The 1944 Universal monster feature was directed by veteran film director Erle C. Kenton. Before going into film directing, Kenton was part of Mack Sennett’s original silent “Keystone Kops” comedy troupe, according to IMDB. Kenton also directed the Paramount Pictures screen adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “Island of Lost Souls” (1932). His other Universal monster features include “Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942) and “House of Dracula” (1945).
This will mark Sven’s fifth big broadcast of “House of Frankenstein” (1944) on Me-TV. He previously showcased Kenton’s 1944 Universal monster entry back in Nov. 2013, April 2014, Dec. 2015 and Jan. 2017.
Who was in “House of Frankenstein” (1944)?
The players who appeared in Kenton’s Universal monster entry were Boris Karloff (as Dr. Gustav Niemann), Lon Chaney Jr. (as Larry Talbot/the “Wolf Man”), Glenn Strange (as Frankenstein’s monster), John Carradine (as Dracula, a.k.a. Baron Latos), J. Carrol Naish (as Daniel), Lionel Atwill (as Inspector Arnz), George Zucco (as Prof. Bruno Lampini), Anne Gwynne (as Rita Hussman), Peter Coe (as Carl Hussman), Sig Ruman (as Hussman), Elena Verdugo (as Ilonka), Philip Van Zandt (as Inspector Muller) and Frank Reicher (as Ullman).
This was Glenn Strange’s first time portraying the role of Frankenstein’s monster in a Universal monster feature. Strange would reprise his role two more times in “House of Dracula” (1945) and Universal’s smash monster farce with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948, directed by Charles Barton). Alongside his Universal appearances as Frankenstein’s monster, Strange appeared in numerous “B” westerns throughout his acting career.
According to details from IMDB, Boris Karloff; who was cast in the role of Dr. Niemann in Kenton’s Universal monster feature, trained Glenn Strange for his role of Frankenstein’s monster for “House of Frankenstein.” Karloff originally played Frankenstein’s monster in “Frankenstein” (1931), “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935, with Elsa Lanchester as the monster’s mate) and “Son of Frankenstein” (1939).
This marked Lon Chaney Jr.’s third Universal screen appearance as Larry “Wolf Man” Talbot after “The Wolf Man” (1941, directed by George Waggner) and “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” (1943, directed by Roy William Neill). “House of Frankenstein” (1944) marked the first time that veteran Universal horror actor John Carradine played the role of Dracula for the studio’s monster feature franchise, according to the American Film Institute’s article on “House of Frankenstein.”
Original working titles for “House of Frankenstein” (1944)
According to IMDB’s trivia portal on “House of Frankenstein” (1944), the original working title for Kenton’s feature was “The Devil’s Brood.”
No sign of the “Mummy”
Universal’s “Mummy” (known as “Kharis”), was originally slated to be one of the studio “monster” personalities in “House of Frankenstein.” No known actor was considered to play the role of the “Mummy” in Kenton’s film. Due to budgetary matters, the character was dropped from the production, according to additional details from IMDB.
“House of Frankenstein:” Filmed in 30 days
The filming of Kenton’s Universal monster feature took 30 days to complete. The overall estimated budget of the production was $354,000; according to IMDB. “House of Frankenstein” was released to theaters from coast-to-coast on Dec. 1, 1944.
Be sure to watch Svengoolie and his big broadcast showcase of “House of Frankenstein” (1944), this Sat. on the airlanes of Me-TV!
With Karloff, the junior Chaney, Strange, Carradine, Naish, Atwill, Zucco, Gwynne, Coe, Ruman, Verdugo, Van Zandt, Reicher and an ensemble cast, you will not be disappointed in Svengoolie’s upcoming big broadcast showcase of “House of Frankenstein” (1944), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Highly recommended for all fellow coast-to-coast SvenPals and Universal monster aficionados with Sven’s extended fun facts, Doug Graves’ song of the evening and Kerwyn’s famous “mail call” segment! You will not be disappointed!
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 “House of Frankenstein” (1944) this Sat. with all fellow SvenPals from coast-to-coast (via Twitter)!
A recent article on Sven’s recent 2018 “Flashback Weekend” horror convention appearance and Sven’s appearance at the 2018 “Flashback Weekend” costume contest from fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes and his “Terror From Beyond the Daves” blog site!
For our fellow Chicago/Berwyn-area SvenPals and/or those who will be traveling to the Chicago/Berwyn area!
Sven will be making an appearance at the Lemont Area Historical Society’s “A Night of Magic and Mystery Masquerade Ball” event on Sat., Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Slovenian Cultural Center/14252 Main St., Lemont, Illinois 60439! The ticket prices will include autographs and photo sessions with Sven, plus psychic readings, an open bar a wandering magician and much more! Information on ticket purchasing can be found on Sven’s official Facebook site for the event! Note: Must be 21+ to attend.
To our fellow Berwyn/Chicago SvenPals and our fellow traveling SvenPals that are attending, have fun at Sven’s upcoming Lemont appearance! -C.H.
In relation to “House of Frankenstein” (1944):
“House of Frankenstein” (1944) is available as part of Universal’s multi-film anthology series set, “Frankenstein: The Complete Legacy Collection” on Blu-Ray and DVD! The film is also available in Universal’s double-feature DVD set, paired with “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” (1943)!