Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) Poster

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Great finale
evilskip18 May 2001
This is probably the best horror comedy ever made.While it doesn't make fun of the monsters it does have some fun with them.Just love the Frankenstein monster's initial reaction to Lou Costello.

Lugosi truly shows how wrong Universal was to treat him so badly over the years.He gives a wonderful perfomance with nice comedic touches.Chaney is excellent in "his baby" the Wolf Man.Strange is given a bit more to do as the monster rather than just lie around until the last five minutes.

Great fun for everybody!
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Scarily Funny!
violencegang16 November 2004
There are two schools of thought regarding 'Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein'. The first holds that the movie represents the nadir of the Universal Monsters cycle, with three once-great monsters reduced to playing second-fiddle to a couple of Laurel and Hardy wannabes. The alternative view, which I hold, is that this movie is a classic comedy-horror, perhaps the best example of that hybrid sub-genre until John Landis' 'An American Werewolf In London' emerged in 1981.

'A&CMF' warrants classic status because it is probably the best Universal horror film since 'The Wolf Man' (1941); certainly it has a much stronger narrative thread, not to mention a better reason for the three monsters coming together, than either 'House Of Frankenstein'(1944) or 'House Of Dracula'(1945). The problem with those two movies is that Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and The Wolf Man's coming together seemed purely coincidental, with Dracula not even encountering the other two in 'House Of Frankenstein' (which feels like two short films cobbled together, with only Boris Karloff's Dr. Neimann & J. Carroll Naish's hunchback providing a link between them) and 'House Of Dracula' only featuring a few scenes with more than one monster. 'Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein', by having The Wolf Man pursuing Dracula and the Monster, and also having Dracula plan to put Lou Costello's brain into the Frankenstein Monster (with the help of the duplicitous Dr. Mornay) provides an extremely satisfactory reason for the various characters coming together.

As for the acting, it has often been pointed out that this film works because the monster actors (Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr & Glenn Strange) play it straight, and this is very true, with Chaney's tortured soul act contrasting well with Lou Costello's one-liners (especially the famous 'you and twenty million other guys' joke). Lugosi, playing Dracula for only the second time, is wonderfully grandiose and even Glenn Strange, who is basically only required to lumber about, does what he does well, and he has a lot more to do than in the 'House of' movies. Abbott and Costello are very funny, using fewer verbal routines than normal, but doing some highly entertaining slapstick gags, and the supporting cast do very well, notably Frank Ferguson as the blustering McDougal, barely controlling his exasperation at Lou Costello's incompetence. Lenore Aubert as Dr. Sandra Mornay does well, and it's interesting to see a female mad scientist, particularly taking into account when this film was made. Charles Bradstreet and Jane Randolph have less to do in their parts, but neither of them drags the film down

All in all, 'A&CMF' is a movie that deserves a much greater reputation than it has acquired in some circles, and is probably the high point of the Abbott and Costello filmography
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Bud & Lou's Best!
Gafke17 February 2005
A full moon is on the rise in foggy London when Lawrence Talbot places a panicked phone call to the States. He is the only one who knows that a great evil is on its way to America. Count Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster have been shipped to a wax museum, and when the sun sets, Dracula will rise and summon his superhuman servant. Talbot knows he must warn someone...anyone...but unfortunately, it's Lou Costello who answers the phone. The movie is then off and running. Dracula needs a new brain for his monster, a brain so simple and dumb that the monster will obey Dracula's every command. Dracula's lethal henchwoman, Doctor Sandra Mornay, soon finds the perfect subject. Guess who? Now it's up to Bud Abbott and Lon Chaney Jr. to save Lou and stop Dracula before Lou literally loses his mind!

This is my absolute favorite Abbott & Costello film, sweet and witty but also dark and spooky, with plenty of nice, Gothic sets filled with full moons, flapping bats, cobwebs and lab equipment. Lon Chaney Jr. as the lycanthropic Lawrence Talbot, Bela Lugosi in his final appearance as Dracula and Glenn Strange as the Monster all play their roles perfectly straight as Bud and Lou stumble around them. The dark and seductive Lenore Aubert makes her second appearance as a Bud and Lou Bad Girl, slinking her way through the entire movie like a black panther, trying to lead poor Lou astray. Best moments include a wax museum in a lightening storm, a costume ball on a moonlit night and an uncredited Vincent Price who shows up - sort of - at films end. Bud and Lou turn in flawless performances yet again; Bud the Straight Guy always ready with a stinging one- liner and Lou the Bumbling Fool, falling all over himself, yet both of them always uniting at the films climax to stop the Bad Guys.

