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The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 11 November 1943 (USA)
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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

Writers:

Griffin Jay (screenplay), Kurt Neumann (based upon an idea by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Armand Tesla / Dr. Hugo Bruckner
Frieda Inescort ... Lady Jane Ainsley
Nina Foch ... Nicki Saunders
Roland Varno ... John Ainsley
Miles Mander ... Sir Frederick Fleet
Matt Willis ... Andreas Obry
Ottola Nesmith ... Elsa Walter - Governess
Gilbert Emery ... Dr. Walter Saunders
Leslie Denison Leslie Denison ... Detective Lynch
William Austin ... Detective Gannett
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Storyline

In 1918, an English family are terrorized by a vampire, until they learn how to deal with it. They think their troubles are over, but German bombs in WWII free the monster. He reclaims the soul of his wolfman ex-servant, and assuming the identity of a scientist who has just escaped from a concentration camp, he starts out on a plan to get revenge upon the family. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Can She Escape the Vampire? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vampires of London See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,090,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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

Bela Lugosi filmed this Columbia feature August 21-September 1943, prior to his final two Monogram films. This was also the last time he would receive top billing for a major Hollywood studio. See more »

Goofs

While it is stated that Andreas is a werewolf, no explanation is given as to how or why he transforms without benefit of a full moon. However, this story appears to incorporate a different version of the werewolf legend, in which Andreas' transformations occur only when Tesla has control over his mind and therefore don't have anything to do with a full moon. See more »

Quotes

Armand Tesla: Come Andreas. I must find a new resting place. There you will bring the coffin with my native soil...
[Ominously]
Armand Tesla: ... and then, Andreas, I have other plans!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Bela Lugosi (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Craft and professionalism can go a long way
2 September 2005 | by mido505See all my reviews

Lew Landers directed a lot of crap during his long, prolific career, but when he was on his game, as in The Raven (1934), and this film, he could produce a horror movie as good as any. The Return of the Vampire may be nothing more than a little Columbia B picture, but it exhibits more craft, care, and professionalism than 90 percent of what comes out of Hollywood today. The foggy, expressionistic photography and sets are fantastic, with excellent use of shadow and camera movement, and the early scenes of Lugosi prowling through mist and darkness, shot mostly from behind, or in silhouette, are striking in their spectral intensity. Lugosi once again shows why he ranks among the immortals; he is more commanding and magnetic walking from point A to point B in his top hat and tails than most actors are emoting through pages of dialog. Screenwriter Griffin Jay and director Landers go out of their way to showcase Lugosi's unique talents; he is given a great part with many substantial scenes to play, and Landers shoots him to his fullest advantage. Frieda Inescort, as Lugosi's nemesis, is sublimely up to the challenge, and their scenes together, especially their climactic confrontation at the pipe organ, are the best in the film. Sure, Return of the Vampire has its weak elements, such as Matt Willis's unfortunate talking werewolf, but let them pass. There are few moments in cinema as inspiring as watching Lugosi at full throttle, and Return of the Vampire has that in spades.


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