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on 31 August 2017
love the universal horror films ,item came fast
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on 7 February 2009
Following on from the "Son of Frankenstein" this black and white epic has all the humour and cheesy horror you would expect from the classic film era. With Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster and Bela Lugosi as the good doctor's twisted assistant, Ygor, you have two of the heavyweights from the genre giving typical over the top performances. Okay the old script isn't fantastic by todays special effect laiden standards but that doesn't matter, I loved it when the creature goes on the rampage at a straight-legged 1mph - so runaway... you know you'll be safe!
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on 10 March 2012
After discovering the weakened Monster (Lon Chaney) encased in the sulphur into which he plunged at the end of 1939's Son of Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi's Ygor (shot dead in the previous film but now unaccountably alive and well again) sets off to find a second son of the original Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke), this one a pioneering brain surgeon in a nearby town...
A film I dislike more for what it's not than what it is, The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) marks the point at which Universal's Frankenstein series, and the studio's horror cycle overall, started to dip irreversibly in quality. Unlike the three previous, Boris Karloff-starring epics in the Frankenstein saga, this fourth effort, a B-movie through-and-through, has a production line feel from start to finish; Karloff had long before decided that all potential in the character of the Monster had been played out, and you can't really disagree with him when you sit through this programmer, which is seemingly assembled from various plot aspects of the earlier films and lacks a single truly original or striking feature.
The performances here range from adequate to rubbish. Promoted as Universal's new horror star following the success of The Wolf Man the previous year, the limited Chaney replaces Karloff in the part of the Monster and gives a performance that lacks any of his forerunner's skill, and whilst Lugosi encores as the broken-necked Ygor, it is to much less effect (he actually looks like he's had a wash and blow-dry). Lionel Atwill, so good in the previous film as the disabled, disturbed Inspector Krogh, is annoyingly re-cast as a stereotypical `mad' scientist, whilst as the latest member of the Frankenstein clan, Hardwicke clearly can't be bothered with it all, looking like he's just thinking about his pay packet and counting the days until he can once again tread the boards on the London stage. And whoever thought that Ralph Bellamy was a good choice to appear in Universal horror movies was clearly a can short of a six-pack.
It also follows on uneasily from the earlier films in that continuity and themes largely go out of the window, and it throws up nothing but annoying questions that detract from any merits the film might have. Why is Lugosi's Ygor still alive? Why did Basil Rathbone's character in the 1939 movie have to travel all the way from the United States to Central Europe to take over his late father's estate, if he had already had a brother living relatively locally? Why did the filmmakers choose to include stock footage of Colin Clive from the original 1931 Frankenstein, and then get the completely different-looking Hardwicke to pull double duty and also play his character in the film's half-baked dream sequences? And why does the film end with an utterly stupid 'walking off into the sunset' shot of the film's gruesomely uncharismatic `straight' leads (Bellamy and Evelyn Ankers), that looks like it was spliced in from some third-rate romantic melodrama?
If you've only got a passing interest in the Universal Frankenstein movies, The Ghost of Frankenstein is probably a film you can afford to skip. Stick with the original Karloff classics, three expensive-looking films made with craftsmanship and a little intelligence. This fourth movie is cheap, silly, and like the majority of the Universal horrors that came after it, isn't really worth the viewers' time.
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on 23 October 2013
This is the 4th entry in the Univeral series on the creature, and easily the worst of the bunch.

The biggest problem is Lon Chaney, a great horror actor who hated inheriting the role that Karloff made famous - and it shows. Throughout the movie he scowls and shuffles, showing none of the sympathetic traits of the monster from the first three films.

Bela Lugosi returns as the broken-necked Ygor, but Ygor just seems like a silly Wino in this movie. For lovers of the genre only.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 October 2015
Of course the problem with the Frankenstein sequels, of the Universal Studios kind, was that they had to follow the genre firework that was Frankenstein (1931) and the monolithic titan that followed that one in 1935, The Bride of Frankenstein. These are tough acts to follow; still are actually!

Son of Frankenstein (1939) managed very well, it had Basil Rathbone in it and Bela Lugosi giving great horror oomph as Ygor. Boris Karloff bowed out as the monster after that one, leaving an iconic legacy and an insistence that the monster didn't speak. The result of Karloff's (ahem) request has proved divisive amongst Frankenstein fans, does it need a voice for personality, or is it better off as a lumbering rage machine only? Point being that in this one, he gets a voice, courtesy of Lon Chaney Junior's stint in the role, and it's not exactly a success.

Ghost of Frankenstein represents the start of the decline of the franchise, a noticeable drop in quality across the board. It's like Universal caught the cash cow disease and decided that quantity and not quality was what mattered. They would eventually team up the bolted necked one with Abbott and Costello, with fun results, but the horror aspects began to wane here in 1942. Lugosi is on hand for some more Ygor mischief, Cedric Hardwicke and Lionel Atwill as scientists with opposite ideals are reassuring presences, while Evelyn Ankers is sexy and costumed with a great eye for detail.

At just 67 minutes in length the film thankfully doesn't have time to be boring, though action is in short supply, so hooray for castle destruction and fire unbound! While Woody Bredell and Milton R. Krasner, via their photographic lenses ensure Gothic atmosphere is consistently ripe. Right, it's time for Universal Monster Tag Teams next... 5/10
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Back in the 1980s I replaced most of my collection of 8mm movies with VHS and I have been going through a same process of upgrading to DVD for the last few years. This has given me the excuse to revisit many films that I have not seen for some time.

The film is on of the later (1942) Frankenstein movies from Universal and sadly does not have the same magic as the original trilogy. I first watched it in the early 1950's when staying with a chum during a mid-term break. His father had a tiny private movie theatre in one of the attics and we spent hours watching old 8mm and 16mm movies during a wet spring including old horror films which were still classified as X Rated in the cinemas and well out of the reach of 12 year old boys, that week started my love of old movies and firmly established me as a dedicated collector.

Sir Cedric Hardwicke stars as the younger son of Baron Frankenstein a doctor who owns a asylum for the mentally disturbed, where he is visited by Ygor, assistant to both his father and brother and the newly revived monster. Bela Lugosi is a malevolent Ygor and Lionel Atwill as the evil Dr.Bohmer. Boris Karloff had refused to perform the part of the monster for a fourth time and was replaced by Lon Chaney Jr who had to be threatened with being 'laid off' if he did not take on the role and his lack of enthusiasm is evident in his performance. Very much a lesser jewel in Universal horror crown but never-the-less well worth watching and an essential part of the collection if you are an enthusiast.
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on 22 May 2015
The Ghost of Frankenstein was the first Universal Horror film I saw projected on a big screen rather than on TV. Admittedly if you are not a Universal Horror aficionado as I am the film would probably come across to you as rather heavy handed and not a patch on the three earlier films in the sequence Frankenstein, Bride and Son. However if you love this type of film as much as I do you would not be disappointed. Sir Cedric Hardwicke stars as "the other" son of Frankenstein who runs an institution for the mentally unwell. Here, he is visited by Ygor, assistant to Wolf Von Frankenstein in "Son" and the newly revived monster. The director Erle C Kenton who directed Island of Lost Souls in 1932 does a brisk job, brining in the film at 68 minutes so there is no time to get bored. Bela Lugosi in a brilliant characterisation is a malevolent Ygor steals the film from his more worthy fellow actors, which includes the malign Lionel Atwill as Doctor Bohmer. The Monster this time round has entirely lost his character: the gorgeous performances of Boris Karloff are replaced by a hulking thing - a robot - automaton - which has little panache but is big on being violent and scary. Lon Chaney brings none of the pathos and depth to the role Karloff did."The rot set in with this pot boiler" says the legendary Leslie Halliwell, film critic, but I say give the film a chance as the character actors and crazy plot really keep that "pot boiling!"
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on 27 November 2001
Bless him. Lon Chaney Jnr tries hard but it was never going to be easy filling Karloff's (oversized) boots. However, there are some great moments in this film, such as the Monster wanting to look after a little girl who befriends him, and the final scene when the hunchback, Ygor (Lugosi in good form), swaps brains with the Monster.
What is puzzeling, though, is why Universal chose not to issue the film before this one, The Son of Frankenstein..
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on 7 January 2013
This film was a direct sequel to Son Of Frankenstein and was the first Frankenstein film with Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster. Bela Lugosi also returns as the villainous Ygor, which I consider to be one of his best roles. I actually enjoyed this film more than Son Of Frankenstein, because it doesn't feel so "padded out" and it has a much quicker pace to it. I still missed seeing Karloff as the monster, though, because Chaney lacked the emotion and acting skills to make his monster memorable. Still, it is an entertaining monster film and is still better than some of Universal's horror films that followed. I give it four stars, but I deduct one star because of Chaney being inferior to Karloff's monster.
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on 21 March 2014
I never saw this film until this DVD, but I always tried to see all the pre-Hammer versions. I grew up in the times when either you had to accompanied by a parent - or any adult - or you weren't allowed in the cinema and the films were always labelled "H". The 'special effects' were very good for those years too,
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