Fans of Bud and Lou and fans of the Universal Creature Features should not miss this film. It is both a spoof and an homage to the legendary Monsters of film. 10 stars.
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essential monster comedy
mcmacs4 January 2005
Top ten. Desert Island Disc. Universal's best-ever monster rally. Bud and Lou are at the top of their game, even Mrs Costello Snr said so. You get Bela Lugosi as Dracula for only the second and final time in his career. Lugosi is a joy; he plays Dracula as more suave, more sinister, and more disarmingly fatherly, than his continental goof-ball 1931 interpretation. Lon Chaney Jr on the other hand plays Larry Talbot as a TOTAL goof-ball, finally gone around the bend from the stress of his monstrous double-life; muttering dire warnings about imminent moon-rises that he then totally fails to heed; making anonymous life-or-death demands of clueless Lou via transatlantic phone call; fronting up to his nemesis Dracula at last, after pursuing him across continents, only to wilt shamefacedly before the Count's minor-league mind-games. Glen Strange looks great in the new streamlined makeup (alas for Jack Pierce, however) and has a thousand per cent more to do as the Frankenstein Monster, than in both his earlier 'cameo' appearances in the 'HOUSE OF' movies put together. The score is marvelous and director Barton keeps things moving at a cracking good pace. And what a straight man is Bud Abbott! He even gets to play a few lines with genuine drama here, once he realises Lou really isn't delusional. Highly recommended for Universal Monster fans, A&C fans, and movie fans in general.
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The first "meets" and the best!
uds38 November 2003
Made during A & C's golden era, this was not only the first and best of the "meets" series but arguably their best film.

Everything worked, the routines, the premise, the sets, the chills and the direction. Bud and Lou are a couple of bumbling railroad porters who end up delivering crates containing Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man to a certain gothic edifice. In better physical condition than by the time ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE rolled around in '53, it shows in their timing and delivery - Lou especially is spot on throughout.

Some great lines too. Dracula to Lou, addressing him lovingly, "What we need is young blood.....AND brains!"

Many believe this is the quintessential Bud and Lou film to survive! I'd be inclined to agree.
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Monsterfest: Bud and Lou style
simeon_flake16 June 2005
Perennially snakebit, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) can't even make a dire phone-call to clueless Wilbur Gray (Lou Costello) without that pesky full moon getting in the way. Of course, this opening scene is all just a nice excuse for the new Universal makeup wizard, Bud Westmore, to show off his new, streamlined Wolf Man transformations. It looks good enough, though it seems whatever Lon Chaney may have gained in comfort from Bud's less time-consuming makeup, he had to trade-off any facial mobility as his face looks fixed in the same expression throughout the film.

Bud and Lou's misadventures unloading McDougal's crates is a great mix of laughs & chills where we get to see a variation of the "moving candle" bit, Dracula reviving the monster, and for the first time in any Universal picture the camera doesn't move or cut away as the vampire exits from his coffin. And Glenn Strange, looking rather gruesome in Westmore's best makeup work, seems creakier than ever before as the monster.

I have to mention one of my personal favorite Bud/Lou moments when they make their first trip to the island with Joan Raymond: Lou tells Bud in reference to Joan "she's mine too" then proceeds to dab his mouth with Bud's necktie.

