Cast & Crew
Roy William Neill
During a full moon, two Llanwelly grave robbers break into the tomb of the Talbot family, where they inadvertently awaken werewolf Lawrence Stewart Talbot. Later, an injured Larry is taken to Queen's Hospital, where he operated on by Dr. Frank Mannering. He is then questioned by Inspector Owen as to the nature of his skull fracture, of which Larry has no memory. Owen calls the Llanwelly police station, where he is told that Larry has been dead for four years. With the next full moon, Larry once again transforms into a werewolf, breaks out of the hospital and kills an unsuspecting policeman. The next morning, Larry tells Mannering and Owen of his werewolf curse, but is not believed. Mannering tells Owen that Larry is suffering from a brain injury and has become a "lycanthrope," a man who imagines himself to be a wolf. Later, Mannering and Owen travel to Llanwelly, where they visit the Talbot tomb and discover that Larry's body is indeed missing. Mannering then learns that Larry has escaped from the hospital, having bitten through his straightjacket. Larry searches numerous gypsy camps until he finds Maleva, the mother of the werewolf who infected him. She agrees to watch over him and offers to take him to a man who "can help him." They travel across Europe to the village of Vasaria, only to learn that the man, Dr. Frankenstein, has died. As they leave the village, a full moon appears and Larry kills once again. The townspeople rally together to find the murdering "wolf," and chase Larry into the ruins of the Frankenstein castle, where he awakens the Monster from its icy grave. Later, Larry meets with Frankenstein's daughter, Baroness Elsa, pretending that he wishes to purchase the old castle. He asks her for her father's records, but she claims no knowledge of them. That night, the Festival of the New Wine begins, and the mayor asks both Elsa and Larry to attend. When a singer wishes Larry "eternal life," he becomes upset and disrupts the festival. Later, Mannering arrives at the festival, having followed Larry's murderous path across Europe. The Monster then enters the town and Larry is forced to help it escape. The next day, the citizens once again seek to kill the Monster, but are afraid to wander the unknown catacombs of the Frankenstein castle. Elsa offers to help them search the castle's ruins, and Mannering states that he will kill the Monster using the same artificial means by which it was created. Along with Elsa and Maleva, the physician goes to the castle, and there Elsa unearths her father's secret diaries. From these books, Mannering learns that he can kill the Monster only by reversing its electrical currents. He also concludes that Larry can be killed by artificially draining the energy from his body. The townspeople, however, begin to worry when they see Mannering re-assembling Frankenstein's machinery. The innkeeper, Vazec, proposes that they blow up the dam above the castle and drown all its inhabitants, but the mayor discounts his mad ravings. Despite his promises to Elsa and the townspeople, Mannering refuses to kill the two monsters, and, in fact, reverses the experiment to increase their powers. The full moon comes out, and Larry transforms into a werewolf just in time to save Elsa from the regenerated Monster. The two creatures fight each other as Mannering and Elsa escape the castle, and Vazec blows up the dam. The flood waters destroy the castle, sending the Monster and the Wolf Man, seemingly, to their watery graves.
Roy William Neill
Lon Chaney [jr.]
Bernard B. Brown
John P. Fulton
R. A. Gausman
Jack P. Pierce
E. R. Robinson
H. J. Salter
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
He is not insane. He simply wants to die.- Maleva
This is Inspector Owen speaking, in Cardiff. Have you got anything in your files about a man named...- Inspector Owen
Laurence Talbot? Why of course, he lived here.- Llanwelly Police Sergeant
Well that's alright then. We've got him up here in our hospital.- Inspector Owen
I wouldn't want him in *our* hospital; he died four years ago!- Llanwelly Police Sergeant
We must be more clever this time. We must pretend to be friends with the monster.- Mayor Of Vasaria
Yes, why not elect it mayor of Vasaria.- Vazec, the Proprietor
Mr Talbot, if you want us to help you, you must do as we say. Now, please lie down.- Dr. Frank Mannering
You think I'm insane. You think I don't know what I'm talking about. Well you just look in that grave where Lawrence Talbot is supposed to be buried and see if you find a body in it!- Lawrence Talbot
There, that's his burial place. A fire destroyed him and all his misdeeds.- Vazec
He is dead?!- Maleva
Oh but he can't be!- Lawrence Talbot
He didn't die any too soon for us; we all wished he'd never been born!- Vazec
Are you the proprietor?- Maleva
I am. What do you beggars want.- Vazec
The Frankenstein Monster, played by Bela Lugosi, is mute in this film, even though Boris Karloff's monster spoke in the earlier Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Interestingly, Lugosi had refused the role in the original Frankenstein (1931) because he would have had no lines.
Originally, Lon Chaney was to play both the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster, but the producers decided the make-up demands and schedule wouldn't permit this. However, late in life Chaney stated in an interview that he did play both monsters in the film.
When The Monster's dialogue was deleted (see Alternate Versions), also removed were any references to The Monster being blind - a side-effect of Ygor's brain being implanted into The Monster at the end of Ghost of Frankenstein. As a result, Lugosi's sleepwalker-like lumbering gait with arms outstretched is not explained and became the subject of ridicule. It also established the Frankenstein Monster-walk stereotype.
Several photos exist showing the deleted scenes (the fireside chat between the Monster and Talbot beneath the icy catacombs of the castle for instance; where Talbot & the audience learn that the Monster is still blind). This has been confirmed by several sources, including screen writer Curt Siodmak. In the mid-eighties a search was made through the Universal Studio vaults for a print or negative of the uncut prerelease version. As of this date, it has not yet been found.
The working title of this film was Wolf Man Meets Frankenstein. It was the first in a series of Universal horror films in which the studio teamed two or more of its famous "monsters" in a single film. Hollywood Reporter news items state that actor Lon Chaney, Jr. was originally assigned to play both the role of "The Monster" and "The Wolf Man," but producer George Waggner decided that the makeup required for both parts was too extensive. Bela Lugosi was then cast in the role of "The Monster," a part, modern sources state, he was offered and turned down in the original 1931 Universal film Frankenstein. Hollywood Reporter later reported that Lugosi collapsed on the set in early November 1943, when he became ill from the strain caused by the thirty-five pounds of makeup required for the role. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man was the last film Lugosi would make at Universal. Actress Maria Ouspenskaya also suffered a broken ankle on the set of the film, which required brief hospitalization.
While the film was in production, actor Lionel Atwill was sentenced to five-year's probation for perjury in a case involving a Christmas party held at his home in 1940. (For more information on the Atwill scandal, please see the entry below for Man Made Monster.) According to modern sources, scenes were removed from the released film which showed that the Monster was blind (a reference to the ending of the 1942 Universal film The Ghost of Frankenstein [,]) and that the Monster's sight was later restored by Patric Knowles's character, "Dr. Frank Mannering." Modern sources also state that Eddie Parker and Gil Perkins worked as stunt men on the production and include Beatrice Roberts (Varja) in the cast. Martha MacVicar made her feature film debut in this film and later became more well known under the name Martha Vickers. For more information on the aforementioned Universal series, please consult the Series Index and see the entries for Frankenstein (AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1465) and The Wolf Man (see below).