“The Return of the Vampire” (1943) was directed by veteran film director Lew Landers, who was famous for his Universal Studios screen thriller adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” (1935, Landers directed the Universal thriller under the name of Louis Friedlander; according to IMDB). In the latter part of his career, Landers directed the Columbia Super-Cinecolor fantasy feature, “The Magic Carpet” (1951, with Lucille Ball, Raymond Burr and John Agar). He also directed several episodes of two successful TV series for Columbia’s Screen Gems unit, “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin” (from 1956-59) and “Circus Boy” (1957, with a pre-“Monkees” Micky Dolenz in the title role and Noah Berry Jr.).
Who was in “The Return of the Vampire” (1943)?
The players who appeared in Landers’ Columbia vampire thriller were Bela Lugosi (in the dual roles of Armand Tesla and Dr. Hugo Bruckner), Frieda Inescort (as Lady Jane Ainsley), Roland Varno (as John Ainsley), Nina Foch (as Nicki Saunders), Gilbert Emery (as Dr. Walter Saunders), Matt Willis (as Andreas Obry), Ottola Nesmith (as Governess Elsa Walter), William Austin (as Detective Gannett), Leslie Denison (as Detective Lynch) and Miles Mander (as Sir Frederick Fleet).
Bela Lugosi previously appeared in the role of Dr. Richard Vollin in Landers’ Universal adaptation of “The Raven” (1935) with Boris Karloff, who played the role of Edmond Bateman (according to IMDB). Ten years before “The Return of the Vampire” (1943), Lugosi played the title role of Degar in Benjamin “Ben” Stoloff’s Columbia horror feature, “Night of Terror” (1933).