While the mere presence of Abbott and Costello in this picture may turn the stomachs of many "horror purists", it's obvious that great care was taken by the filmmakers not to ridicule the monsters. Without the two comics, you would still have a standard Universal horror film. With them, it remains a movie that shows more skill & thought was put into it than the last "serious" monster film "House of Dracula" and I am personally glad that Universal didn't let the monsters die with that misfire.
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A Joyous memory and wonderful film!
BaronBl00d31 July 1999
This is the film that really sparked my interest in horror films. IT is a comedy laced with horriffic elements. It is a wonderful blend of the absurd(Abbott and Costello) with the scary(Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, and the Wolfman). There is so much good about this film that it is hard to begin. Let's start with the two main characters, A & C. This is probably their best film outing both in their comic timing and their ability to play off each other so convincingly. Lou plays the chubby scared Wilbur and Bud plays the cynical, straight-man Chick. They move about almost effortlessly in their roles and Lou has some of the truly funniest scenes in filmdon. Two come to mind immediately: the scene where Lou reads about the monsters in the wax museum and the coffin lid opens and moves the candle several times is priceless as is the scene where Lou in confronted with the monsters in a hidden panel in a dungeon. Bud is just as good playing the straight role, a necessary but often thankless part. The other members of the cast are just as good, and Bela gives a tour-de force performance as Dracula once again. The film is moody and atmospheric, credit certainly going to Charles Barton the director. Lon Chaney, often overlooked, gives a good performance as the tragic lycanthrope Lawrence Talbot. Partiality aside, this certainly ranks up there as one of the best horror-comedy films ever made. High praise for a sub-genre with so few gems.
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A comedy gem. The team finally hit the laughter heights.
Len-1917 December 1998
I have to agree with Nathan L.Erdel of Muncie,IN, on his user comments, this is indeed a comedy classic. The comedy duo of Abbott and Costello were at the height of their popularity during the late thirties and the forties and their particular style of verbal and slapstick comedy do not wear well with the passage of time and the sophistication of the modern day audiences. However, this film is the exception, from beginning to end it is almost flawless and provides a constant stream of laughs and thrills that even the viewers of today would be sure to enjoy. The writers and director and all the cast deserve congratulation for a brilliant effort produced on a low Universal budget. The film harnesses the particular comedy talents of Bud and Lou perfectly for the first and only time. Although the success of the film led the duo to try to replicate the style by having them meet more outlandish characters, never again were they able to repeat the heights and they gradually went into decline. But at least this film is left for us to enjoy and savour. From first to last the action, the thrills and the laughs combine flawlessly. Bud is the perfect foil to Lou's slapstick,as always. Lon Chaney,Bela Lugosi and Glen Strange all reprise their roles as The Wolfman,Dracula and Frankenstein to wonderful effect to provide the thrills as they chase the duo endlessly trying to get Lou's brain transferred into Frankenstein. Abbott and Costello provided some fine verbal comedy scenes in other early films and these also stand the test of time, but Meet Frankenstein was the only instance when their particular brand of comedy was successfully spread over an entire film.
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Still the finest scare comedy
Sloke18 February 2001
When Abbott and Costello were good, there was no one to touch them. Here they were at maybe their best, working with a great script and their best-by-a-mile concept. I prefer "Time Of Their Lives" as a film, but this is their finest hour or so as comedians.

As someone who grew up watching A&C Sundays at 11:30 AM in the NY area back when Cheech and Chong were the comedy team of the moment, it's great to revisit this one and see how well it all stands up. It's also nice to think, with all the personal sadness and cinematic dreck he was forced to go through, that Bela Lugosi managed to bat 1.000 in playing his greatest role, as he only played the Count in two film classics, this and "Dracula."

Playing the monsters straight probably was the best idea the filmmakers had, but there's other good stuff here. These guys were not resting on their laurels. The scenes with Chaney, the final chase, the dames (two for Lou, none for Bud), the music, all of it well-thought-out and very effective. Would the film have been better with Karloff than Strange as the Monster? Probably not, as the Monster is the least interesting character of the monster trio by necessity of plot (he's weak and needs to be continuously charged up by Drac, necessitating the immediate operation on Lou.) Karloff would have detracted from Lugosi's role more than adding anything of his own. Besides, Strange is very good.

Too bad Vincent Price couldn't make it when Bud and Lou went up against the Invisible Man for real two years later.
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Agree With The Critics On This One
ccthemovieman-118 October 2006
Stupid? Yes. Corny? Yes. Hokey? Yes. Entertaining? Definitely. Lots of good laughs? You said it!

To be honest, I am not a big fan of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello but this is a funny movie, considered their best by most critics and, for once, I agree with them. I mean, where else can you see The Wolf Man, Frankenstein and Dracula all together in the same film? Not only that, we get two of the original actors who actually played those roles: Lon Chaney (wolf man) and Bela Lugosi (Dracula).

The special-effects are terrible but, hey, the film is close to 60 years old. If you are going to see only one A-C film, this is the one you want to get.
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"Now who'd be silly enough to believe that?"
pyrocitor5 January 2016
Sometimes all you need is a good laugh, complexity be damned. Sometimes all you want is a warm bath of familiarly, dually titillated by belly laughs of the most finely honed, classic slapstick, while shivering in reverence (maybe even in fright, if you're of the right disposition) at some of Universal's finest monster mayhem. Which is why, sometimes, you can't do any better than romp around with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and their meeting with Frankenstein (and friends) is arguably the most purely joyful escapist fun any of their monster mashes have to offer.

In terms of poduction-values, it's hard to knock three monsters for the price of one (Dracula, Frankenstein's Creature and the Wolf Man would never again reassemble until - shudder - 2004's Van Helsing), and the story actually does a decent job of weaving all three in without seeming too gratuitous, though an opening sequence in a wax museum house of horrors does poke fun at the constructed artificiality of monster scares. Additionally, Universal's classy treatment of their tentpole horror monsters, even in parody form, is always nice, as the mayhem is built around them, but never resorting to crass, embarrassing gags at their expense (few contemporary filmmakers do parody and pastiche so respectfully). Of course, the plot is ludicrously thin - it's never even explained why Dracula seeks to reinvigorate Frankenstein's Creature (naturally, with Costello's brain), the central point of conflict - and the dramatic irony of Costello being terrified, only for the spectre in question to vanish before a bemused Abbott can lay eyes on it is exploited to the point of pushing limits of patience. Meanwhile, monster nitpickers will grumble that the title is a misnomer, as Bud and Lou only meet Frankenstein's creation, not the mad scientist himself (though we do get a glimpse at his helpfully specific lab notes, apparently published in book form...). Ultimately, it's all in good fun, and such quibbles feel increasingly besides the point in the face of such a wall of laughs.

What is the point is howling at Bud and Lou's priceless chemistry, hysterical physical slapstick, facial expressions, and immaculate wordplay ("I saw what I saw when I saw it" being the takeaway quote of choice here), and lapping up the joy of their tried-and-true personas - Abbott the curmudgeonly straight man, Costello the adorably dimwitted crybaby-cum-lothlorio - typecasting be damned. The Universal vets are more than willing to dive into the fun, and their commitment to character helps the silliness fly. Bela Lugosi (amazingly, in his only time reprising Count Dracula!) is as good as they come, slinking around with eerie-eyed menace undercut by a hefty undercurrent of silky charm, Glenn Strange makes for a fantastically gruesome, shambling Frankenstein's monster, while Lon Chaney Jr.'s wooden melancholic delivery as the world-weary Lawrence Talbot wins almost as many laughs as the headliners, just as his snarling, contorting Wolf Man is as fearsome as ever. Lenore Aubert and Jane Randolph also get in on the fun, both maintaining class and credibility and stealing some of the best laughs despite being largely treated like set dressing by the customary playful misogyny of the time. Dracula's castle also makes for a sumptuously Gothic set piece, and its labyrinth of secret swivelling wall panels, cobblestones and stockades makes for the perfect playpen for Bud and Lou.

You pretty much get what it says on the tin with Abbott and Costello - and Meets Frankenstein, by privileging big recurring gags over zingers, isn't even their sharpest work in their oeuvre - so those aspiring for smarter or more substantial screwball frivolity would do best to bolt for the door (ideally screeching "CHIIIIIIIIIIICKKKKKK!!!" like Costello). But, for those willing to leave their brains at the door (and Dracula gratefully accepts your kind donation), Meet Frankenstein is their wildest, zaniest, and, arguably, flat-out funniest cinematic work. It's tightly paced, chock-full of all the gags and big reveal monster moments you can shake a vampire bat at, and the whole gang - spooks and funny men - are so cheerfully committed to entertaining, it's near impossible not to have a deliriously good time. Just remember not to go on a double-date with Costello, or you'll end up with nothing but a spookily fun story to tell.

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A Superb Meeting of Comedy & Horror
ANDREWEHUNT26 October 2004
This film is a sentimental favorite for many reasons. It represents the apex of Abbott and Costello's fifteen years in film (and really, I think, the duo's last truly inspired moment, despite some worthwhile later contributions, such as "A&C Meet the Invisible Man"). It's the last outing of the Universal monsters before science fiction films moved in and edged out horror cinema. It's one of Bela Lugosi's and Lon Chaney, Jr.'s last watchable films (though Lon, I admit, performed amazingly in "High Noon"). And the film works so incredibly well because of the brilliant screenplay by Rinaldo and Lees, who later suffered under the terrible blacklist (and Lees was recently murdered in a particularly heinous fashion). So, really, this film represents the last, great outing for many of the key figures involved.

Glenn Strange is a bit wooden as the monster (too bad they couldn't get Karloff to reprise the role), but Lon and Bela are in top form here. The scene where Lou sits on the monster's lap and can't talk when he sees the monster's hand moving is truly inspired comic brilliance. All in all, it's difficult to say enough great things about this movie. I watched it again recently on DVD and it withstood the test of time. It's truly a cinematic gem.
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Saw this when I was a kid..
lrr-lawson20 November 2009
I saw this movie for the first time when I was eight years old. I lived in Topeka, Kansas;a local station played this movie at 9:00 am for a full week. It was during the summer, and me and my friends would gather in my living room and watch it while my mom made us breakfast. A great memory of my childhood. Abbot and Costello were among our favorites and we watched all of their "Meet" movies. This was by far the best. Looking back now I can't believe that we were scared of these monsters. I wish this would play more often. My grandsons would love to watch this, and it wouldn't be so scary for them. I recommend this movie for anyone that wants to enjoy a classic B movie.
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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) ****
JoeKarlosi14 September 2006
Often hailed as Abbott and Costello's best movie of all, MEET FRANKENSTEIN is a side-splitting romp that just may be the best horror spoof of all time. It's got a very festive spooky atmosphere that makes it a mandatory favored choice of mine for annual Halloween movie viewings. Universal Studio's three most popular classic monsters (Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolf Man, and Count Dracula) are brought together one final time in a fitting swan song tribute where they're treated with more respect and are better woven together into the plot than they had been in either one of their last two serious vehicles, "House of Frankenstein (1944)" and "House of Dracula (1945)".

