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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
Alternate Title: Wolf Man Meets Frankenstein
Director: Roy William Neill (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Mar 1943
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 5 Mar 1943
Production Date:   12 Oct--mid-Nov 1942
Duration (in mins):   72-73
Duration (in feet):   6,601
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Cast:   Ilona Massey (Baroness Elsa Frankenstein)  
    Patric Knowles (Dr. [Frank] Mannering)  
    Lionel Atwill (Mayor)  
    Bela Lugosi (Monster)  
    Maria Ouspenskaya (Maleva)  
    Dennis Hoey (Inspector Owen)  
    Don Barclay (Franzec)  
    Rex Evans (Vazec)  
    Dwight Frye (Rudi)  
    Harry Stubbs (Guno)  
    Lon Chaney [Jr.] (The Wolf Man [Lawrence Stewart Talbot])  
    Adia Kuznetzoff (Singer)  
    Martha MacVicar (Margareta)  
    Torben Meyer (Erno)  
    Charles Irwin (Constable)  
    Doris Lloyd (Nurse)  
    Jeff Corey (Grave digger)  
    David Clyde (Sergeant)  
    Tom Stevenson (Grave robber)  
    Cyril Delevanti (Grave robber)  

Summary: During a full moon, two Llanwelly grave robbers break into the tomb of the Talbot family, where they inadvertently awaken werewolf Lawrence Stewart Talbot. Later, an injured Larry is taken to Queen's Hospital, where he operated on by Dr. Frank Mannering. He is then questioned by Inspector Owen as to the nature of his skull fracture, of which Larry has no memory. Owen calls the Llanwelly police station, where he is told that Larry has been dead for four years. With the next full moon, Larry once again transforms into a werewolf, breaks out of the hospital and kills an unsuspecting policeman. The next morning, Larry tells Mannering and Owen of his werewolf curse, but is not believed. Mannering tells Owen that Larry is suffering from a brain injury and has become a "lycanthrope," a man who imagines himself to be a wolf. Later, Mannering and Owen travel to Llanwelly, where they visit the Talbot tomb and discover that Larry's body is indeed missing. Mannering then learns that Larry has escaped from the hospital, having bitten through his straightjacket. Larry searches numerous gypsy camps until he finds Maleva, the mother of the werewolf who infected him. She agrees to watch over him and offers to take him to a man who "can help him." They travel across Europe to the village of Vasaria, only to learn that the man, Dr. Frankenstein, has died. As they leave the village, a full moon appears and Larry kills once again. The townspeople rally together to find the murdering "wolf," and chase Larry into the ruins of the Frankenstein castle, where he awakens the Monster from its icy grave. Later, Larry meets with Frankenstein's daughter, Baroness Elsa, pretending that he wishes to purchase the old castle. He asks her for her father's records, but she claims no knowledge of them. That night, the Festival of the New Wine begins, and the mayor asks both Elsa and Larry to attend. When a singer wishes Larry "eternal life," he becomes upset and disrupts the festival. Later, Mannering arrives at the festival, having followed Larry's murderous path across Europe. The Monster then enters the town and Larry is forced to help it escape. The next day, the citizens once again seek to kill the Monster, but are afraid to wander the unknown catacombs of the Frankenstein castle. Elsa offers to help them search the castle's ruins, and Mannering states that he will kill the Monster using the same artificial means by which it was created. Along with Elsa and Maleva, the physician goes to the castle, and there Elsa unearths her father's secret diaries. From these books, Mannering learns that he can kill the Monster only by reversing its electrical currents. He also concludes that Larry can be killed by artificially draining the energy from his body. The townspeople, however, begin to worry when they see Mannering re-assembling Frankenstein's machinery. The innkeeper, Vazec, proposes that they blow up the dam above the castle and drown all its inhabitants, but the mayor discounts his mad ravings. Despite his promises to Elsa and the townspeople, Mannering refuses to kill the two monsters, and, in fact, reverses the experiment to increase their powers. The full moon comes out, and Larry transforms into a werewolf just in time to save Elsa from the regenerated Monster. The two creatures fight each other as Mannering and Elsa escape the castle, and Vazec blows up the dam. The flood waters destroy the castle, sending the Monster and the Wolf Man, seemingly, to their watery graves. 

