Horror Is Universal: “Son of Frankenstein” (1939)

Himrich Hall

After our cheerful little trip through the land of German Expressionism, we’re back in familiar territory and ready to move forward. Today’s film is the first in what we’re going to call the second part of Universal Horror’s Classic Era, which as you may recall lasts from about 1930 to 1960. Why are there multiple parts to this era, you may ask? It’s got to do with some behind-the-scenes corporate stuff going on in Universal at the time. I mentioned in our last review that I would give a more detailed explanation of all that, so here’s what you need to know.

Do you remember Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal? He was still around in the mid-1930s, but the work of actually running the studio had passed on to his son, Carl Laemmle Jr., in 1928. Laemmle Jr. can be credited with “modernizing” the studio with talkies, Technicolor…

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