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Bowery at Midnight (1942)

Approved | | Crime, Thriller | 30 October 1942 (USA)
Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Karl Wagner uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things ... See full summary »


Wallace Fox


Gerald Schnitzer (original story), Gerald Schnitzer (screenplay)

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Cast overview:
Bela Lugosi ... Professor Brenner aka Karl Wagner
John Archer ... Richard Dennison
Wanda McKay ... Judy Malvern
Tom Neal ... Frankie Mills
Vince Barnett ... Charley
Anna Hope Anna Hope ... Mrs. Brenner
John Berkes ... Fingers Dolan
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Capt. Mitchell
Dave O'Brien ... Pete Crawford
Lucille Vance ... Mrs. Malvern
Lew Kelly Lew Kelly ... Doc Brooks
Wheeler Oakman ... Stratton
Ray Miller Ray Miller ... Big Man


Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Karl Wagner uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things get out of hand, Wagner kills his henchmen, who wind up as zombies in the cellar of the soup kitchen. Written by Wheeler Winston Dixon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The monster and the ghoul! One deals in wholesale murder...the other serves as a torture-master of the living dead! See it and shudder!


Crime | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 October 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burial at Midnight See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Banner Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filming began August 3 1942, the 5th of Bela Lugosi's 9 Monogram features. See more »


The New York Police Department precinct depicted is the 45th, which is in the Bronx, not in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan. See more »


Prof. Frederick Brenner, alias Karl Wagner: Hmm, these mildewed skeletons who sleep so quietly now were once my partners, like Stratton.
[Cat meows. Scene cuts to kitten standing on grave covered in cat droppings]
Prof. Frederick Brenner, alias Karl Wagner: Doc, how often have I told you to keep that cat from desecrating my graves?
See more »


Featured in Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Bowery at Midnight (1942) **1/2
19 August 2006 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Bela Lugosi is in fine form playing Karl Wagner, a sweet soul with a soft touch who runs a nightly Bowery mission, spooning out bowls of soup for needy tramps with nowhere to go. When he recognizes a new customer as an escaped safe cracker called "Fingers" Dolan, Wagner kindly escorts the convict to a hidden room and offers him a cigar. During the leisurely smoke, the host confides that he's admired Dolan's work for a long time, and springs a surprise on him: Bela's actually a crime boss, using the mission as a front and looking for someone new to join his racket. By day, Wagner leads a double-life as a professor named Dr. Brenner. When he's not showering his unsuspecting wife with gifts from his nightly escapades he teaches a class on psychology.

The potential is there for this to be as confusing as it sounds, but taken slowly it can be a hoot. An interesting ending, too, makes one suspect it was a possible influence for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Simply stated, BOWERY AT MIDNIGHT is one of the best of the poverty row pics made by Monogram studios with Bela Lugosi in the forties. Really more of a crime story with an occasional dash of horror as an added condiment, this is a tasty 62 minutes of absurd fun done on the cheap. **1/2 out of ****

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