Black Friday (1940)

70 mins | Drama | 12 April 1940

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Cinematographer:

Elwood Bredell

Editor:

Philip Cahn

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Co.
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HISTORY

The working title of this picture was Friday the 13th ... More Less

The working title of this picture was Friday the 13th . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Feb 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Apr 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Dec 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
4 Mar 40
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
10 Feb 40
p. 49.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Mar 40
p. 53.
New York Times
22 Mar 40
p. 23.
Variety
13 Mar 40
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Friday the 13th
Release Date:
12 April 1940
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Chicago: 29 February 1940
Production Date:
began 28 December 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
13 March 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9479
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6067
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As Dr. Ernest Sovac is ushered to the electric chair to die for the murder of his friend, Professor George Kingsley, he passes his diary to a waiting reporter, who reads the story of his crime: On Friday the 13th, Kingsley is run over by a car driven by hardened criminal Red Cannon. The professor suffers a severe concussion, and to save his life, Sovac transplants brain cells from the dying Cannon into Kingsley's skull. As Kingsley recovers, his wife Margaret discovers that her formerly timid husband now flies into murderous rages. Reading that Cannon hid half a million dollars in stolen money, Sovac decides to take his old friend to the gangster's haunts in New York, in hopes of jarring Cannon's memory and recovering the money so that he can build a hospital. Sovac's plan works as Cannon's brain and personality take over Kingsley's body and he undertakes a vendetta against former gang members Louis Devore, William Kane, Frank Miller and Eric Marnay. On the night after murdering Devore, Kingsley switches back and forth between his own and Cannon's persona but although Sovac realizes that he can no longer control his patient, he continues his experiment. After Canon influences him to murder Kane, Kingsley is wounded by the police and returns to the hotel to find his wife and Sovac's daughter Jean awaiting him. Discovering the truth about her father's experiment, Jean demands that they all return home to Newcastle together. That night, Kingsley retrieves Canon's money and, after killing Miller and Marnay, murders Sunny Rogers, Canon's old girl friend. The Kingsleys and the Sovacs return to Newcastle, where Kingsley ... +


As Dr. Ernest Sovac is ushered to the electric chair to die for the murder of his friend, Professor George Kingsley, he passes his diary to a waiting reporter, who reads the story of his crime: On Friday the 13th, Kingsley is run over by a car driven by hardened criminal Red Cannon. The professor suffers a severe concussion, and to save his life, Sovac transplants brain cells from the dying Cannon into Kingsley's skull. As Kingsley recovers, his wife Margaret discovers that her formerly timid husband now flies into murderous rages. Reading that Cannon hid half a million dollars in stolen money, Sovac decides to take his old friend to the gangster's haunts in New York, in hopes of jarring Cannon's memory and recovering the money so that he can build a hospital. Sovac's plan works as Cannon's brain and personality take over Kingsley's body and he undertakes a vendetta against former gang members Louis Devore, William Kane, Frank Miller and Eric Marnay. On the night after murdering Devore, Kingsley switches back and forth between his own and Cannon's persona but although Sovac realizes that he can no longer control his patient, he continues his experiment. After Canon influences him to murder Kane, Kingsley is wounded by the police and returns to the hotel to find his wife and Sovac's daughter Jean awaiting him. Discovering the truth about her father's experiment, Jean demands that they all return home to Newcastle together. That night, Kingsley retrieves Canon's money and, after killing Miller and Marnay, murders Sunny Rogers, Canon's old girl friend. The Kingsleys and the Sovacs return to Newcastle, where Kingsley peaceably resumes his teaching chores until the sound of a siren changes him back to Cannon. Going to the Sovac house, he attacks Jean, forcing Sovac to kill his friend to save his daughter. As the reporter finishes reading Sovac's diary, the doctor meets his death in the electric chair. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.