Saturday, February 5, 2011

ICS - Update February 5, 2011

Bela Lugosi was Universal's top star after Dracula. It was only natural that he was considered the leading actor to play in the upcoming Frankenstein. However, seeing that he would be covered in makeup, and would have no dialogue, Bela passed on the monster, feeling it was beneath him.

In 1943, it was a different story. Lugosi needed whatever work he could get. And when he was offered the chance to play the monster in an upcoming Universal movie, he took it.

Universal was planning the first of its Monster Rallies- this time an epic contest tween the Wolfman and Frankenstein. Settling on the original name Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (please note- not the Frankenstein Monster Meets the Wolfman). Lon Chaney Jr had just played the monster in Ghost of Frankenstein, and Universal's big idea was to use Chaney in both roles. But all the trick camera work was not in Universal's budget, so the part went to... Bela Lugosi.

Lugosi was in his 60s by now, and the strenuous schedule of playing the monster wore heavily on him, causing Universal to rely heavily on stunt doubles.

Well, your friendly neighborhood Hendo has contacted Tom Weaver and Greg Mank (along with Barry Murphy who generously handles arrangements with Tom Weaver) and finalized plans to have these Titans of Terror screen the movie Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman at our June meeting. Now I know most of us have seen it, but a lot of drama went on behind the scenes at Universal, and those stories make for an interesting presentation.

To say NOTHING of the battle over which stuntman- Eddie Parker or Gil Perkins, performed what stunts! There's a 383 PAGE thread on FMTW at the Classic Horror Forum:

FMTW thread

I found this foreign poster online- funny, I don't seem to recall any such scene in the movie!