Bud and Lou are two comical baggage clerks working in Florida who deliver two crates to a local Chamber of Horrors attraction. Unbeknownst to either of them, one crate houses the coffin containing the original Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), and the other secures the near-comatose Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange). The pudgy and childlike Costello is the unlucky lone witness who spots Dracula rising out of his coffin and freeing the Monster from his wooden crate and lumbering off together. Unable to convince his cynical partner Abbott of the strange goings-on, Costello gains an ally when Lawrence Talbot the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney) arrives on the scene to inform the comic duo he's hot on the trail of the monsters and that Dracula intends to restore Frankenstein's creation to full power. Talbot requests the aid of Bud and Lou in tracking them down, in between fending off moonlit nights which frequently change him into the savage Wolf Man! Also figuring into Dracula's plan is his desire to place Costello's weak and controllable brain into the monster.

What's really so special about this movie to horror movie fans is that although they're involved in an obvious comical send-up, the three monsters are played straight throughout. If you were to edit out all the silliness, inside all the laughs is a traditional classic horror plot that works. It's a special treat to see the great Bela Lugosi return (at age 65) to play Count Dracula on screen one last time, and he is in many ways the best asset of the mix. It was a break for the actor from his dismal productions at minor studios, and this would also be the last time he found employment from a prominent studio. **** out of ****
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Knowing How It Worked
bkoganbing29 June 2006
Knowing how it worked back in the day, I'm sure Universal had no inkling that they were creating a comedy classic and the best known Abbott and Costello feature besides Buck Privates. Universal's reputation was built on these Gothic horror classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman and their many incarnations. So I'm sure the decision was to give their horror sets some work and combine the genres.

They made a very funny film, but in the process killed the horror genre. Please note that there were very few straight horror sequels done after Abbott and Costello finished with these monsters. By becoming the butt of Bud and Lou's burlesque humor, they somehow lost the power to truly frighten. It took the British Hammer Film Studio to revive the genre in the Fifties with some more up to date special effects.

Bud and Lou are a couple of delivery men, working for what I guess was UPS at the time and they lose a couple of crates consigned to Frank Ferguson's Amusement house of horrors. But they didn't exactly lose them. The crates contained the bodies of the real Dracula and real Frankenstein monster played by Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange. And they walked off on poor Costello and no one will believe him.

Except of course Lon Chaney, Jr. playing Lawrence Talbot, concerned citizen by day and werewolf at night when the moon is full. After that it's a merry chase after these monsters as Dracula decides that Costello has a brain perfect for the Frankenstein monster's body.

Of course it would be another 30 years or so before Mel Brooks realized the full implication of that. I think Costello might have consented to the operation had he realized.

It's reported by Lou Costello's daughter Chris that her dad wasn't totally convinced this film was going to work out for the team. Everyone around him told him he was never funnier, but Costello didn't believe it until Universal started counting the box office receipts.

So a cheaply made comedy, utilizing existing sets makes a mint. Come to think of it, that was what Buck Privates also did.
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Freaking Hilarioious!
pitsburghfuzz14 December 2009
This move is the funniest move I have ever seen and the second best Universal Monster Movie(second only to Frankenstein.)The movie stars the comedic pair as baggage carriers and come across the body of Frankenstein(Glenn Strange) and the remains of Dracula( Bela Lugosi in his final part for a major studio.) They delver it to McDougal's House of Horrors where the two come to life and Dracula teams up with Costello's girlfriend Sandra(Lenore Aubert) to replace the monster's brain with Costello's! Larry Talbot(Lon Chaney Jr.) tries to convince Abbottt and Costello that Dr. Lejos(Dracula) is not who he seems to be. The movie's best parts are in the beginning and end sequence when the final clash of monsters goes down and believe me, it is one of the most satsisfying endings to any film I have ever seen. The movie is so funny because the thought of dealing with the monsters is just terrifying. If you are a fan of the monsters, Abbott and Costello or just looking for a good comedy, then look no further.
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one of the best Abbott and Costello films.
kyle-mcdonald17 August 2007
This is another awesome bud Abbott and Lou Costello film and because of all the same reasons it has awesome comedy in it it has an awesome story line to it the acting is good in it the actors in it are good and also all the classic villains are back in it Bela Lugosi once again does a great Dracula, Glenn strange once again does a great Frankenstein's monster, and Lon Chaney Jr. once again does a great wolf man. everything in this is good. so i'm sure that you will not be disappointed with Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein because it is an awesome bud Abbott and Lou Costello film. so make sure that you rent or buy Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. and i'm sure that you will have a good time watching it and you will watch it over and over again.

overall score ********** out of **********

***** out of *****

also funny thing i just found out the studio was going to get some other guy to play Dracula because they thought that Bela Lugosi was dead but then his manager called them and then he got the part as Dracula one more time.
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Enough comic and classic elements to make it fun and funny.
secondtake22 May 2010
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

You might think this would be a silly and commercially exploitive movie. And so (therefore) it might end up badly done, a waste.

