“Would you destroy that which I, your father, dedicated his life to creating?”
Frankenstein's castle is destroyed by the rampaging villagers. Ygor (Bela Lugosi) finds the monster (Lon Chaney) still alive but weak. Ygor decides to bring the monster to Frankenstein’s other son Ludwig (Cedric Hardwicke) hoping he can restore the monster. Ludwig is also a doctor. He has a practice in Visaria with his assistants Dr. Kettering (Barton Yarborough) and Dr. Bohmer (Lionel Atwill).
When they get to Visaria the monster befriends a small girl. The villagers think he is going to hurt her so the first opportunity they have, they capture the monster. Erik Ernst (Ralph Bellamy) is the town prosecutor. He asks Ludwig to examine the monster. Ygor goes to Ludwig and tells him who the monster is and pleads for the doctor to heal both his body and his mind. When Ludwig refuses Ygor threatens to reveal who Ludwig really is to the town.
The monster breaks free of his chains and follows Ygor out of the town. Frankenstein’s daughter Elsa (Evelyn Ankers) learns the truth about who her father really is. When the monster tries to kidnap Elsa, Ludwig manages to knock it out with gas. Ludwig feels that his only choice is to kill the monster. He plans to take it apart piece by piece. Bohmer refuses to help him.
While Ludwig is contemplating what he is about to do, he sees the ghost of his father, Henry Frankenstein. His father’s ghost implores him to not kill his creation. The ghost tells Ludwig to put another brain in the monster’s body. A good brain.
“Ghost of Frankenstein” was released in 1942 and was directed by Erle C. Kenton. By now Universal has lost all integrity when it comes to horror movies of the 40’s. Not until “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” is released in 1954 will there be another Universal monster of quality. That’s not to say the movies aren’t a fun watch. They are. They’re just not a quality watch.
Jack P. Pierce again does the monster make-up. Dwight Frye appears as 2 different characters. First as one of the villagers who destroys the Frankenstein castle at the beginning of the film. Later in flashbacks to the original Frankenstein (1931) where he played Fritz, the hunchbacked assistant to the original Dr. Frankenstein.
They had to jump through a bunch of hoops to come up with the plot for this one. The monster had to live. Ygor had to live. They had to invent a brother. Everyone in the new town never heard of Frankenstein or the monster. As for the ghost concept, Hardwicke plays his own father and, as a ghost, he is on screen for less than two minutes. Even though the plot is flawed it no longer matters. Since we are now in the “B” movie arena, anything goes.