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Black Friday (1940)

Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Curt Siodmak (screenplay) (as Kurt Siodmak), Eric Taylor (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Ernest Sovac
Bela Lugosi ... Eric Marnay
Stanley Ridges ... Prof. George Kingsley / Red Cannon
Anne Nagel ... Sunny Rogers
Anne Gwynne ... Jean Sovac
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Margaret Kingsley
Edmund MacDonald ... Frank Miller
Paul Fix ... William Kane
Murray Alper ... Bellhop
Jack Mulhall ... Bartender
Joe King ... Chief of Police
John Kelly ... Taxi Driver
Robert Morgan Robert Morgan ... Hotel Associate
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Storyline

When his friend Professor Kingsley is at deaths door, brain surgeon Dr. Sovac saves his life by means of an illegal operation that transplants part of injured gangster Red Cannon's brain. Unfortunately, the operation has a disastrous Jeckll and Hyde side effect and under certain conditions the persona of Cannon emerges. Sovac soon learns of the duel personality and of half a million dollars the gangster has hidden away. He attempts to find the money through the manipulation of his friend, an attempt that brings Kingsley closer to madness as he alternates between a meek professor of English and a brutal gangster out for murderous revenge on those who tried to kill him. Written by Carlos Valverde <revchuck@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Reign Of HORROR... a man-made monster on the loose!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Friday the Thirteenth See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$125,750 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Under the original script title of Friday The Thirtheenth, Bela Lugosi was to play Dr. Ernest Sovac and Karloff was Prof. George Kingsley, with Red Cannon featured as a hoodlum. Unfortunately, drastic changes were made that scriptwriter Curt Siodmak would later reveal were insisted on by Karloff as "He was afraid of it. There was too much acting in it. It was too intricate." After the reshuffle , Karloff unjustly appropriated Bela's role and, incomprehensibly as to why Bela wasn't given the part of Prof. Kingsley, Bela Lugosi was left with a minor role as rival gangster Eric Marnay. See more »

Goofs

Professor Kingsley is seen to scream and throw up his hands before the car is doing anything more than moving forward and is not headed in his direction. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ernest Sovac: Evidently my friend has gone out.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Coming Soon (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Karloff and Lugosi Stand Back!
16 March 2002 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

There are so few films in which either Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi are in where they do not steal each and every scene, but Black Friday is indeed one such film. Character actor Stanley Ridges delivers the performance of his career as a dottering English literature professor that has the brain cells from a gangster implanted into his brain in order to save his life. Dr. Slovac, deliciously played by Karloff, performs the necessary surgery and soon puts his friend's life in peril as he tries to force him to relive memories in order to find five hundred thousand dollars. Ridges basically flows from one personality to another. The transformation is incredible as he looks and speaks and moves like a completely different actor in every way. He certainly deserved some recognition for this acting feat. The story has the feel of a gangster film mixed with supernatural elements. Lugosi has a small(and I would argue thankless) role as a gangster. He has little to do with his role and does little with it. The cast is fine overall with a surprisingly good performance from the lovely Anne Nagel as the former gangster's moll. Fine Universal production values, intriguing writing by Curt Siodmak, and the performance of a lifetime from Ridges make this film a cinematic treat. Just for added measure are a couple of guys named...Karloff and Lugosi. Too bad they do not share a scene in the film!


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