The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based horror film host will present the third installment of Universal’s “Frankenstein” monster franchise series, “Son of Frankenstein” (1939); this Sat., Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
The 1939 Universal “Frankenstein” entry was directed by Rowland V. Lee, who also directed “The Toast of New York” (1935) for RKO Radio Pictures (featuring Cary Grant, Edward Arnold, Frances Farmer and Jack Oakie).
Who was in “Son of Frankenstein” (1939)?
The players who appeared in “Son of Frankenstein” (1939) were Boris Karloff (as Frankenstein’s monster), Basil Rathbone (as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein), Bela Lugosi (as Ygor), Josephine Hutchinson (as Elsa von Frankenstein), Donnie Dunagan (as Peter von Frankenstein), Emma Dunn (as Amelia), Edgar Norton (as Thomas Benson), Perry Ivins (as Fritz), Lawrence Grant (as the Burgomaster) and Caroline Frances Cooke (as Frau Neumüller).
This marked the fourth screen pairing of Universal’s monster/horror superstars, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Both Karloff and Lugosi previously appeared together in “The Black Cat” (1932), “The Raven” (1935) and “The Invisible Ray” (1936). “Son of Frankenstein” marked Karloff’s third and final silver screen appearance as Frankenstein’s monster. Lugosi would reprise his role of Ygor in the studio’s “Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942).
The same year that Basil Rathbone appeared in the role of Baron Wolf von Frankenstein in “Son of Frankenstein,” he went onto greater fame as Sherlock Holmes in Sidney Lanfield’s screen adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (1939, with Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson). Rathbone appeared in 13 more “Sherlock Holmes” features with Bruce from 1939-46 (the first two “Sherlock Holmes” films were Twentieth Century Fox productions, the 12 remaining “Holmes” features were Universal productions).
Josephine Hutchinson later played the role of Mrs. Townsend in Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense mystery for MGM, “North by Northwest” (1959, with Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, Leo G. Carroll, James Mason and Martin Landau). Donnie Dunagan would later lend his vocalization talents in Walt Disney’s animated classic, “Bambi” (1942, in an uncredited role as the voice of young “Bambi”).
“Son of Frankenstein” (1939): Originally meant as a vehicle for Lorre w/Karloff and Lugosi
According to the American Film Institute’s entry on “Son of Frankenstein” (1939), Peter Lorre was originally considered to appear in the third Universal “Frankenstein” entry with Karloff and Lugosi. Lorre was unable to appear in “Son of Frankenstein,” due to his commitment to the “Mr. Moto” series of detective films at rival studio Twentieth Century Fox. His main reason for passing on “Son of Frankenstein” was to avoid being typecast in villainous roles.
Jack Pierce’s make-up design for Karloff in “Son of Frankenstein” (1939)
Veteran Universal make-up artist Jack Pierce worked on Boris Karloff’s facial make-up transformation into the Frankenstein monster for four hours, according to additional details found in the AFI database entry.
Re-released as a double feature with another Universal “Frankenstein” classic
According to a latter Realart/Film Classics poster that was recently unearthed on IMDB, Universal’s “Son of Frankenstein” was re-issued with another Universal Karloff “Frankenstein” gem; “Bride of Frankenstein” (directed by James Whale in 1935, with Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Una O’Connor and Dwight Frye).
Be sure to watch (or record) Svengoolie’s upcoming showcase of “Son of Frankenstein” (1939), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Karloff, Lugosi, Rathbone, Hutchinson, Atwill, Dunagan and an ensemble cast, you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s upcoming big broadcast of “Son of Frankenstein” (1935), this Sat. on Me-TV! A perfect kick-off film for Aug. with Sven’s additional fun facts/sketches, Doug Graves’ parody song of the evening and Kerwyn’s “mail call!” You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended to all fellow Svengoolie SvenPals and fellow aficionados of classic Universal Studios monster features!
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
Live-tweet during #Svengoolie’s big Me-TV broadcast of “Son of Frankenstein” with all fellow coast-to-coast SvenPals this Sat. (via Twitter)!
For fellow Chicago/Berwyn SvenPals or fellow SvenPals that will be traveling to the greater Chicago/Berwyn area:
Svengoolie will be making an appearance at the 2018 “Flashback Weekend Horror Convention”at the Crowne Plaza/Chicago O’Hare Hotel (5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018) on Sat., Aug. 4! Sven will be signing autographs from 2-4 p.m. (local time, at the Ideation Lounge), and will host the “Sinister Visions” costume contest from 4:15-5 p.m. (local time at the Crowne Plaza Ballroom 1)! Sven will also be participating in the “Celebrity Photo-Op” contest (separate tickets must be purchased, more information on photo-op appearance times can be found on the “Flashback Weekend/Celeb Photo-Ops” site)!
Sven’s alter-ego, Rich Koz will also be participating in the Lincoln Zoo’s “Bowling for Rhinos” event at the Diversey River Bowl (2211 West Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60647) to benefit the Lincoln Park American Association of Zoo Keepers on Tue., Aug. 21 from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (local time, according to Sven’s official website)! An auction will also be held to benefit the zoo’s AAZK organization; including an ostrich egg featuring Sven’s artwork! Benefit tickets are now available via Eventbrite!
To our fellow Chicago/Berwyn SvenPals and fellow SvenPals who are traveling to Chicago/Berwyn, have fun during Sven’s “Flashback Weekend” appearance and “Bowling For Rhinos” benefit with Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz! -C.H.
Ed. Note: (Belated) one-year anniversary of my Sven/Kerwyn Hood College graduation photo appearance!
Flashback: Sven and Kerwyn’s “mail call” from Svengoolie’s July 29, 2017 big broadcast of “Calling Dr. Death” (1943, a Universal “Inner Sanctum” mystery with Lon Chaney Jr.), recorded by fellow super SvenPal Fritz Freakenstein!
One Year Ago: On the evening of Sat., July 29, 2017; fellow Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast were jumping for joy over my “official chicken thrower” Sven T-shirt cameo appearance during Sven and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment for the Universal/Lon Chaney Jr. “Inner Sanctum” mystery, “Calling Dr. Death” (1943) on Me-TV!
Again, I would like to thank all of my fellow coast-to-coast Svengoolie SvenPals for all the wonderful greetings! Cheers, kudos, peace and “Hi-Keeba” to all my fellow Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast! I highly appreciate everyone’s greetings!
And thank you to Sven and Kerwyn for showing my Hood College/”official chicken thrower” Sven T-shirt graduation photo during “Calling Dr. Death” back on July 29, 2017! Here’s to many more Sven Sat. showcases with my fellow SvenPals everywhere! -C.H.
In relation to “Son of Frankenstein” (1939):
Additional 1939 “Son of Frankenstein” article supplements from “Motion Picture Herald,” “The Movies and the People that Make Them” and “National Box Office Digest” (part 1 and part 2), from the Lantern Media History Archive
“Son of Frankenstein” is also available in Universal’s classic “Frankenstein” monster franchise anthology set on Blu-Ray and DVD, “Frankenstein: The Complete Legacy Collection.” The film is also available in Universal’s double-feature DVD set with “Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942). “Ghost of Frankenstein” is also available for purchase on select authorized streaming/digital download providers.