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The Return of the Vampire (1944)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  1 January 1944 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,111 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 18 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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Title: The Return of the Vampire (1944)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frieda Inescort ...
...
...
...
Matt Willis ...
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Storyline

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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Vampire's Prey... a Beautiful Girl! Compelled to follow his commands! The blood of her fiancé on his hands! How can she escape the vampire? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vampires of London  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia originally intended this film as a direct sequel to Dracula (1931), but when Universal threatened them with a plagiarism suit, Columbia went ahead and made the film anyway but changed the names of the characters to avoid any connection with "Dracula". They also held back its release for two months so as not to compete with Lon Chaney's "Son of Dracula." See more »

Goofs

In the establishing shot of Tesla's book (which shows Tesla's picture on one page and the text on the other) the text is in a fairly small font and the lines spread wide across the page. In the second close-up insert of the text itself, the font is considerably larger and the lines considerably narrower. See more »

Quotes

Horace: [Entering the graveyard] Blimey, look at this place!
Civil Defense worker #2: [Seeing the empty coffin, with a Cockney accent] Blimey, 'e's 'opped! Lord Love-a-Duck!
See more »

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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.


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