Day 31: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Cast: Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula
Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot aka The Wolf Man
Bud Abbott as Chick
Lou Costello as Wilbur
Glenn Strange as The Monster
Vincent Price as The Invisible Man
Written by Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo & John Grant
Directed by Charles Barton (Africa Screams)
Plot: Chick and Wilbur are freight movers assigned to deliver two wooden crates to the House of Horrors. However, they discover they contain the bodies of The Frankenstein Monster and Count Dracula. Apparently, Count Dracula wants to steal Wilbur’s brain for The Monster to better control him. And the Wolf Man is nearby as well, resulting in madcap insanity.
Personal Thoughts: Lugosi is back here for the first time in 17 years to officially play Dracula. Honestly, I felt he played the part with far less vampiric tendencies and more of a mad scientist. But there were moments where he clearly was channeling his previous work in Dracula (1931). It was great to see him headline a main studio film for the last time. He has several moments to shine in this movie, really for the last time in his career. The Wolf Man seems to be almost an afterthought to the plot at times. Lon was much better in his first four films as he seems to just be walking through the role here. Bud and Lou are funny as usual and Vincent Price’s cameo at the end is…priceless! If you’ve lived under a rock and never seen this one, you should correct that major oversight as soon as possible.
- Last of the original Universal Monsters series.
- Lou Costello originally did not want to do the movie. He relented only after receiving a $50,000 salary advance and the signing of director Charles Barton.
- Karloff did publicity work for the movie despite never seeing it.
- The first Universal monster movie not to use the make-up work of Jack Pierce. You could definitely tell a difference.
- Glenn Strange’s first and only time to speak as The Monster.
- Lon Chaney does play The Monster in one scene due to Glenn Strange breaking his ankle. It’s fairly noticeable once you know when to look for it.
- This movie successfully revived the Abbott and Costello series, leading to such other monsters as The Mummy and The Invisible Man facing off against the popular comedic duo.
- Watch the trailer on YouTube.
- Universal Blu-ray (and a wide variety of other single releases and sets)
- As a bonus, listen to episode 15 of the Monster Kid Radio podcast and tell Derek Monster Movie Kid sent you!