SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939)
Article #270 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-11-2001
Posting date: 4-26-2002
The son of Frankenstein inherits the baron’s castle, and there discovers that the monster is still alive and under the control of a vindictive maniac named Igor.
This would be the last time the Frankenstein series would be given a real class treatment by Universal; it’s not the equal of the first two movies, but it’s still pretty good. The shining stars this time out are Bela Lugosi as Igor, one of the best roles of his career, and Lionel Atwill as Krogh, the one armed police inspector. Karloff essays the monster for the last time, but the script really doesn’t give him a chance to develop the monster any further; it’s easy to see why he didn’t want to play the role again after this. Rathbone hated his role, but he does all right; originally I thought he overacted, but I noticed this time that the only times he does this are when he’s trying to put up a front, and his behavior makes sense in this regard. The child actor is truly bad, though; couldn’t they have found someone without a thick southern accent to play the role? There’s lots of other familiar faces on hand, and some wonderful visual moments; one I noticed this time is Rathbone giving a defense of his work to his wife while the portrait of Frankenstein hovers over him in the background.