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Son of Frankenstein (1939)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 3,701

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Movie Info

The most elaborate--and longest--of Universal's Frankenstein series, Son of Frankenstein represents Boris Karloff's last appearance in the role of the Monster. The title character is played by Basil Rathbone, who with wife Josephine Hutchinson and son Donnie Donegan returns to the Old Country to take over his late father's estate. Rathbone receives a cool reception from the local villagers, who remember all too well the havoc wreaked by his father's monstrous creation. Though he assures his

Mar 29, 2005

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (1) | DVD (10)

Well mounted, nicely directed, and includes cast of capable artists.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A strangely literary and leisurely monster movie, laced with amusing gothic doodles.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The set, shot in a style reminiscent of the German Expressionist classics, is superb.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A surprisingly good effort to extend the narrative of the first two films in a manner both intelligent and likely.

October 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Boasts some stunning set design by Russell Gausman, a good script, and a magnificent cast.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

not as good as Young Frankenstein, or the first two, but still a good effort

May 27, 2007

It's enjoyable, not really memorable, but certainly a cut above what would soon follow.

February 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

A little too long, but beautifully designed and Lugosi carries the show.

September 23, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Great plot that could have been fleshed out more.

February 7, 2003
Sun Newspapers of Cleveland

Despite all its flaws, there are enough grand moments to make this into a superior Frankenstein tale.

November 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of the very best of the series

October 17, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

The last great Universal Frankenstein feature, despite Rathbone's over-the-top performance. Karloff is splendid as the creature and Lugosi launches a new phase of his career as Igor.

October 5, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

It comes as no surprise that this creature feature isn't remembered as a horror classic.

November 29, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Son of Frankenstein

Repeating the sins of the father is an overriding theme in ‚~Son of Frankenstein‚(TM) and the film doesn‚(TM)t tread lightly around it. Trying to tame and domesticate the inherently feral and wild is a futile enterprise as Wolf Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) unearths in this rousing, unexpectedly character-driven sequel that doesn‚(TM)t bastardize the films that came before it. Karloff is still an inimitable silent actor since he must gesture and flail to convey the monster‚(TM)s self-hatred. For example, when the monster is awoken, he stares into the mirror and acts predatory until the tragic revelation that he is looking at his own reflection. However, the film is plundered outright by Bela Lugosi‚(TM)s scenery-chewing as Ygor, Frankenstein‚(TM)s deformed assistant. Lugosi is insidiously creepy and manipulative by using Wolf‚(TM)s scientific curiosity to his revenge agenda. The townspeople‚(TM)s sudden change-of-heart in the third act is a lazy deus ex machine but otherwise this is a judicious, absorbing rebound for the Universal monster.
October 1, 2012
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

In spite of great casting, without James Whale at the helm the overall result is campy and less artful. Not a horrible film but not in the same league as Whale's Frankenstein or Bride of Frankenstein.
February 3, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

This movie has a fantastic cast, an interesting story, and a classic monster, but it could have been a better movie. Still, I enjoyed it mostly.
September 20, 2010

Super Reviewer

I saw this once. It is so Amazin to watch the mid 30 Horror Movies with Boris Karloff.
December 12, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

    1. Baron Wolf von Frankenstein: Nothing in nature is terrifying when one understands it.
    – Submitted by Dann M (18 months ago)
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