Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (lost Bela Lugosi monster dialogue of Universal horror film; 1943)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is the fifth film in Universal's Frankenstein franchise, as well as a sequel to 1941's The Wolf Man. The film is notable for being Universal's first "Monster Mash"/crossover, in addition to introducing the iconic "Frankenstein Walk".
However, most people do not know the reason for this installment's odd portrayal of Frankenstein's Monster, said reason being that he originally had spoken dialogue, all of which was deleted from the film.
Legendary horror film actor Bela Lugosi had previously portrayed Ygor in 1939's Son of Frankenstein and 1942's Ghost of Frankenstein. He had also been cast as the Monster in the first movie and later backed out. Regretting his decision, Lugosi was glad to be playing the Monster in this film. However, at the climax of Ghost of Frankenstein, Ygor gets his brain transplanted in the Monster's body and ends up losing his eyesight. This would cause a change in the next film.
The dialogue for the Monster in the film would be different than the dialogue from previous films. Reportedly, the Monster would have a split personality switching from between itself and Ygor. Lines included:
"Frankenstein gave me life and his son gave me a brain".
The dialogue was a big part of the story, explaining things such as the Monster being blind, which, when cut, ended up creating the "Frankenstein Walk" (which is why he stretches his arms straight).
After the footage was shot, the test audiences found the Monster speaking with Lugosi's natural Hungarian accent ridiculous and "unintentionally funny". This was what is generally assumed to be the reason that the dialogue was cut. This caused a few inconsistencies such as when the Monster is brought to "full power" his eyes flutter open, and he can be seen smiling (this was meant to signify that he had regained his sight and strength, the blindness as well as the weakness which was to be explained previously). The dialogue has been lost and is assumed to have been destroyed by Universal.
In 2010, YouTuber Cynthia Levin, after removing some background music, found that a small snippet of Lugosi's dialogue was left in with him saying "It's all here!" Or "This is it!". The video can be viewed below.
- IMDb page on Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Retrieved 28 Jul '14