Friday, October 21, 2005

Son of Frankenstein

"He's my friend. He does things for me."
This rather ambiguous statement was made by Ygor in "Son of Frankenstein."
It was the second sequel to James Whale's "Frankenstein" but stylistically closer to the first one of "Bride of Frankenstein."
Having said that, Miss Maven must admit to changes: The Monster learned how to talk in "Bride . . ." but in "Son of . . ." reverts to the grunts of the original.
A bubbling sulfur pit has been added underneath the watch-tower that was home of Frankenstein's laboratory in the first two movies.
Mrs. Frankenstein (Josephine Hutchinson) finds the ancestral home oppressive to the point that one of the servants tells her that
"If the house is filled with dread,
Place the beds at head to head."
Ms. Hutchinson is just one of the acting pool that appear in this movie.
Lionel Atwill is Inspector Krogh in a memorable role, with a prosthetic right arm to replace his own that the Monster tore off when Krogh was a child.
Dwight Frye and Michael Mark (Maria's father) are carry-overs from the original "Frankenstein."
(Rathbone, Karloff share a delightful moment
with Donnie Dunagan.)
Donnie Dunagan plays Peter von Frankenstein, complete with hair done up with a curling iron every morning! This is just one of the things that Miss Maven found at www.donniedunagan.com that he began because of all the fans who have remembered his childhood role in "Son of Frankenstein."
Bela Lugosi plays Ygor well under an makeup that hides his face even more than the role of the Frankenstein Monster would have if he'd taken the role in the original. He didn't take it partly because that makeup hid his looks (so legend has it).
What heaped irony on irony was that he played the Monster in "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" in 1943.
Boris Karloff had better luck.
Both Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr., played the Monster and Chaney played Dracula "Son of Dracula," Karloff never had to play any other monsters than the ones that he created himself at Universal.
(Boris Karloff being madeup by Jack Pierce.)
His third foray as Frankenstein's Monster outshines both Basil Rathbone and Bela Lugosi who give excellent jobs in this movie.
(Karloff, Rathbone and Lugosi in the laboratory.)
Miss Maven recommends that you check it out.
Miss Maven also recommends that this classic horror movie is a gottahave if you don't already have it!

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