Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

Critics Consensus

A zany horror spoof that plays up and then plays into the best of Universal horror cliches.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,596
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Movie Info

It seems that Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), in league with a beautiful but diabolical lady scientist (Lenore Aubert), needs a "simple, pliable" brain with which to reactivate Frankenstein's creature (Glenn Strange). The "ideal" brain belongs to the hapless Lou Costello, whom the lady doctor woos to gain his confidence and lure him to the operating table. Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.), better known as the Wolf Man, arrives on the scene to warn Costello and his pal Bud Abbott of Dracula's nefarious schemes. Throughout the film, the timorous Costello witnesses the nocturnal rituals of Dracula and the Monster, but can't convince the ever-doubting Abbott--until the wild climax in Dracula's castle, where the comedians are pursued by all three of the film's monstrosities. As a bonus, the Invisible Man (voiced by an unbilled Vincent Price) shows up for "all the excitement." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Bud Abbott
as Chick Young
Lou Costello
as Wilbur Grey
Bela Lugosi
as Count Dracula
Creighton Chaney
as Lawrence Talbot/The Wolf Man
Lénore Aubert
as Dr. Sandra Mornay
Lon Chaney Jr
as Lawrence Talbot/The Wolf Man
Glenn Strange
as The Monster
Jane Randolph
as Joan Raymond
Charles Bradstreet
as Dr. Stevens
Clarence Straight
as Man in Armor
Harry Brown
as Photographer
Paul Stader
as Sergeant
Vincent Price
as Invisible Man
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Critic Reviews for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (2)

  • This 1948 effort is probably the last of their watchable films, though it's a long way from their best.

    Oct 16, 2007 | Full Review…
  • The notion of having these two clowns run afoul of the famous screen monster is a good laugh in itself. But take this gentle warning: get the most out of that one laugh while you can, because the picture, at Loew's Criterion, does not contain many more.

    Aug 8, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The first of three films to pair the comedy team with Universal's monsters. Moderately amusing.

    Oct 26, 2014 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • A masterpiece filled with raucous laughs, great spooks, and a wicked final scene.

    Oct 13, 2014 | Full Review…
  • This is the best of the boys' efforts, allowing them to go for the nyuks yet never diminishing the standing of the classic Universal Studios monsters that figure in its plot.

    Sep 13, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • While the the film is representative of the absolute worst of Universal horror... it is one of the very best Abbott and Costello vehicles.

    Nov 1, 2009 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

  • Nov 30, 2016
    Legendary comedy duo Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in is this lighthearted goofball comedy. The story follows two hapless delivery clerks who unwittingly stumble across Dracula's scheme to unlock the secrets of Frankenstein's Monster while transporting some crates to a local horror museum. Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, and Glenn Strange all return and reprise their Universal Monster characters. And the film does a surprisingly good job at being comedic without making fun of the Monsters. Abbott and Costello performer their usual vaudeville comedy routines while the Monsters deliver the mayhem. The plot's a little weak, but overall Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is a hilariously fun romp that's full of laughs.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2014
    Reuniting the Universal Monsters to brilliant comic effect, Abbott & Costello save the studio and cement their appeal beyond simply being the team behind the classic routine "Who's on First"...but at what cost? This success comes, of course, at a price. This motion picture also signals the peak of their slapstick period where once the vaudeville-turned-radio stars used to be known for their once-genius back-and-forths. Thankfully, their awesome 1952-53 TV series restored this cerebral sparring, but Frankenstein emerges as a high point all of its own. It shouldn't have worked. The biggest comedy team in film sharing the title with the classic creature features that established Universal Studio? Absolutely bonkers...although it strangely works to the delight of classic film fans. In this classic Universal horror-comedy, two hapless freight handlers (Abbott, Costello) find themselves encountering Dracula (Bela Lugosi), the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange), and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.). Sure, director James White dealt horror AND humor as a winning hand with The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, but the juvenile 1948 Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein gets played chiefly for laughs. Energetic and entertaining, the spoof is neither as funny nor as thrilling as it needs to be. Still, this is a freewheeling and fun forebear to all of the classic horror comedies to follow (Fearless Vampire Killers, Evil Dead II, Gremlins, Zombieland, and TVs Buffy, the Vampire Killer). Bottom line: Meet Cute
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2012
    By 1948, the Universal monsters were on their way out of fashion. Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, all had been popular for many years, but other trends (such as UFO invaders) were coming to the fore by the late forties. Abbott and Costello on the other hand, were just coming into their peak, and with "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" they took their career on a whole other path (this was the first of several "Abbott and Costello Meet..." pictures). Anyhow, Abbott and Costello play a pair of bumbling freight handlers who are supposed to deliver Dracula's actual remains and Frankenstein's actual monster to some house of wax museum, but when they get there, Dracula wakes up and steals the monster for some nefarious scheme. Dracula and his scientist partners decide to replace the monster's brain with Lou Costello's, because this will supposedly make him more docile and easy to control. Meanwhile, the wolf man (Lon Chaney Jr.) learns of Dracula's scheme and soon arrives to try and stop him. There are some goofy gags and some slight scares, and the film strikes a nice balance between comedy and (light) horror. Fun.
    Devon B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    This was a fun movie. I wasn't blown away or anything, but I did laugh a lot throughout but it didn't have that one laugh-out-loud moment so that kept it down a bit. Of course the humor is a bit 'outdated' since it is a 60+ year old movie, so it helps to keep an open mind, because this might not be very entertaining if you're expecting it to compare today's 'top' comedies. And of course you can find many technical mistakes here, and I found several, but it added a campy charm to the movie. I did very much love the Invisible Man ending, it was pretty tremendous. So yea, this movie is fun...won't blow you away but it'll keep you reasonably entertained throughout.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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