But not so. It's really funny and dramatic, drawing on the best of the old Monster actors (Lon Chaney Jr. in particular, but Bela Lugosi, too), and on the truly comic genius of Bud Abbott (the short one). The story is what you would expect in some ways, but the endless misreading of the situation by both Abbott (who's on to things and no one believes him) and Costello (who is the ultimate doubter) is a perfect set up for laughs and trickery.

Everything is cheap, and there is not real horror, for sure, but it's just great to see these people back in action. There's even an uncredited Vincent Price in the last scene, but he's hard to see. Ha ha. Check it out!
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My all time favorite movie
mercury425 April 2003
This has to be my all time favorite movie. I'll never forget the night my father brought it home for me when I was a little kid. It was my first Abbott and Costello movie. It was also my first Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi movie. That must be why I've liked the four of them all these years. I've been collecting Universal Monster movies and Abbott and Costello movies ever since. They're my favorite actors. They were a great combination. Glenn Strange was good too as the monster. He had a lot more screen time than he did in House of Frankenstein. I watch this movie now and I laugh my head off. I think this is the funniest movie I've ever seen because it gets funny every time I see it. I've been watching it for 15 years too. This movie I think deserved some kind of recognition because this isn't just some B movie. It's a classic. There is nothing I can say that's negative about this movie. People complain about the title. They say that Bud and Lou didn't meet Dr. Frankenstein. Yes, the title may say that, but no one ever said they did in the movie. The Monster has never been known as Frankenstein in any Universal movie. In fact, the name for him, The Monster or Frankenstein's Monster, was even copyrighted by Universal. They just put Frankenstein in the title because it sounds better. They do that with every movie; like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man or I Was A Teenage Frankenstein because it just sounds better. This movie has sentimental value to me. I'll cherish it forever. See this movie and you definitely will not be disappointed. You might love it just as much as I do.
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A Comedy-Horror, Not a Horror-Comedy
romanorum18 May 2012
Larry (Wolf Man): "In half and hour the moon will rise and I will turn into a wolf." Wilbur: "You and twenty million other guys."

In the motion picture's opening sequence, which is animated, Frankenstein's Monster knocks on the lids of two Mutt-and-Jeff coffins, which are opened to reveal two skeletons. They are so frightened when they see Frankenstein's Monster that they run and collide with each other; their bones fly in all directions and form the movie's actual title:


Of course Frankenstein means his monstrous creation, not the scientist himself. Today Frankenstein has come to mean the monster, but never mind. In foggy London during a full moon, a frantic Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) attempts to call an express office – located at a Florida coastal town – that employs Chick (Abbott) and Wilbur (Costello) to tell the freight handlers not to deliver the two crates that they had received. They contain the bodies of Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula (Bela Lugosi, in his second and last role in the part). They are scheduled to be delivered to McDougal's House of Horrors. But because of McDougal's insistence, the boys make the delivery. Not long after, we find Lou in a creepy cellar without lights (because of a lightning storm) as a coffin cover creaks open. Bela Lugosi gets out just before Chick arrives because of Wilbur's frantic screams (CHIIIIIIIICK!!!!). See Wilbur's nervous laughter, and nobody does the I-am-so-frightened-that-I-cannot-speak-routine better than Lou Costello. It seems the monsters come out only when Wilbur is around.

The troubled and empathetic Wolf Man tries to stop Dracula from his plan of reviving Frankenstein's Monster by transplanting Costello's moronic brain, which will make it easier for Dracula to control the monster. Meanwhile there are two women with key roles: Dr. Sandra Mornay (Lenore Aubert), a mad scientist in league with Dracula, and Joan Raymond (Jane Randolph), an insurance investigator who is trying to find out more about the crates. They are using their charms on Wilbur for their own ends, but Chick cannot figure out why Wilbur is such a ladies' man. Then there is a Gothic castle on an island off the coast of Florida. What will happen when the monsters start running amok during the denouement? Will Dracula and Sandra's evil plan to take Wilbur's brain succeed? Will we meet still another monster?

