House of Frankenstein (1945)

70 mins | Horror | 16 February 1945

Director:

Erle C. Kenton

Writer:

Edward T. Lowe

Producer:

Paul Malvern

Cinematographer:

George Robinson

Editor:

Philip Cahn

Production Designers:

John Goodman, Martin Obzina

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Devil's Brood and Destiny . According to a Dec 1943 HR 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 .
       Jan 1995 LAT 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 (See ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Devil's Brood and Destiny . According to a Dec 1943 HR 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 .
       Jan 1995 LAT 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 (See Entry). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1944.
---
Daily Variety
15 Dec 44
p. 4.
Film Daily
4 Jan 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
23 Dec 1944.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1943.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Apr 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 44
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 44
p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jan 1995.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jul 44
p. 2007.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Dec 44
p. 2237.
New York Herald Tribune
16 Dec 1944.
---
New York Times
10 Dec 1944.
---
New York Times
16 Dec 45
p. 19.
Variety
20 Dec 44
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score and dir
SOUND
Dir of sd
[Sd] tech
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
DANCE
Dance dir
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Destiny
The Devil's Brood
Release Date:
16 February 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 December 1944
Los Angeles opening: 22 December 1944
Production Date:
3 April--early May 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
20 November 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12971
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in feet):
6,346
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10190
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 ... +


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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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