Son of Frankenstein (1939)

“Nothing in nature is terrifying when one understands it.” The third film in Universal’s Frankenstein series and the sequel to Bride of Frankenstein (1935), the reasonably entertaining Son of Frankenstein was directed by Rowland V. Lee (who also directed The Son of Monte Cristo in 1940!) and starred Basil Rathbone as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein, Boris Karloff as The Monster, Bela Lugosi as Ygor, Josephine Hutchinson as Elsa von Frankenstein and Lionel Atwill as the one-armed Inspector Krogh, who gets to deliver the film’s most memorable line, “One does not easily forget, Herr Baron, an arm torn out by the roots.” The tagline screamed, “The black shadows of the past bred this half-man … half-demon! … creating a new and terrible juggernaut of destruction!” Peter Lorre was all set to portray Baron Wolf von Frankenstein before reportedly falling ill. Son of Frankenstein represented Karloff’s last appearance in the role of The Monster. In The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), Lon Chaney, Jr. portrayed The Monster, followed by Lugosi himself in 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (Chaney portrayed the Wolf Man!).

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