Son of Frankenstein
is a 1939 horror film, the third film in Universal
series. It stars Basil Rathbone as the eponymous son, Bela Lugosi
as Ygor and Boris Karloff
as Frankenstein's Monster
for the final time in his career (Dr. Victor Frankenstein does not appear in the film however, due to Colin Clive's death in 1937).
A couple decades after the events of Bride of Frankenstein
, Dr. Wolf von Frankenstein
with his wife and son arrive in the town of Frankenstein (previously known
as Goldstadt) to claim his inheritance from his late father, namely the Castle Frankenstein. Terror of the Monster still fresh on their minds, the townsfolk shun Wolf but he keeps his mind open. He meets his father's previous assistant Ygor, who survived a hanging attempt following his conviction for grave robbing
. Ygor reveals that the Monster is still alive, but is in bad shape due to being struck by lightning, and begs Wolf to help it. Wolf decides to restore the Monster in the name of science
, but Ygor has other plans in mind...Son
is considered to be Universal's last great Frankenstein
movie and Lugosi's portrayal of Ygor is often hailed as his career's high-point. Its basic concept and a number of ideas unique to it (e.g. Krogh's artificial arm) were specifically parodied by Young Frankenstein
The film was followed by The Ghost of Frankenstein
Son of Frankenstein contains examples of:
- Artificial Limbs: Krogh's wooden arm.
- Asshole Victim: The 8 jurors. Considering they tried to hang Ygor over grave robbing, it's not hard to see why Ygor had the Monster kill them.
- Awesome McCoolname: Baron Wolf von Frankenstein. Though this could double as Names to Run Away From Really Fast.
- Broad Strokes: This film appears to be based on a scenario where Henry dies at the end of Bride, but Elizabeth survives (either while pregnant or already having sons). (The original ending of Bride where Henry dies would mean Elizabeth does, too) there are other things that don't quite gel with the previous film as well.
- The previous movies seemed to depict the Monster's entire career, but now we're told that he amputated young Krogh's arm at some point, and that he was struck by lightning.
- Conspicuous Gloves: Inspector Krogh has a prosthetic arm (having lost his right arm when a child, the Monster tearing it off the boy) and he wears a glove on it indoors and out. He does remove the left glove in some indoors scenes There's a bit of black comedy when the actor (Lionel Atwill) sets the position of his right arm with his left hand to "demonstrate" the right arm is prosthetic.
- Double Meaning Title: The title "Son of Frankenstein" refers to both Frankenstein's biological son and the constructed one.
- Drop the Hammer: Ygor tries to do this to the Baron. It doesn't end well for old Ygor.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Monster tries to drop Wolf's son into a sulfur pit as revenge for "killing" Ygor, but can't bring himself to go through with it.
- Fainting: Amelia faints at the sight of the Monster.
- For Science!: Wolf's reason to heal the Monster. He also hopes to clear his family name by fixing the monster's brain, proving that his father had the right idea and just made a mistake.
- Handicapped Badass: Inspector Krogh.
- Have a Gay Old Time
- High-Class Glass: Inspector Krogh wears one.
- The Igor: Ygor is the Trope Namer.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: Ygor.
- My Nayme Is
- Organ Dodge: When the Monster tries to rip off Krogh's arm and grabs his wooden one.
- Revenge: Ygor has been using the Monster to get revenge on his accusers. Later on, after the Monster finds Ygor dead, he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that culminates in his trying to kill the Baron's son by hurling him into a sulfur pit.
- Screaming Woman
- Torches and Pitchforks
- Villainous Friendship: Between the Monster and Ygor, both outcasts in some form or another.
- The Von Trope Family: The name of Frankenstein is Retconned into von Frankenstein.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Monster did this to Inspector Krogh in the backstory, ripping his arm out of its socket, and he tries to do it to the Baron's son in revenge for Ygor's death, although he hesitates at the last second.
- The X of Y