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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) Reply with quote

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Number five in the Frankenstein series is a popular favorite with younger fans because it promises a big fight between two classic monsters. Unfortunately the fight doesn't come until the very end, it doesn't last very long, and . . . it isn't worth the wait.

After being killed in "The Wolf Man", Lon Chaney, Jr.'s body is dug up by jewelry-seeking grave robbers one night during a full moon. Chaney comes back to life and kills one of the grave robbers while the other one flees in terror.

In an effort to be cured-or-killed, Chaney goes to the old gypsy woman from the original film for help.

Chaney discovers the comatose Frankenstein monster (Bela Lugosi), which doctor/scientist Patric Knowles wants to revive. The big battle takes place at the climax of the film, terminated all too soon by a flood when the local villagers blow up a nearby dam

The casting of Lugosi as the monster was ironically appropriate, because the brain of Ygor (played by Lugosi) was surgically implanted into the monster at the end of "Ghost of Frankenstein". The monster goes blind because Ygor's blood type is wrong for the monster's body.

Curt Siodmak's original script for "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" retained this physical handicap from the previous story. But before the film was released, Universal studios edited out all dialogue referring to the monster's blindness.

As a result, Lugosi's performance appears oddly stilted and wooden; he walks around with his arms are outstretched in zombie fashion. This was simply Lugosi's way of portraying a blind, groping monster.

Unfortunately, this behavior became the traditional posture for the Frankenstein creation, a set of misunderstood mannerisms that are now the accepted cliche' for anyone imitating this famous character.

Fine direction is provided by Roy William Neill. Also starring Lionel Atwill, Rex Evans, Dwight Frye, Dennis Hoey, and Ilona Massey. Followed by a sequel: "House of Frankenstein".

Thought For The Day: Lon Chaney, Jr. originally became the Wolf Man because he was bitten by a werewolf. It would be logical, therefore, to assume that the Frankenstein monster suffered this fate after his fight with the Wolf Man. Therefore, the sequel to the above film should have been called "Frankenstein IS the Wolf Man!"

Now, that would have been a scary monster!

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Tue May 08, 2018 7:57 am; edited 5 times in total
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Pow
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big, big fan of FMTWM.

The opening scene where the grave robbers are in the graveyard at night with the wind swirling leaves all around is quite eerie.

Yes, the fight is too brief & comes at the finale of the movie but its still a humdinger.

Universal was pleased at the success of this film, so their next project was to be Dracula Meets The Wolf Man. They thought it'd be clever (aka cheaper) to have Lon play both roles of the count & Talbot.

Then someone pointed out that it would be odd, as well as confusing, to have both Dracula & Talbot look so much alike. Laughing
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Rocky Jones
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of the best of the classic original monster series, all right. Just Lugosi playing the monster makes the film a great trivia question. I think I actually liked Glenn Strange's version better than his, though.

This thread's title and the above movie poster in the top post demonstrate an odd naming conflict that's been prevalent in referring to these film for a very long time. The film's title was "Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man", with "Wolf" and "Man" as separate words. However the same poster names the character "Wolfman" — one word. The 1941 film with Lon Chaney Jr. was titled "The Wolf Man", but the 2010 remake was titled "The Wolfman".

I'd have to say I prefer "Wolf Man" since "Wolfman" sort of sounds like a not altogether uncommon surname like "Bob Wolfman". I can't blame those who vary the use of it, though, considering this film even varied it on the same poster.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocky Jones wrote:
This thread's title and the above movie poster in the top post demonstrate an odd naming conflict that's been prevalent in referring to these film for a very long time. The film's title was "Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man", with "Wolf" and "Man" as separate words.

Thanks, Rocky! I fixed the title of the thread. Good call on that name discrepancy.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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It's Friday the 13th, a great day to watch Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Enjoy the trailer.


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__Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Official Trailer


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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Tue May 08, 2018 8:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A reminder that this movie is available on Blu-ray in both the Frankenstein and Wolf Man Legacy sets recently released by Universal. The audio/video quality is very highly rated.