While it is true that the monsters fright gags and sight takes serve to support the boys of comedy, the formula is effective. And the monsters play their roles as monsters, not comedians. They are all effectual. No wonder that this film was Universal's second highest grossing movie of the entire year. It was Abbott and Costello at their peak, before their movie run became tired in the 1950s. If you only see one Abbott and Costello motion picture, this is the one.
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Very enjoyable comedy horror
Christopher_Reid20 March 2016
This is only time Bela Lugosi played Dracula apart from the 1931 original. And Lon Chaney plays the Wolf Man. It makes the movie much more fun that they have these original actors and I think they do the monsters justice. A big part of comedy is juxtaposition and this is a perfect situation for Bud Abbot and Lou Costello to be thrown into. I loved the way Costello kept seeing the monsters and going crazy and then the monsters were conveniently hidden when the other characters looked. His imitations of Frankenstein and Dracula are hilarious. His mania can be over-the-top in other movies but here he has very good reason to be afraid, barely able to stutter any useful information.

There's an effect where Dracula transforms into and out of a bat which I found pretty awesome and impressive for the time this movie was made. It was also cool seeing glimpses of the monsters battling each-other in the background as other things happened.

Some of my favourite comedic moments are: Costello unknowingly sitting on Frankenstein, the rotating hidden door, the coffin that keeps creaking open and the fact that Costello gets both women (Abbott makes up a story about a beautiful third girl to entice Costello to swap but Costello generously insists that Abbott can have her).

I think the film-makers understand how tension works and use it well. There is real suspense with the monsters and how far they'll get with their scheme. Dracula has his haunting eyes, Frankenstein's monster is imposing and inarticulate, The Wolf Man is conflicted by day and uncontrollably violent during a full moon.

Costello bases his comedy on emotions. His character is childish and simple. He's the first one to see everything but nobody listens to him. There are jokes but that's just one aspect. His style of comedy is timeless and silly. The main thing he needs are serious situations and characters to play off and this movie is a one-of-a- kind where his comedy especially shines. The fates of the monsters and the climax of the movie are also satisfying.
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Beloved Comedy!
Harpoon92420 July 2014
A lot of old movie books talk extensively about horror movie cycles. By 1948, the great 1930s-1940s cycle of Universal horror movies was pretty well played out. In a few years, we would all see aliens and atomic monsters until Hammer Studios kick started the whole thing again in the late 1950s in living color. In the meantime, Universal decided to give the genre a big send off, and the result was Abbott & Costello heading up probably the best horror movie comedy ever made. I was transfixed by this movie as a child in the 1970s. They always ran it around Halloween, and I got to watch it every year.

Lon Chaney Jr. plays it straight in what was probably one of the last good roles in his career (other than High Noon and some TV stuff). You can't say enough about Bela Lugosi. He was a great actor, after all, and I'm sure he only did this movie because he had to. Fortunately, they treated him with a great amount of respect in this film. He gets a good amount of screen time, and at no point do you get the impression that he's slumming in a did-it-for-the-money comedy.

This movie came out just a few years after A & C's frantic wartime run where they were putting out two to three quality titles a year. They didn't lose a step in this one. I really wish that a new generation could catch on to this movie and the rest of the Abbott and Costello greats. I notice they run less and less every year. Pretty soon, only the old timers will remember them.
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Historic monsters galore
SimonJack8 March 2014
Other reviews discuss the plot of this comedy sci-fi film. By its obvious comedy skein throughout, it's a little difficult to call it a horror flick. "Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein" was the second biggest box office draw for Universal in 1948. This type of comedy began to wane in the early 1950s. But we have some treasures like this to remember a time when slapstick, goofiness and witty lines combined in comedy pairs for entertainment.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello may not get the laughs among today's audiences that they did back then, but this is a good example of the type of wholesome comedy that ruled in the past. Abbott and Costello were family men who loved to entertain kids, and their string of monster comedies in the mid-20th century sure did that.

This film has some historical significance otherwise. It's the only movie made that I know of that had all three of the usual movie monsters in it – two of whom are the original actors to play those parts. Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Lon Chaney Jr. as Wolf Man made a number of straight sci-fi horror films before this time. Glenn Strange, as Frankenstein, was the second actor to play that role. Boris Karloff first made that character widely known through cinema.

