House of Frankenstein


1h 11m 1945
House of Frankenstein

Brief Synopsis

A mad scientist hides within a traveling sideshow.

Film Details

Also Known As
Destiny, The Devil's Brood
Genre
Horror
Release Date
Feb 16, 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 15 Dec 1944; Los Angeles opening: 22 Dec 1944
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,346ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

On a rainy evening in the Neustadt prison, Daniel, a hunchback, promises his cellmate, mad scientist Dr. Niemann, that when they are released, he will work for him for free if Niemann transfers his brain into a healthy body. Soon after, a lightning storm destroys the prison, allowing Niemann and Daniel to escape and slip into the wagon of Professor Lampini's Chamber of Horrors, which carries the skeleton of Dracula. Daniel kills Lampini, after which Niemann assumes the victim's identity and outlines his plans to find Dr. Frankenstein's records and continue his experiments, while wreaking his revenge on Ullman, Strauss and Hussman, the men who jailed him. They travel to Reigelberg, where Hussman is the burgomaster, and set up Lampini's horror show. The night Niemann arrives, Hussman's granddaughter-in-law Rita convinces Hussman, her husband Carl and police inspector Arnz to accompany her to the show. There, Hussman scorns the Dracula exhibit, and after the curtain falls, Niemann restores Dracula to life by removing the stake from his heart, and sends him after Hussman. Soon after, Dracula, calling himself Baron Latos, offers Rita, Carl and Hussman a ride home. At their house, he kills Hussman, hypnotizes Rita with his ring and abducts her in his wagon, which is attached to Niemann's wagon. When Carl calls the inspector and then chases after them, Niemann unhooks Dracula's wagon, stranding the vampire just as the sun rises and dooming him to return to his skeletal form. Days later, as Niemann and Daniel enter the town of Frankenstein, Daniel falls in love with a gypsy dancer, Ilonka, and rescues her from her brutal boss. Niemann allows her to accompany them, and although Ilonka turns away from the sight of Daniel's hump, she promises to be his friend. That night, as Niemann and Daniel search the ruins of Frankenstein's castle for his records, they find the Wolf Man and the Monster encased in ice in a frozen cave beneath the earth. After being thawed, the Wolf Man returns to his human form as Larry Talbot, and helps Niemann find the records, in return for which the scientist promises to find a new body for his brain. They all travel to Niemann's laboratory in Visaria, and along the way, Daniel jealously watches Ilonka falling in love with Larry. After a few days at the laboratory, Daniel and Larry grow impatient for Niemann, who is obsessed with regenerating the Monster, to help them. Niemann then captures and kills Ullman and Strauss, at the same time that Daniel spitefully informs Ilonka that Larry is a werewolf. She runs to Larry, and after he tells her that only a silver bullet shot by someone who loves him can end his misery, she fashions a bullet out of her silver bracelets just as the moon rises. That night, the Wolf Man kills, and when the townspeople find the remains of his victims, they form a mob and descend on the castle, where Niemann is working on the Monster. Meanwhile, Ilonka shoots the Wolf Man, but not until he fatally wounds her. When Daniel finds them both dead, he blames Niemann and strangles him, waking the Monster, who kills Daniel to protect his master. The mob enters the castle and pushes Niemann and his monster into the bog, where they quickly drown in the quicksand.

Film Details

Also Known As
Destiny, The Devil's Brood
Genre
Horror
Release Date
Feb 16, 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 15 Dec 1944; Los Angeles opening: 22 Dec 1944
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,346ft (7 reels)

Articles

House of Frankenstein


A mad scientist hides within a traveling sideshow.
House Of Frankenstein

House of Frankenstein

A mad scientist hides within a traveling sideshow.

Quotes

Master.
- lDaniel
Yes?
- Dr. Gustav Niemann
Now that I have helped you with Strauss and Ullman will you give Talbot's body to me?
- lDaniel
What?
- Dr. Gustav Niemann
He's big. He's strong.
- lDaniel
Fifteen thousand Marks. A thousand for every year I spent in a stinking, slimy dungeon. You bargain poorly, Heir Ulman.
- Dr. Gustav Niemann
Don't kill me!
- Ullman
Kill my trusted old assistant? Why, no. I'm going to repay you for betraying me; I'm going to give that brain of yours a new home in the skull of the Frankenstein monster. As for you Strauss, I'm going to give you the brain of the wolfman so that all your waking hours will be spent in untold agony awaiting the full of the moon.. which will change you into a werewolf.
- Dr. Gustav Niemann

Trivia

Glenn Strange became the fourth actor to play the Monster in Universal's Frankenstein series. The actor who played the original Monster, Boris Karloff, was also present on the film playing the role of Dr Niemann. Being on the set Karloff, was able to personally coach Strange in the way the Monster should be played.

Notes

The working titles of this film were The Devil's Brood and Destiny. According to a December 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item, this film was originally slated for producer George Waggner, but because of scheduling conflicts it was reassigned to Paul Malvern. Boris Karloff, who plays the mad scientist "Dr. Niemann," had played the role of Frankenstein's monster in the 1931 Universal film Frankenstein and in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). John Carradine played "Count Dracula" for the first time in House of Frankenstein.
       January 1995 Los Angeles Times article noted that the film's score had been recorded by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Musical director H. J. Salter gave his permission for the project before his death in 1994, and although Universal had discarded the original sheet music, the score was reconstructed. House of Frankenstein marked the first time that all of Universal's "monsters," with the exception of the "Mummy," appeared together in one film, and was the second in a series of Universal films which teamed two or more of its horror stars. For additional 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), Dracula (AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40, F3.1121), and The Wolf Man .