The landmark 1931 film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel was directed by Tod Browning. Karl Freund was the cinematographer for Browning’s film. After his work in cinema, Freund would help design the pioneering 35mm three-camera setup for television (with three simultaneous 35mm cameras) in the early 1950s, working with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball’s production company, Desilu (for the couple’s 1951-57 groundbreaking sitcom, “I Love Lucy”).
“Svengoolie” (Rich Koz) will be presenting “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” this Sat. night at 10/9 Central on Me-TV.
Iconic Chicago/Berwyn-based horror film host Svengoolie will showcase the comedic duo’s 1948 horror farce this Sat., Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV Network.
Featuring the legendary comedic team of Bud Abbott (as Chick Young) and Lou Costello (as Wilbur Grey), the duo’s encounter with the Universal monsters include Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s monster, Bela Lugosi (in his second and last portrayal) as Count Dracula and Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot/The “Wolf Man.”
Now that classic/cult film aficionados and fans of Turner Classic Movies celebrated slapstick throughout September, film lovers will be in for a treat this October.
“Frankenstein:” Turner Classic Movies’ “Monster of the Month”
1931 Universal Pictures trade ad for “Frankenstein.”
To kick off this month (and to celebrate the Halloween season), Turner Classic Movies will be showing a classic Frankenstein film each Sunday at 8 p.m. throughout the month.
Ranging from the Universal Studios Frankenstein films (including the original 1931 version with Boris Karloff), to Hammer Studios’ Frankenstein adaptations of the 1950s and 1960s, to Mel Brooks’ landmark 1974 comedic horror farce “Young Frankenstein,” there’s something for all fans of vintage horror on TCM this month.
Rundown of vintage and cult “Frankenstein” films as part of TCM’s month-long salute:
Sun., Oct. 2:
8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central: “Frankenstein” (1931) Directed by James Whale, featuring Colin Clive (Dr. Henry Frankenstein), Boris Karloff (The Monster), Mae Clarke (Elizabeth), John Boles (Victor), Edward Van Sloan (Dr. Waldman), Dwight Frye (Fritz, the Dwarf) and Frederick Kerr (Baron Frankenstein).
9:30 p.m. Eastern/8:30 p.m. Eastern: “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) Directed by James Whale, featuring Boris Karloff (The Monster), Colin Clive (Dr. Henry Frankenstein), Valerie Hobson (Elizabeth Frankenstein), Elsa Lanchester (Mary Shelley/The Monster’s Mate), Ernest Thesiger (Dr. Pretorius) and Gavin Gordon (Lord Byron). An encore showing will occur on Sat., Nov. 12 at 9:15 a.m. Eastern/8:15 a.m. Central.
11 p.m. Eastern/10 p.m. Central: “Son of Frankenstein” (1939)Directed by Rowland V. Lee, featuring Basil Rathbone (Baron Wolf von Frankenstein), Boris Karloff (The Monster), Bela Lugosi (Ygor), Lionel Atwill (Inspector Krogh), Josephine Hutchinson (Elsa von Frankenstein), Donnie Dunagan (Peter von Frankenstein), Emma Dunn (Amelia) and Edgar Norton (Thomas Benson). This was Karloff’s final appearance as Frankenstein’s Monster.
The film, which was adapted from H.G. Wells’ novel, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” which is about an evil scientist who turns wild animals into human beasts. This was the first film adaptation of Wells’ story, and was remade in 1977 (under the title of Wells’ story, with Burt Lancaster and Michael York) and 1996 (with Marlon Brando, directed by John Frankenheimer).
Erle Kenton began his film career with Mack Sennett’s Keystone Films and played one of the “Keystone Kops” in silent comedies for Sennett’s company. After “Island of Lost Souls,” Kenton would direct several horror features for Universal Studios, including “The Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942), “House of Frankenstein” (1944) and “House of Dracula” (1945).
Around the same year that Kenton directed “The Ghost of Frankenstein,” he would also direct two comedies featuring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello- “Who Done It?” and “Pardon my Sarong” (both 1942).
1932 ad for “Island of Lost Souls,” featuring a sketch of Kathleen Burke, who was only billed as “The Panther Woman” (in the film’s opening title credits and advertising material).
According to a 1932 Paramount press book, Burke was chosen out of 60,000 actresses to play the part of Lota (“The Panther Woman”) in a studio-sponsored talent search. One year later, Burke starred in the Paramount thriller ”Murders in the Zoo,” which also featured Charlie Ruggles and Lionel Atwell (that aforementioned film was also shown on “Svengoolie” back in April of this year).
“Island of Lost Souls:” One of the definitive horror greats
Though it was deemed controversial when it was first released in 1932, the film has remained a cult horror classic, and was the inspiration for the name of the debut album for the rock band Devo (taken from Bela Lugosi’s memorable line in the film- “Are We Not Men?”).
Some 84 years after its general release, “Island of Lost Souls” still gives chills to modern audiences, and Svengoolie will present the film with his trademark sketches in-between commercial breaks. You won’t want to miss it!
Ticket for the revival screening of “Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein” (1948), which was shown at the Weinberg Center for the Arts on Halloween afternoon, Oct. 31.
Over 100 spectators in the Frederick area, young and old enjoyed the comic antics of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, along with three iconic characters in Universal’s horror franchise.
“Who’s on first?“ I mean… who’s in it?
In addition to the comedy duo, the film featured Lon Chaney, Jr. as the “Wolf Man,” Bela Lugosi as “Count Dracula” (this was his only other Universal feature film reprisal as the vampire) and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s “monster.”
“Wait… there’s more than just ‘A&C meet Frankenstein’!”
Photo of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, featuring “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.”
Why it looked great on the “big screen:”
“Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein” is the best of the duo’s pairings with the Universal “monster” characters. The film brought lots of laughter and chills to theatergoers at the Weinberg Center on Halloween afternoon, Oct. 31.
It is an entertaining motion picture for lovers of classic comedy and horror movies. Highly recommended (if you missed out on seeing it on the big screen)!
Can’t get enough of “Abbott & Costello?”
Me-TV airs two vintage episodes of the comedy duo’s 1952-57 TV show, “The Abbott and Costello Show,” which airs Sunday mornings at 6:00 a.m. Eastern/5:00 a.m. Central (in the Washington/Frederick, Maryland area, Me-TV is on WJLA-TV 7.2/Comcast 204, and in the Baltimore area on WBAL-TV 11.2/Comcast 208).
Don’t want to get up early to watch “Abbott and Costello?”Don’t worry-Hulu.com has select episodes from the first and second seasons of the show (under license from the heirs of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello).