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The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 11 November 1943 (USA)
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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



(screenplay), (based upon an idea by) | 1 more credit »



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Complete credited cast:
Ottola Nesmith ...
Elsa Walter - Governess
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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Eerie! Chilling! Screamy! 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?


Bela Lugosi filmed this Columbia feature August 21-September 1943, prior to his final two Monogram films. This was also the last time he would receive top billing for a major Hollywood studio. See more »


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 »


Armand Tesla: Come Andreas. I must find a new resting place. There you will bring the coffin with my native soil...
Armand Tesla: ... and then, Andreas, I have other plans!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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