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Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 13 January 1939 (USA)
One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Director:

Rowland V. Lee

Writers:

Mary Shelley (suggested by the story written in 1816) (as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley), Wyllis Cooper (screenplay) (as Willis Cooper)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Basil Rathbone ... Baron Wolf von Frankenstein
Boris Karloff ... The Monster
Bela Lugosi ... Ygor
Lionel Atwill ... Inspector Krogh
Josephine Hutchinson ... Elsa von Frankenstein
Donnie Dunagan Donnie Dunagan ... Peter von Frankenstein
Emma Dunn ... Amelia
Edgar Norton ... Thomas Benson
Perry Ivins Perry Ivins ... Fritz
Lawrence Grant ... Burgomaster
Lionel Belmore ... Emil Lang
Michael Mark Michael Mark ... Ewald Neumüller
Caroline Frances Cooke Caroline Frances Cooke ... Frau Neumüller (as Caroline Cooke)
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Burgher
Lorimer Johnston ... Burgher (as Lorimer Johnson)
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Storyline

Wolf von Frankenstein returns to the Baronial manor from the United States with his wife Elsa and son Peter. He not made welcome by the locals who are still terrified of his father's works and the monster he created. The local Burgomaster gives him a sealed briefcase left by his father and inside, Wolf finds his father's scientific notes. At the manor house he meets his father's assistant Igor who has a surprise for him: the monster his father created is still alive, though in some sort of coma. Wolf's initial attempts to re-animate the creature seem to fail but when Peter says he saw a giant in the woods, it appears he's met success. When people are mysteriously killed in the village there is little doubt that the monster is responsible. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

New TERROR Loosed Upoon a Startled World! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Frankenstein See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marked Bela Lugosi's first appearance in Universal's Frankenstein franchise, but it would not be his last. Lugosi reprised his role as Ygor in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) and portrayed the monster himself in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). Lugosi also had a run-in with Frankenstein's monster while in character as Dracula in the more-humorous monster-flick, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). So this film marked the first of three appearances by Lugosi in Universal's Frankenstein films (four appearances if you count Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein). See more »

Goofs

When Inspector Krogh fires his last shot at the monster, there is no corresponding gunshot on the sound track. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[a child picks up a rock to throw at Ygor's window]
Younger Brother: Ain't you afraid?
Older Brother: Of old Ygor? No!
[Ygor stares from the window]
Older Brother: Oh!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in TaleSpin: The Sound and the Furry (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main
(uncredited)
Written by Godfrey Marks
Sung a cappella by Donnie Dunagan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It Runs in the Family
18 July 2000 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Basil Rathbone plays Wolf, the son of Frankenstein, returning to his inheritance of castle and lab with wife and child in tow. Along the way he meets his father's old assistant Ygor, who has a broken neck from having been hanged and living, and the creature his father created. The townspeople get excited, a couple die, and mayhem takes over. This movie is above-average for a number of reasons. First and foremost it is a highly stylized movie in the German impressionistic manner. The sets are incredible and director Rowland Lee spares little in showing us his appreciation of movies such as Nosferatu and Caligari. The castle is a huge atmospheric temple and each room is just as big in its own way. This is the film that inspired most of Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein both in look and plot. The plot is good but the acting carries it beyond that. Karloff as always does a great job in his final role as the monster. Rathbone makes a great scientist trying to avenge his father's name. He starts the movie very relaxed and his tension builds and builds. His scenes with Atwill are his best. That brings us to the two great performances of the film...Lionel Atwill and Bela Lugosi. Lugosi as Ygor is perhaps his greatest role after Dracula. His voice, his leers, his manner are all wonderfully played. It is Lugosi that steals every scene he is in. That is not bad because Lionel Atwill steals every scene he is in(the two have no scenes together). Atwill brings life into his role as an inspector with a wooden arm. Atwill has grace and charm, and a generous dose of humour. This is his best role as far as I am concerned. Just listening to him give his speech about his encounter with the monster as a child is at one hand chilling and at the other emotional. Son of Frankenstein deservedly ranks as one of the great Universal horror pictures. It is not as good as The Bride of Frankenstein, but looks better than any of the Universal horror pictures. And that is as great a compliment as any!


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