Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein

Directed by Charles Barton
Produced by Robert Arthur
Written by Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo & John Grant
Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Lon Chaney, Jr.
Bela Lugosi
Glenn Strange
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Charles Van Enger
Editing by Frank Gross
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date 15 June 1948 (US)
Running time 83 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein was one of my favourite films as a kid. It was a film that I found to be both scary and funny in equal parts. I really loved this movie so much that I just had to order it from Amazon because I could not find it for sale anywhere in Australia, and I desperately wanted to see it again. I just wanted to know if the film held up as well now as it did back when I was a kid.

I popped the DVD disc into my Sony DVD player the other day and found that the film really lived up to my expectations. Whilst I no longer find the film as scary as I did as an eight year old there were still a few heart pounding moments, especially the scene when Lou is unknowingly being stalked by the Wolfman in the hotel room. (See picture below) Also, like most seventy year old comedy films, the humour has dated quite a bit, but there are still a few chuckles to be had, especially the look of fright on the Frankenstein Monster’s face when he first lays his eyes on Costello. It’s funny to see the Monster being so afraid as someone as harmless as Lou.

It is probably true that this film was probably the beginning of the downward spiral in A&C’s popularity even though they did have a few box office hits after this film. Their popularity really waned as Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis became the #1 Hollywood comedy team, and A&C started to go back to the same ideas again and again (ie; going back to the team ups with Universal’s monster icons). They really weren’t known for their innovation, especially as they really only liked to use gags and routines that they had honed to perfection by performing them thousands of times on the vaudeville circuit. Still A&C Meet Frankenstein is a classic and a movie that I recommend for anyone who likes both classic comedy and classic monster movies.


3 responses to “Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein

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  • poetryforlaughs

    Normally, I hate a mix of horror and comedy. I always hated how old horror movies like the original Mystery of the Wax Museum were spoiled by dreadful comic relief. I can’t believe it was funny even at the time. I also didn’t find Abbott and Costello funy. Despite all that, I watched this movie because it featured Bela Lugosi. I was so surprised. It’s such a well crafted film. It doesn’t mock the horror element and relegate the characters to one-dimensional background charaters. It’s rather like a loving homage to the genre. Although I will always perfer my horror straight, this is a movie that I can watch repeatedly.
    Anyone interested in Bela Lugosi might like to visit my blog, Howlin’ where they can find an archive in support of the Lugosi autobiography Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi in England by Frank Dello Stritto and Andi Brooks.

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