ABBOTT and COSTELLO meet FRANKENSTEIN (1948)
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An enjoyably silly plot concerns Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and female scientist Dr. Sandra Mornay’s (Lenore Aubert) plans to revive the Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange) using baggage clerk Wilbur Grey’s (Lou Costello’s) child-like brain, with The Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.), when in human form, in pursuit to stop them. Wilbur’s long-suffering friend/co-worker Chick Young (Bud Abbott) is along for the ride, playing the unbelieving straight man to the supernatural goings on…and there is plenty of spooky stuff going on right under his nose. Also in the mix is pretty insurance investigator Joan Raymond (Jane Randolph), who catches WIlbur’s eye and gets drawn into the monster mayhem and gruff Mr. McDougal (Frank Ferguson), whose house of horrors exhibit is responsible for bringing the monsters together on these shores.
Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein is a genuine classic in every sense of the word. Not only a hilariously funny slapstick comedy, but a delightfully spooky Halloween treat featuring the great Universal monsters together for the last time. It’s energetically directed by Charles Barton, who directed many flicks for the legendary comic duo, from a fun script by Frederic I. Rinaldo, John Grant and Robert Lees. All the elements of a classic Universal monster flick are present, mixed perfectly with Abbott and Costello’s brand of comic hi-jinx. The cast is also perfect, as is every other aspect of this timeless gem and it’s great to see Lugosi, Chaney and Glenn Strange on screen in their classic roles one more time. The castle set final act is a spooky fun good time! In all seriousness, this is a great example of a movie hitting all it’s marks. It accomplishes everything it sets out to do and does so very well. Not only a comedy masterpiece, but technically the last classic Universal monster flick, even though it’s not officially considered part of that series. One of the greatest horror/comedies of all time!
Some fun trivia…although despite being associated with the role all his life, this is only the second time Bela Lugosi played Count Dracula on film! Also, yes that is the voice of legendary horror icon Vincent Price as the Invisible Man in the film’s hilarious conclusion. The duo would go on to meet, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Boris Karloff, The Mummy and The Invisible Man in later adventures, but none of them had the gothic Universal series feel like Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.
…Oh, and just in case you thought he was left out, Abbott and Costello did meet the Creature From The Black Lagoon in a Colgate Comedy Hour sketch in 1954…
Forgoing the usual ‘out of 4’ rating to give this 5 mon-stars!