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One doesn't easily forget an arm torn out by the roots...,
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This review is from: Son of Frankenstein [DVD]  (DVD)
My personal favourite of all the Universal horror movies, 1939's Son of Frankenstein was the last of the classic trio starring Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster, and marked the high point of the Universal horror cycle; with an all-star cast and a satisfying, fast-moving storyline, this lavish A-picture still stands up well today.
After fleshing out the character in Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Karloff now returns the Monster to the status of a mute brute and a more obviously straightforward villain, though his friendship with Bela Lugosi's broken-necked Ygor is still quite touching; and speaking of Lugosi, he gives the performance of his life here, losing the oily hair and hammy gestures of his melodramatic Count Dracula to play a toothy, grotesque grave-robber with real relish. Basil Rathbone's wired paranoia makes him a worthy successor to Colin Clive as the scientist, and Lionel Atwill enjoys his greatest role (famously spoofed in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein) as the one-armed Inspector Krogh.
With its grand, expressionistic sets and doom-laden atmosphere, Son of Frankenstein is for me the definitive horror film of the period, using the era's most famous stars to great effect in a production worthy of their talents. Unlike James Whale's two Frankenstein films, there are no duff notes in the performances, with the one possible exception of Donnie Dunagan, the small boy who plays Frankenstein's son. He drops a couple of lines and his comic timing is terrible, however, as he is visibly about four years old this is easily forgiven.
After this movie Karloff decided that he had done all he could with the Monster, and it was time to leave the part behind; however, Universal had no intention of giving up on such a profitable formula and continued to churn out more ever-more contrived sequels with a variety of stiffs replacing him in the role.