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Frankenstein-Meets-the-Wolf-Man-Blu-ray/159995/#Review
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocky Jones wrote:
. . . I'd have to say I prefer "Wolf Man" since "Wolfman" sort of sounds like a not altogether uncommon surname like "Bob Wolfman".

Wolfman, Gillman and Spiderman could be a monster/superhero law firm!
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Pow
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the battle between the Wolf Man & the monster is all too brief & kept from the audience until the finale of this film, Bud.

However, they do have some grand moments.

The scene where the Wolf Man is on top of a huge piece of laboratory equipment & the monster hurls it across the room is an incredible sequence.

It really shows the fantastic strength of the monster like no other scene in any of the Universal movies had ever shown before.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Enjoy these trivia items from IMDB! Very Happy
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The dialogue spoken by the Monster in the film was edited out before the film's release. His dialogue in the film spoke of his desire to control the world but Universal executives feared that World War II audiences would find it too close to Adolf Hitler's own rhetoric.

Note from me: Hmmm. The idea that The Monster had plans to become a global dictator just doesn't fit with his traditional character: non-violet unless provoked, somewhat erratic, and not overly intelligent.

Originally, Lon Chaney Jr. was to play both the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster, but the producers decided the make-up demands and schedule wouldn't permit this. Late in life Chaney stated in an interview that he did, however, play both monsters in the film. He may well have been referring, correctly, to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) where he briefly doubled Glenn Strange after Strange broke an ankle throwing a woman through the laboratory skylight near the end of the film. You can actually see Strange stumble but keep upright after the throw.

Note from me: In the thread for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein I mentioned that since the Wolf Man probably bit The Monster during the fight, he should have turned into a werewolf during the full moon. The next movie could have been Frankenstein IS the Wolf Man.

Isn't it ironic that the studio considered having Chaney play both roles? If my whimsical suggestion had actually become a movie, Chaney could have played the FrankenWolf Monster in the sequel without ever having to be both characters in the same scene — which would have certainly been the case during the fight in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man!

But this next item explains why Chaney didn't even play the Wolf Man in the fight scenes.

Stuntman Gil Perkins doubled for Bela Lugosi in the action scenes, as well as the scene of the Monster being released from the ice. In the climactic fight scene, Eddie Parker doubled Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man, while Gil Perkins took over as the Monster. Based on interviews given years later, Perkins may have also doubled Chaney's Wolf Man in the chase scene through the woods into the castle ruins. Some film scholars insist Eddie Parker appears as the Monster in a handful of shots in the climax.

Note from me: The bad thing about playing a monster like the Wolf Man is that actors like Chaney must spend hours having the make-up applied. Sad

The good thing about playing a monster like the Wolf Man is that somebody else can wear the make-up and the audience never knows the difference. Very Happy

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rick
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Late in life Chaney stated in an interview that he did, however, play both monsters in the film. He may well have been referring, correctly, to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) where he briefly doubled Glenn Strange after Strange broke an ankle throwing a woman through the laboratory skylight near the end of the film. You can actually see Strange stumble but keep upright after the throw.

This is slightly mistaken. Strange had indeed injured his ankle but not while throwing the woman out the window. That sequence and the Monster's immediate turnaround afterward was all Chaney. Strange's injury occurred before the defenestration.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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The Retro channel showed this movie recently, and the first scene with Talbot and the old gypsy included a line by Talbot that refutes my suggestion that the Frankenstein monster would turn into a werewolf after the fight with the Wolf Man.

Talbot said that the gypsy woman's son bit him just before Talbot killed him with the silver wolf's head cane. Doing this caused the werewolf curse to be passed on to poor Talbot.

Therefore the Frankenstein monster wouldn't turn into a werewolf just be being bitten by the Wolf Man. He'd have to kill the Wolf Man afterwards in one of the traditional ways in order to be "cursed" like Talbot was.

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