Welcome back to MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES, that column where we look at memorable quotes from classic movies.
Up today it’s FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943), the classic Universal monster movie that put two Universal monsters in the same movie for the first time. FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN is the sequel to both THE WOLF MAN (1941) and THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942).
Both films starred Lon Chaney Jr.. He played the Frankenstein Monster in THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN and of course he played Larry Talbot/aka “the Wolf Man” in THE WOLF MAN. Early on the idea was Chaney would play both monsters in this one, but that’s not what happened.
Instead, the role of the Frankenstein Monster went to Bela Lugosi, which made sense, since the character he played in THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN, Ygor, ended up at the end of that movie having his brain transplanted inside the body of the monster. The original screenplay to FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN had Lugosi’s Monster speaking as the evil Ygor, but this was also changed, and sadly, all of Lugosi’s lines in the movie were cut before the film’s release.
So, there won’t be any memorable quotes from Lugosi’s Monster here! In fact, a lot of the memorable quotes in FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN come from supporting players.
Let’s have a look at some of them, from a screenplay by Curt Siodmark, who also penned the screenplay for THE WOLF MAN.
The movie opens in a graveyard in one of the more atmospheric scenes in a Universal monster movie. The first half of FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN is a direct sequel to THE WOLF MAN, and so this opening scene features two grave robbers attempting to rob Larry Talbot’s grave. Little do they realize that when the light of the full moon touches Talbot’s body, he’ll come back to life. Yup, you can’t keep a good werewolf down!
Anyway, the two grave robbers have an interesting conversation. Let’s listen:
GRAVEROBBER #1: (reading from the headstone) “Lawrence Stewart Talbot, who died at the youthful age of thirty one. R.I.P.”
That’s it. Give me the chisel.
GRAVEROBBER #2: Suppose they didn’t bury him with the money on him.
GRAVEROBBER #1: Everybody in the village knows about it – his gold watch and ring and money in his pockets.
GRAVEROBBER #2: It’s a sin to bury good money when it could help people.
There’s something very sad and sincere about that last line.
When Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) comes back to life, he finds himself in the care of Dr. Mannering (Patric Knowles) at the local psychiatric hospital, while Police Inspector Owen (Denis Hoey) tries to learn Talbot’s true identity. After learning Talbot’s name, the inspector calls Talbot’s home town to learn more about him.
INSPECTOR OWEN: This is Inspector Owen speaking, in Cardiff. Have you got anything in your files about a man named…
POLICE SERGEANT: Lawrence Talbot? Why of course, he lived here.
INSPECTOR OWEN: Well, that’s all right, then. We’ve got him up here in our hospital.
POLICE SERGEANT: I wouldn’t want him in our hospital. He died four years ago!
When Mannering and Inspector Owen confront Larry Talbot with the news that the man he claims to be is dead, Talbot realizes he cannot die. Frustrated he tries to escape, but not before giving Mannering and Owen some advice:
DR. MANNERING: Mr Talbot, if you want us to help you, you must do as we say. Now, please lie down.
LAWRENCE TALBOT: You think I’m insane. You think I don’t know what I’m talking about. Well you just look in that grave where Lawrence Talbot is supposed to be buried and see if you find a body in it!
And Mannering and Inspector Owen decide to do just that. They discover that Talbot’s body is indeed missing, and once they establish there’s a close resemblance between the two men, Mannering calls his hospital to check on Talbot but learns some unsettling news instead, which he relays to Inspector Owen:
INSPECTOR OWEN: What happened to Talbot? Did he die?
DR. MANNERING: No. He tore off his strait jacket during the night and escaped.
INSPECTOR OWEN: Tore off his strait jacket? How?
DR. MANNERING: Bit right through it. Tore it to shreds with his teeth.
INSPECTOR OWEN: His teeth?
Later, Talbot seeks out Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya) the gypsy woman who helped him in THE WOLF MAN. Her fellow gypsies warn her about Talbot.
GYPSY: You’re not leaving us. You’re not going with him. He has the sign of the beast on him.
MALEVA; He is dangerous only when the moon is full. I shall watch over him.
GYPSY: He will murder you.
Maleva and Talbot travel to Vasaria in search of Dr. Frankenstein, who Maleva believes can help Larry. When they arrive in Vasaria, they learn that Dr. Frankenstein is dead. Before they leave the village, the moon becomes full and Talbot transforms into the Wolf Man. After he murders a young girl, the villagers wonder if the Frankenstein Monster has come back to life:
RUDI: Could it be the monster again? Frankenstein’s monster?
GUNO: No, the monster was burned to death by Dr. Frankenstein.
FRANZEC: Yes, we found his bones and buried them.
VARJA-BARMAID: How do you know they were the monster’s bones?
GUNO: She wasn’t killed by the monster. An animal bit her to death. I saw the wound on her throat.
RUDI: What animals are around here that can kill people?
(A wolf howls.)
RUDI: A wolf!
Eventually, Dr. Mannering catches up with Talbot in Vasaria and tries to convince him to come back with him so he can care for him, but Talbot isn’t having any of it.
LARRY TALBOT: Why have you followed me?
DR. MANNERING: Talbot, you’re a murderer.
LARRY TALBOT: Prove it.
DR. MANNERING: You’re insane at times and you know it. You’re sane enough now though to know what you’re doing. Why don’t you let me take care of you?
LARRY TALBOT: You think it would do any good to put me in a lunatic asylum?
DR. MANNERING: You know that’s where you belong. It’s the only thing to do.
LARRY TALBOT: Oh that wouldn’t do any good. I’d only escape again sooner or later.
DR. MANNERING: We might be able to cure you. It might prevent you…
LARRY TALBOT: I only want to die. That’s why I’m here. If I ever find peace I’ll find it here.
When the villagers of Vasaria find themselves dealing with both the Wolf Man and the resurrected Frankenstein Monster (Bela Lugosi) they discuss a plan on how to deal with the Monster. Lionel Atwill plays the Mayor.
MAYOR: We must be more clever this time. We must pretend to be friends with the monster.
VAZEC (sarcastically): Yes, why not elect it mayor of Vasaria!
And we finish with one of Lon Chaney Jr.’s more dramatic scenes, at the Festival of the New Wine, where a performer sings about living eternally, causing Talbot to explode in an emotional tirade:
LARRY TALBOT: Stop that! Stop it! Quit that singing! Eternally! I don’t want to live eternally! Why did you say that to me? Get away from me! Stay away! Go away, all of you! Let me alone! Stay away!
I hope you enjoyed today’s Memorable Movie Quotes column, on the Universal classic FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN, one of the more entertaining Universal Monster movies, and that you’ll join me again next time when we look at notable quotes from another classic movie.
That’s it for now.
Thanks for reading!