Frankenstein meets the Wolfman

1943

Graverobbers open the grave of the Wolfman and awake him. He doesn't like the idea of being immortal and killing people when the moon is full, so he tries to find Dr. Frankenstein, to kill him, but Frankenstein is dead and only his Monster is alive and this one wants to live, not to die like the Wolfman.

Cast:
Ilona Massey .... Baroness Elsa Frankenstein
Patric Knowles .... Dr. Frank Mannering
Lionel Atwill .... Mayor of Vasaria
Bela Lugosi .... Frankenstein's monster
Maria Ouspenskaya .... Maleva (old Gypsy woman)
Dennis Hoey .... Insp. Owen
Lon Chaney Jr. .... The Wolf Man/Lawrence Stewart 'Larry' Talbot
Don Barclay .... Franzec
Rex Evans .... Vazec (the proprietor)
Dwight Frye .... Rudi (a Vasarian)
Harry Stubbs .... Guno
Martha Vickers .... Vasarian girl killed by the Wolf Man

 

Ilona Massey

Sultry, glamorous blonde Hungarian singer who survived an impoverished childhood in Budapest, Hungary. As a dressmaker's apprentice she managed to scrape money together for singing lessons and first danced in chorus lines, later earning roles at the Staats Opera. A Broadway, radio and night-club performer, she appeared in a couple of Austrian features before coming to America to duet with ‘Nelson Eddy’ (qv) in a couple of his glossy operettas. She was secondary to Mr. Eddy and ‘Eleanor Powell’ (qv) in Rosalie (1937), but found her first starring role opposite the popular baritone in Balalaika (1939) wherein she was billed as "the new Dietrich." Ilona did not live up to the hype, however, as her soprano voice was deemed too light for the screen and her acting talents too slight and mannered. She continued in non-singing roles but her brief movie career eventually included only 11 films. For the most part she was called upon to play sophisticated temptresses in thrillers and spy intrigues. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) and Love Happy (1950) with the Marx Bros. are her best recalled. She appeared on radio as a spy in the "Top Secret" program and, on TV, co-starred in the espionage series "Rendezvous" (1952). By the mid-50s she had her own musical TV show in which she sang ballads. She became an American citizen in 1946. Married four times, once to actor Alan Curtis, Ms. Massey died of cancer in 1974.

Maria Ouspenskaya

Born the daughter of a lawyer, Ouspenskaya studied singing at the Warsaw Conservatory and acting at Adasheff's School of the Drama in Moscow. She received her practical training as an actress touring stock in the Russian provinces and then joined the Moscow Art Theatre. It was here that she first worked under the direction of the great Stanislavski, whose "Method" she would go on to promote for the remainder of her life. She came to America with the Art Theatre in 1922 and remained after they returned to Moscow to become a dominant Broadway actress for more than a decade. In 1929 she founded the School of Dramatic Art in New York. It was to help keep the school funded that she accepted her first Hollywod film, Dodsworth, in 1936. (She had appeared in a few movies in Russia.) This began a lucrative association, for Ouspenskaya, Hollywood and the viewing public, that would last for more than a dozen years and two dozen films.She died of a stroke 3 days after a lighted cigarette set fire to her bed.She received two supporting Oscar nominations for the films Dodsworth (1936) and Love Affair (1939). She appeared in Dodsworth for only four minutes; in Love Affair, her scenes added up to a total of ten.Studied opera in both Warsaw and Moscow but switched gears to acting and started off at the Adasheff's School of Drama at the age of 30+.An actor/instructor with Konstantin Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre (from 1911), she toured thoughout Europe during the Communist takeover and appeared in over 100 plays. When the company arrived in the United States, she remained.Taught acting at New York's American Laboratory Theatre in the 20s until forming her own acting school, the Maria Ouspenskaya School of Dramatic Arts, in 1929. She moved her studio to Hollywood in the late 30s when her film career began to flourish. Some of her more famous students included John Garfield and acting gurus Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. Iif a wizened matriarch of any nationality was required for a movie - French, Polish, East Indian - Mme. Oupenskaya was among the first to be called upon. Despite her steady work in A-pictures, it was for a medium-budget horror film that she is best remembered today. In The Wolf Man (1941), it is Ouspenskaya as mournful gypsy woman Maleva who breaks the news that poor Lon Chaney Jr. has been bitten by a werewolf; the actress' chilling recital of the famed Wolf Man curse ("Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night") is enough to give adult viewers nightmares. She repeated the role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)

Martha Vickers

Martha MacVicar was born to James S. and Frances MacVicar in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Growing up she attends schools in Chicago, Miami, Dallas, St. Petersburg and Long Beach. She becomes a model for still photographer William Mortensen. One of Yanks pin-up girls during WWII, her posing leads to a screen contract with David O. Selznick. Horror film fans will recognize her in The Wolfman 1941, Frankenstein meets the Wolfman in 1942, Captive Wild Women in 1943 and The Mummy's Ghost in 1944 where she used her given name of Martha McVicar. In films She wasn't "Vickers" until her breakthrough film The Big Sleep (1946), in which she was cast as Carmen Sternwood, Lauren Bacalls debauched, thumb-sucking younger sister. The most famous of Vickers' three husbands was Mickey Rooney, to whom she was wed from 1949 to 1951; husband number one was publicist/producer A. C. Lyles Jr., while number three was polo player Manuel Rojas. Martha Vickers retired from films after appearing in Four Fast Guns (1960).

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