Production Company: Universal Pictures Company, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures Company, Inc.  
Director: Roy William Neill (Dir)
  Melville Shyer (Asst dir)
Producer: George Waggner (Prod)
Writer: Curt Siodmak (Orig scr)
Photography: George Robinson (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: John Goodman (Art dir)
  Martin Obzina (Assoc)
Film Editor: Edward Curtiss (Film ed)
Set Decoration: R. A. Gausman (Set dec)
  E. R. Robinson (Assoc)
Costumes: Vera West (Gowns)
Music: H. J. Salter (Mus dir)
Sound: Bernard B. Brown (Dir of sd)
  William Fox ([Sd] tech)
Special Effects: John P. Fulton (Spec photog eff)
Make Up: Jack P. Pierce (Makeup artist)
Country: United States
Language: English
Series: The Wolf Man

Music: Night on Bald Mountain by Modeste Moussorgsky.
Songs: "Faro-La, Faro-Li," lyrics by Curt Siodmak.
Composer: Modeste Moussorgsky
  Curt Siodmak

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Co., Inc. 31/12/1942 dd/mm/yyyy LP11965

PCA NO: 9024
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Horror
 
Subjects (Major): Fathers and daughters
  Monsters
  Nobility
  Physicians
  Police inspectors
  Werewolves
 
Subjects (Minor): Castles
  Dams
  Diaries
  Dynamite
  Escapes
  Europe
  Festivals
  Fights
  Cemeteries
  Grave robbers
  Gypsies
  Hospitals
  Innkeepers
  Mayors
  Nurses

Note: The working title of this film was Wolf Man Meets Frankenstein . It was the first in a series of Universal horror films in which the studio teamed two or more of its famous "monsters" in a single film. HR news items state that actor Lon Chaney, Jr. was originally assigned to play both the role of "The Monster" and "The Wolf Man," but producer George Waggner decided that the makeup required for both parts was too extensive. Bela Lugosi was then cast in the role of "The Monster," a part, modern sources state, he was offered and turned down in the original 1931 Universal film Frankenstein . HR later reported that Lugosi collapsed on the set in early Nov 1943, when he became ill from the strain caused by the thirty-five pounds of makeup required for the role. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man was the last film Lugosi would make at Universal. Actress Maria Ouspenskaya also suffered a broken ankle on the set of the film, which required brief hospitalization.
       While the film was in production, actor Lionel Atwill was sentenced to five-year's probation for perjury in a case involving a Christmas party held at his home in 1940. (For more information on the Atwill scandal, please see the entry below for Man Made Monster .) According to modern sources, scenes were removed from the released film which showed that the Monster was blind (a reference to the ending of the 1942 Universal film The Ghost of Frankenstein [see entry below,]) and that the Monster's sight was later restored by Patric Knowles's character, "Dr. Frank Mannering." Modern sources also state that Eddie Parker and Gil Perkins worked as stunt men on the production and include Beatrice Roberts ( Varja ) in the cast. Martha MacVicar made her feature film debut in this film and later became more well known under the name Martha Vickers. For more information on the aforementioned Universal series, please consult the Series Index and see the entries for Frankenstein ( AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1465) and The Wolf Man (see below). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   6 Mar 1943.   
Daily Variety   19 Feb 43   p. 3.
Film Daily   1 Mar 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Oct 42   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Oct 42   p. 2, 4
Hollywood Reporter   13 Oct 42   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Oct 42   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Oct 42   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Nov 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Nov 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Feb 43   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   27 Feb 43   p. 1181.
New York Times   6 Mar 43   p. 8.
Variety   24 Feb 43   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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