The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

ghost of frankenstein poster 1942 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Universal Monsters are still classic

Not as good as previous entry

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Ghost of Frankenstein

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  March 13, 1942

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated



Mount Rushmore a la Frankenstein’s Monster

Ygor (Béla Lugosi) has survived and discovered that the Monster (Lon Chaney, Jr.) also survived his fall into the bubbling sulpher pit.  Seeking the aid of Frankenstein’s other son Ludwig Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke), Ygor and the Monster travel to a nearby town to find help.  Ludwig realizes his father’s flawed experiment involved the brain of the Monster and sets out to right the wrongs of his father.

Directed by Erle C. Kenton, The Ghost of Frankenstein is the follow-up to the popular Son of Frankenstein of 1939.  The movie is considered part of Universal’s classic “Monster” line but replaced Boris Karloff with Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Monster.

The Ghost of Frankenstein is a step down from Son of Frankenstein.  This is where Universal Monsters became Universal B-Movie Monsters.  With the step down in quality there feels like a little step down in story as well.


Let’s do some science-y stuff!!!

Frankenstein’s Monster always dies at the end of the movie and Son of Frankenstein was no exception…but here you not only have Frankenstein’s Monster surviving his dive into the bubbling pool of sulfur, but you also have Ygor surviving the villagers’ attack.  Like his brother (who never mentioned he had a brother) before him, Ludwig falls into the old trap of working on the Monster.  I do however like the twist of Ygor taking over as the Monster by having his demented brain placed in the creature.

With Boris Karloff choosing to put his monster days behind him, Lon Chaney, Jr. seemed like a natural replacement.  With very little to do as the Monster, he did add to the iconic character in the last scene by having the blind Monster walk forward with his arms outstretched…a common image of the Monster nowadays.  Lugosi continues to be fun as the plotting Ygor and I only wish that Ygor had stuck around for sequels.


I’ll trade you my brain for that girl…

The movie does look visually a little cheaper than the previous installments and that is too bad.  With a little trimming and a better look, this could be a decent monster movie.  The Monster still is a cool visual, but the movie could have been better with a bigger budget.

The Ghost of Frankenstein feels like more of a direct sequel to the previous entry (despite the unbelievable nature of the set-up).  If you liked Son of Frankenstein, you’ll probably like Ghost of Frankenstein, though you can see a degrading in budget.  The Ghost of Frankenstein was followed by Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man in 1943 (which failed to re-explain the Monster’s blindness and lack of speech).

Related Links:

Frankenstein (1931)

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

House of Frankenstein (1944)

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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