“Man-Made Monster” was directed by veteran film director George Waggner. Around the same year that “Man-Made Monster” was released, Waggner directed another landmark Universal monster feature, “The Wolf Man” (1941). During the latter part of his career, Waggner directed 10 episodes of the live-action “Batman” TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward from 1966-67, according to IMDB.
Who was in “Man-Made Monster” (1941)?
The players who appeared in “Man-Made Monster” were Lon Chaney Jr. (as Dan McCormick), Lionel Atwill (as Dr. Paul Rigas), Anne Nagel (as June Lawrence), Frank Albertson (as Mark Adams), Samuel S. Hinds (as Dr. John Lawrence), William B. Davidson (as Dist. Attorney Ralph B. Stanley), Ben Taggart (as Detective Sergeant Regan), Constance “Connie” Bergen (as a nurse), Chester Gan (as Wong), Frank O’Connor (as a Police Detective) and George Meader (as Dr. Bruno).
The junior Chaney would also appear in the title role of Lawrence “Larry” Talbot/The “Wolf Man” in Waggner’s hit Universal monster feature, “The Wolf Man” (1941, with Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, Evelyn Ankers, Warren William and Patric Knowles).
One year before “Man-Made Monster,” Anne Nagel played the role of Jean in the fifth film of Universal Studios’ “Invisible Man” franchise, “The Invisible Woman” (1940, with Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, Charlie Ruggles, Shemp Howard, Margaret Hamilton and Oscar Homolka).
Lionel Atwill appeared in numerous Universal monster features throughout his acting career, including “Son of Frankenstein” (1939, as Inspector Krogh), “The Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942, as Dr. Theodore Bohmer) and “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” (1944, as the Mayor).
Both Frank Albertson and Samel S. Hinds later appeared in Frank Capra’s Christmastime classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946, Albertson played the role of Sam Wainwright and Hinds played the role of “Pa” Bailey).
Original working titles for “Man-Made Monster”
According to the American Film Institute’s database article on “Man-Made Monster,” there were several original working titles for Waggner’s Universal monster feature; including “The Mysterious Dr. R.,” “The Mysterious Dr. X.” “ The Human Robot” and “The Electric Man” (Waggner’s film was adapted from an original short story that was written by H. J. Essex, Sid Schwartz and Len Golos, which was also titled “The Electric Man”).
A promotional gimmick from a movie theater in Memphis
According to the May 1941 edition of “Motion Picture Herald,” the Warner Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee (owned by Universal’s rival, Warner Bros. until the 1948 anti-consent decree where studios were forbidden to own theaters throughout the nation) showcased the Universal-Waggner production of “Man Made Monster.” To promote the release of the film, the Warner-owned cinema house sent out theater official Jimmie Barnes dressed as a mechanical robot-like figure with “blinking” eyes.
Memphis’ Warner Theatre was sold in 1968 and was later demolished, according to Cinema Treasures.
Re-issued by Realart under another title
Waggner’s pre-“Wolf Man” Universal monster thriller was re-issued theatrically by Realart Pictures in 1951, under the title of “Atomic Monster;” according to the AFI database.
Watch or record Svengoolie’s showcase of “Man-Made Monster” (1941), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Be sure to watch or record Svengoolie’s upcoming showcase of “Man-Made Monster” (1941), this Sat. on the airlanes of Me-TV! With the junior Chaney, an ensemble cast along with Sven’s additional fun facts, Doug Graves’ tune of the evening and Kerwyn’s famous “mail call” segment, you won’t want to miss out on the big broadcast! Highly recommended to all fellow SvenPals and fellow aficionados of classic Universal monster features from coast-to-coast!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/Fios 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248
Join in on the fun with all fellow #Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast during Sven’s presentation of “Man-Made Monster” (1941) on Me-TV via Twitter!
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