Vampire? See more »


Drama | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vampires of London  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Columbia Gower studios were rather cramped so the production moved to Fine Arts Studio for the cemetery sequence. See more »


In the closing scenes as Andreas changes back into human form, there is a mole that appears on his right cheek, moves to the opposite cheek, then disappears altogether. The mole was present on the left cheek throughout the film. See more »


Andreas Obry: [to Tesla] Master, it's night again... beautiful, dark, silent night with the fog creeping in. Time for you to awaken, Master. Time for you to go out.
[Tesla's hand opens the coffin]
See more »


Referenced in Sanford and Son: The TV Addict (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lugosi's best '40's film
20 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This has got to be one of Bela's most underrated performances, a bright spot among the dreariness of Monogram potboilers. Columbia allows him to both reference Dracula while at the same time expanding the definition of vampirism by having him play Dr. Armand Tessla, the "depraved Roumanian scientist" who is so obsessed with evil that he actually becomes a bloodsucker. (there is also a nifty sketch of Lugosi drawn in a book about his character) Lugosi is alternately sinister, avuncular, lovestruck, arrogant, and commanding. His voice, usually cause for laughter at its ripe indelibility, is used extremely effectively as a whisper when he is calling Nina Foch into the graveyard. ("Just a little bit further--further--further!") This is actually quite eerie. His exchanges with Matt Willis are atmospheric and believable, in that someone undead would naturally have supernatural acolytes surrounding him. (so what if they sprout facial hair; that just gives the acolyte more "texture") I have to disagree with viewers who think Willis is ridiculous as a talking wolf; I happen to think he's the best thing in the film. Willis' natural speaking voice is kind of strange, half Southern, half something..and when he's the werewolf with those teeth his line readings are really creepy. My favorite is when he's saying "as if they could tell what happened!" and then he chuckles. He is really effective. The whole production is sort of tongue in cheek and the Britishness at its height. (Frieda Inescort: "The Gerries have rather taken things out of your hands") The WWII element adds more interest, and Lugosi has a droll line that he is going out of his hotel but, "whether I can be reached is another matter." A jarring note is Foch's boyfriend, who has "Lady Jane" as his mother and yet speaks with a German or Dutch accent. All in all, a must for Lugosi fans and all other horror film fans interested in how Columbia does this kind of movie as opposed to Universal.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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