Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Frederic I. Rinaldo
Lou Costello as Wilbur Grey
Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence "Larry" Talbot / The Wolf Man
Béla Lugosi as Count Dracula, masquerading under the guise of Dr. Lejos
Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's monster
Lenore Aubert as Dr. Sandra Mornay
Jane Randolph as Joan Raymond
Frank Ferguson as Mr. McDougal
Charles Bradstreet as Professor Stevens
Vincent Price as the voice of the Invisible Man (uncredited cameo)
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is a 1948 American horror comedy film directed by Charles Barton and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello.
Larry Talbot makes an urgent phone call to a railway station, where Chick Young and Wilbur Grey work as baggage clerks. Talbot tries to warn Wilbur of a shipment due to arrive for “McDougal’s House Of Horrors”. However, before he finishes, the moon rises and Talbot transforms into a werewolf, causing Wilbur to think the call is a prank. Meanwhile, McDougal demands the crates be personally delivered to his wax museum.
Chick and Wilbur deliver the crates after hours. They open the first one and find Dracula’s coffin. When Chick leaves the room to retrieve the second crate, Wilbur reads the Dracula legend, and the coffin suddenly opens and Dracula sneaks out. Wilbur is so frightened he can barely articulate his call for help. When Chick returns, he refuses to believe the story. The boys open the second crate, and Chick goes to greet McDougal. Dracula hypnotizes Wilbur, finds Frankenstein’s Monster in the second crate, and reanimates him. Both leave, and McDougal finds the crates empty and has Wilbur and Chick arrested.
That night, Dr. Sandra Mornay welcomes Dracula and the Monster to her island castle. Sandra has seduced Wilbur as part of Dracula’s plan to give the monster a more obedient brain. Meanwhile, Wilbur and Chick are bailed out of jail by Joan Raymond, an undercover insurance investigator who also feigns love for Wilbur, hoping to gain information. Wilbur invites Joan to a masquerade ball that evening. Talbot takes the apartment across the hall from Wilbur and Chick, and asks them to help him find and destroy Dracula and the Monster. Wilbur agrees, but Chick remains skeptical.
Wilbur, Chick and Joan go to Sandra’s castle to pick her up for the ball. Wilbur answers a telephone call from Talbot, who informs them that they are in fact in the “House of Dracula”. Wilbur reluctantly agrees to search the castle and soon stumbles upon a basement staircase, where he has a few close encounters with the monsters. Meanwhile, Joan discovers Dr. Frankenstein’s notebook in Sandra’s desk, and Sandra finds an Insurance Investigator ID in Joan’s purse.
A suave Dr. Lejos (a.k.a. Dracula) introduces himself to Joan and the boys. Also working at the castle and attending the ball is the naive Prof. Stevens, who questions some of the specialized equipment that has arrived. After Wilbur says that he was in the basement, Sandra feigns a headache and tells the others to go to the ball without her. In private, Sandra admits to Dracula that she feels they are not safe to conduct the experiment. In response, Dracula turns her into a vampire.
At the masquerade ball, Talbot accuses Lejos of being Dracula, but no one takes him seriously. Joan soon disappears. Sandra lures Wilbur to a quiet spot in the woods and attempts to bite him, but fails. While looking for Joan, Talbot becomes the Wolfman and attacks McDougal. Since Chick’s costume is a wolf, McDougal accuses Chick, who escapes and witnesses Dracula hypnotizing Wilbur. Chick is also hypnotized and rendered helpless, while Dracula and Sandra bring Wilbur, Stevens, and Joan back to the castle. The next morning, Chick and Talbot meet up in the bayou and set out to rescue Wilbur and Joan.
Wilbur is quickly freed, but Dracula uses hypnotism to call him back. As Sandra prepares to cut into Wilbur’s brain, Talbot and Chick burst in. Chick knocks out Sandra with a chair, and Talbot tries to free Wilbur but turns into the Wolfman again. Frankenstein’s Monster breaks free of his bonds – Sandra tries to control him, but he throws her out the window. After an extended chase through the house, Dracula attempts to flee as a Bat, only to have the Wolfman pounce out a window and drag them both to their deaths. Chick, Stevens, Joan and Wilbur flee in boats; Stevens sets the pier ablaze while the Monster is standing on it, and he dies in the flames.
Wilbur scolds Chick for his earlier skepticism, and Chick remarks they have nothing to fear now. The Invisible Man addresses them from the boat’s thwart, and they jump into the lake and swim away in terror.
As Francis (Friedrich Fehér) sits on a bench with an older man who complains that spirits have driven him away from his family and home, a dazed woman named Jane (Lil Dagover) passes them. Francis explains she is his “fiancée” and that they have suffered a great ordeal. Most of the rest of the film is a flashback of Francis’s story, which takes place in Holstenwall, a shadowy village of twisted buildings and spiraling streets. Francis and his friend Alan (Hans Heinz v. Twardowski), who are good-naturedly competing for Jane’s affections, plan to visit the town fair. Meanwhile, a mysterious man named Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) seeks a permit from the rude town clerk to present a spectacle at the fair, which features a somnambulist named Cesare (Conrad Veidt). The clerk mocks and berates Caligari, but ultimately approves the permit. That night, the clerk is found stabbed to death in his bed.