While watching this movie today doesn't strike me with the same delight and wonder it did decades ago, I can see some of the glee yet in my grandkids as they watch this old time classic.
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Bud & Lou mix genres perfectly with Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., and Glenn Strange in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
tavm1 November 2012
With yesterday being Halloween, I spent the whole day watching various comedy teams' movies that happened to have scary stuff. I started it by watching one classic team-Laurel & Hardy-in The Live Ghost and ended it with another-Abbott & Costello-in which they meet Frankenstein (the monster) along with Dracula and the Wolf Man. Seven years after penning their haunted house comedy Hold That Ghost, Robert Lees & Frederic I. Rinaldo then wrote this-the first time the duo would meet some Universal monsters which would put Bud & Lou back in the motion picture Top Ten list after an absence of four years. Seeing Glenn Strange (the monster), Bela Lugosi (Dracula), and Lon Chaney Jr. (Larwrence Talbot, the Wolf Man) together was an additional treat especially when they were all characterized seriously enough to convincingly be depicted as threats when expertly mixed with the low comedy of Abbott & Costello. Costello's by now familiar hesitations when being frightened never gets old every time he uses them and Abbott's skepticism during most of the picture also adds to the humor immensely. Then there's the two women-Lenore Aubert and Jane Randolph-who convince Costello of their attraction to him while Abbott is constantly puzzled that also adds even more of the funny and this was possibly the most perfect of their classic movies. I also liked Frank Skinner's atmospheric score and Frank Ferguson's supporting role of the blustery Mr. McDougal. What really puts this picture at the top is the direction of Charles T. Barton as he mixes the genres to excellent effect. Oh, and as always, John Grant puts whatever variations of the Bud & Lou routines deemed suitable to fine effect. Really, all I'll say now is Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein is most wholeheartedly recommended. P.S. If Ms. Randolph looks familiar, you've probably seen her in the original Cat People and its sequel Curse of the Cat People. She was one of the last surviving cast members when she died in 2009. And in a tragic irony, writer Robert Lees was decapitated when he was killed in 2004.
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QUESTION: Can The Over-Active Abbott & Costello Find Happiness With A Troupe of Over-Used Monsters? ANSWER: But Of Course!!
redryan6418 June 2007
It is said that Lou Costello had reservations about making this movie. After the deed was done, Lou's mother reportedly told him that it was their best Picture, period.In this premise, we heartily concur.

Of the exact origin of this A & C Monsterfest, it can only be surmised. We had seen the Universal Horror Star Vehicles.It was the team-up or crossover of the characters from the previous Box Office Horror Film Successes. The Formula started with 1943's FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN. The series continued when the Kindly Transylvanian Count was added into the mix. The results were HOUSE of FANKENSTEIN (1944), which starred Boris Karloff as an Evil, Mad Scientist, rather than the Monster.

This was followed by HOUSE of Dracula (1945), which had all the Monster Gang back. To the mix was added Onslow Stevens as a sort of poor man's Jekyll & Hyde. At the conclusion of HOUISE OF Dracula, it was clear that this multi-monster repertory company approach was rapidly getting stale.

In a monologue on his 1940's Radio Show, Bob Hope quipped: "It was a slow day in Hollywood. Abbott and Costello only made one Movie!"* And so it was. Universal had two problem series to deal with. On the one hand, the Horror All-Stars was running out of gas. And the great appetite for proper and new feature length vehicles by Bud & Lou, continued to be a chronic problem. The answer lie in bringing them together in the unheard of hybrid film type , the Comedy-Horror genre.** MEET FRANKENSTEIN was the answer to the prayers of the Universal Pictures big wigs. They brought in the Proper mixture of staff from both Horror and Comedy to insure a proper treatment.

The result is a Feature Film of pure fun. There is barely a wasted moment in the entire hour and a half. The crew knew enough to play the Horror portion straight, and let 'The Boys' do the rest.

Once again, we see an example of just doing a good film. The crew had no pretensions of High Art, and in the end, we were all blessed with a Near Masterpiece.

* From 1940 to 1954, Bud and Lou made 33 Feature Films. In addition to multi picture deals with both Universal and MGM, they appeared in independently produced movies released under the banners of Warner Brothers, United Artists and Eagle-Lion Films. All of this work in addition to personal appearances, their 1940's Radio Show, their frequent TV appearances on THE COLGATE COMEDY HOUR (1953-55) and their own Television Show (1952-'53).

** Arguably, there have been other Films with both Horror and Comic tones alike. THE GORILLA (1939) with the Ritz Brothers and Bela Lugosi comes to mind, as well as Frank Capra;s ARSENIC and OLD LACE (1944)and so many "Old Dark House" type of spoofs. Both of these had been stage plays before being brought to the silver screen.

But, A & C MEET FRANKENSTEIN was the first to take the Monsters and play them straight against the comic reactions of The Boys. The film was so successful that the movie going public was treated to, ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF ('49), ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951), ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (1953) and ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY (1955). There was nothing that compared to these, until TV Series THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS (both 1964), and then the Gene Wilder/Mel Brooks' Masterpiece, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974).
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