Tales of Tomorrow: Season 1, Episode 16

Frankenstein (18 Jan. 1952)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 72 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Dr. Victor Frankenstein, working in a castle on a remote Swiss island, attempts to create a perfect man but his resultant creation turns out to be a murderous beast who must be destroyed.



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Episode credited cast:
Allyn Edwards ...
The Monster (as Lon Chaney)
John Newland ...
Mary Alice Moore ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peggy Allenby ...
Elise the maid
Raymond Bramley ...
Elizabeth's Father
Michael Mann ...
Farrell Pelly ...
Matthew the butler


Dr. Victor Frankenstein, working in a castle on a remote Swiss island, attempts to create a perfect man but his resultant creation turns out to be a murderous beast who must be destroyed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi




Release Date:

18 January 1952 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Chaney biographer Don Smith, the actor was drinking during rehearsals of the show and damaged props which had to be replaced. When the show was actually shot, an inebriated Chaney was under the impression that it was a dress rehearsal and gingerly laid the furniture down instead of throwing it as he should. He can be heard saying "Save for the show" when he uncharacteristically lays down a chair. See more »


Chaney's monster breaks BOTH ends of the prop wire before he is "electrocuted" by its current. See more »


Elizabeth's Father: There are some things better left undone.
See more »


Version of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

Fun and Fine Job for What It is
4 March 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I had a great time watching, keeping in mind the shortcomings other commenters have made sure to point out. When one watches something of this nature, in fairness, one must put oneself in the mindset of the limitations involved. Of course it's early television and, worse, it's a live production. Wary of these liabilities, I was actually impressed with, for example, what one called the "cheesy" set - created on their obvious low budget.

What would you do if you needed to tell an involved tale in twenty-four minutes? Corners need to be cut, and if we can accept this reality, we can see they did a pretty deliverable job.

Not to say the imperfections and inconsistencies don't exist - there are plenty. I especially liked how Dr. Frankenstein tells us how his creation has the strength of ten men, and then straps his creation onto the table using two feeble straps. I also enjoyed the absurdity of the doctor using his girlfriend and little-boy cousin as bait to lure the creature, near the end of the show (putting them in such danger), and how the professor tells Dr. Frankenstein, when the latter confesses as to what he had done, that the research would be invaluable for science and his work should not be done away with - as Dr. Frankenstein threatens to do. A minute later, the professor admonishes his former pupil for the wrong he has wrought. How sad too that everyone except for the butler (who carries a torch for his fellow servant) shrugged their shoulders when learning of the sad fate of the poor maid.

When Dr. Frankenstein realizes his creature has gone out of control, I enjoyed the line, "He Must Be Destroyed," a telling precursor for the Hammer film to follow in a couple of decades, with "Frankenstein" substituted for "He."

The actor who played our Americanized scientist hero (not John Ireland, as Reviewer Wes-Connors believed, but John Newland, whom I guess few of us have heard of) had a nice way about him. As for his girlfriend Elizabeth (who was not yet the "Bride of Frankenstein," it seemed - someone mistook her for the wife), was that a British accent she was attempting?

Lon Chaney Jr. is fantastic; I have a new admiration for his acting skills based on his performance here. Reviewer Hitchcoc wrote that Chaney mimicked Karloff, but Chaney took Karloff's lost-in-the-woods persona that was successful in creating such empathy, and made the role his own - with greater energy. I was warned by every other reviewer telling us how drunk he was, but I couldn't tell. My ears perked up in the scene where he picked up a chair while mumbling the prop needed to be saved, but I didn't hear anything. (Not to say it's not there; Chaney's lips move after the chair is put down, but the music - which is very good - was too loud for me to make out any words.) It could be consistent with the confused character for the creation not to go about smashing everything, so what if the chair is put back on the ground in less-crazed fashion? Lastly, I am in agreement with the consensus of opinion, that the make-up was very good - on a par, if not better than many low-budget horror feature films of its time, if not a little later.

I appreciated Reviewer Verbusen for giving the idea that this episode is for the having; the source he named still has it, and the production is available elsewhere as well (as YouTube, currently). If you can take this production in context and aren't too spoiled in expecting more polished pizzaazz, you won't find it lacking in entertainment value.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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