14 user 25 critic

Return of the Ape Man (1944)

While on an Arctic expedition, two scientists find the frozen body of a prehistoric caveman. They bring him home to their laboratory, but decide that in order to fully utilize (and control)... See full summary »


Phil Rosen (as Philip Rosen)


Robert Charles (original screenplay)


Learn more

More Like This 

Voodoo Man (1944)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Dr. Richard Marlowe uses a combination of voodoo rite and hypnotic suggestion, attempting to revive his beautiful, but long-dead, wife, by transferring the life essences of several hapless ... See full summary »

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, George Zucco
The Ape Man (1943)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A crazed scientist accidentally turns himself into a half ape, half human creature, and scrambles to find a cure.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford
Certificate: Passed Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A scientist, aided by an old hag and her two sons, kills virginal brides, steals their bodies, and extracts gland fluid to keep his ancient wife alive and young.

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Luana Walters, Tristram Coffin
Black Dragons (1942)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A cabal of American industrialists, all fifth-columnists intent on sabotaging the war effort, are methodically murdered by the malevolent Monsieur Colomb. It is only until detective Dick ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, George Pembroke
Horror | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The boys are sent to a mountain camp. Stranded in a small rural town, they hear about a "monster killer" roaming the countryside. At night, they sneak out. Peewee is shot by a grave-digger,... See full summary »

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a green mask.

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Bela Lugosi, George Zucco, Molly Lamont
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, John Archer, Wanda McKay
The Devil Bat (1940)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A mad scientist develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien
The Ape (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Maris Wrixon, Gene O'Donnell
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An insurance investigator arrives at a creepy mansion to protect a millionaire who has had death threats made against him.

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Jack Haley, Jean Parker, Bela Lugosi
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch


Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Prof. Dexter
John Carradine ... Prof. John Gilmore
George Zucco ... Ape Man (credit only)
Frank Moran ... Ape Man
Teala Loring ... Anne Gilmore (as Judith Gibson)
Tod Andrews ... Steve Rogers (as Michael Ames)
Mary Currier Mary Currier ... Mrs. Hilda Gilmore
Eddy Chandler Eddy Chandler ... Sergeant (as Ed Chandler)
Ernie Adams ... Tramp, Willie the Weasel


While on an Arctic expedition, two scientists find the frozen body of a prehistoric caveman. They bring him home to their laboratory, but decide that in order to fully utilize (and control) him, they must transplant a more developed brain into the caveman. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Something new in horror -- SUSPANIM -- suspended animation! See more »


Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El retorno del hombre bestia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


No connection to The Ape Man (1943), despite Bela Lugosi's star presence in both. See more »


The prehistoric cave man who is thawed back to life is wearing modern cotton underwear beneath his animal hide loincloth. See more »


Featured in Fantasmic Features: Return of the Ape Man (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Good Fun
12 March 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Return of the Ape Man (1944)

*** (out of 4)

Extremely entertaining B-movie has Bela Lugosi playing Professor Dexter, a man who discovers a way to freeze a person for months and then bring them back to life. He wants further proof of his genius so he and his partner (John Carradine) travel to the Arctic where they discover a Missing Link (George Zucco/Frank Moran). They bring him back and defrost him and before long he is running wild. Dexter, wanting to make it more human, decides to put the brain of his assistant into the creature.

RETURN OF THE APE MAN is without question one of the most entertaining B movies of the decade thanks in large part to some nice direction by Phil Rosen and a great cast of characters. Obviously if you're wanting high art then you might as well keep on walking but if you're a fan of low-budget horror movies then this one here really delivers on the entertainment factor. At just 60 minutes the movie is extremely fast-paced and a lot of fun.

A lot of credit has to go to the cast who are really amped up throughout the film. This includes Lugosi who delivers another strong performance as the mad scientist who slowly loses his mind more and more. Lugosi is a lot of fun in his typical over-the-top way. Carradine is also a lot of fun here and it's great getting to see the two men act together. Zucco can be seen in only a brief shot but his contract required his name to remain on the title card but it's Frank Moran who plays the ape man the majority of the time. He too is great fun as the wild creature.

As you can tell, there's nothing ground-breaking about RETURN OF THE APE MAN but it's not trying to be. It's meant for some fast, cheap entertainment and there's no doubt that it delivers that and much more.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed