Combustible Celluloid
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With: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Josephine Hutchinson, Donnie Dunagan, Emma Dunn, Edgar Norton, Perry Ivins, Lawrence Grant, Lionel Belmore, Michael Mark, Caroline Frances Cooke, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Lorimer Johnston
Written by: Wyllis Cooper, based on characters created by Mary Shelley
Directed by: Rowland V. Lee
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 99
Date: 01/13/1939

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Making Monsters

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Boris Karloff returned to play the monster in the third film in the series, even though director James Whale (of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein) had moved on to other things. Son of Frankenstein (1939) is actually very entertaining and visually striking, and retains much of the humor from the first two films. Basil Rathbone stars as the titular son, who moves his family to his father's old castle, and finds the body of the old monster. He, of course, tries to resurrect it to restore honor to the family name. Fans of Mel Brooks will notice many elements in this film inspiring Young Frankenstein (1974). Bela Lugosi also turns up here (in his fifth of eight films with Karloff), giving a very fine supporting performance as Ygor, the assistant with the twisted, broken neck. Ward Bond appears in a small, uncredited role. Frank Skinner provided the terrific score.

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