Night Monster

1942

Adventure / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.3

Synopsis


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1.38G
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English
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73 min
P/S 0 / 1
894.24M
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English
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73 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kevinolzak 9

1942's NIGHT MONSTER was a staple of Universal's SHOCK! package of classic horrors issued to television in the late 50s, showing up 6 times on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater from 1966 to 1983. This was the only Universal to grant Bela Lugosi top billing since the 1931 Dracula, with even 1932's MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE listing him below not-so-virginal ingénue Sidney Fox (a triumph for the casting couch!). For the record, other servant/butler roles Lugosi played can be found in 1933's NIGHT OF TERROR, 1939's THE GORILLA, 1944's ONE BODY TOO MANY, 1945's THE BODY SNATCHER, 1946's GENIUS AT WORK, and 1956's THE BLACK SLEEP. His Rolf has little to do, but he was still a regular participant in the studio's horrors, and always a welcome presence. 'A scream in the night through the fog on Pollard Slough,' hiding something so hideously terrifying that even the frogs stop croaking whenever its shadow passes by (if that doesn't set the proper mood, nothing will!). The opening credits are presented in front of the same forest set built for THE WOLF MAN, featuring music identical to the credits for THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN. Second billed Lionel Atwill also plays a small role, but it's the one doctor he's best suited for, getting good scene stealing mileage out of his exasperated reactions to Francis Pierlot's gland obsessed fellow physician. Kudos to beloved character actor Frank Reicher, best remembered for KING KONG, whose sensitive realistic portrayal of Dr. Timmons is vastly different from the bombastic Atwill. Tending the wealthy and powerful Kurt Ingston in his time of illness, the three have left him 'a helpless cripple, a misshapen thing that must hide even from the servants in the house.' Ralph Morgan is in top form as the wheelchair bound owner of Ingston Towers, with hilarious support from Leif Erickson as the lecherous chauffeur Laurie, even daring to flirt with Doris Lloyd's icy housekeeper, whom he refers to as 'old frozen face.' Little used actress Janet Shaw enjoys one of her few major roles, as Millie Carson, the suspicious maid who abruptly quits without notice, but makes the fatal mistake of returning for her belongings after nightfall, becoming the first on screen victim of the prowling horror, to the eerie silence of the fog shrouded darkness. Director Alfred Hitchcock was preparing SHADOW OF A DOUBT at Universal that summer, and screened this picture because he wanted to cast Janet as a burned out waitress in his film ('I'd just die for a ring like that'). Hitchcock was duly impressed by what he saw in NIGHT MONSTER, and was amazed that it was shot with great style and pace in just 11 days by producer-director Ford Beebe, who had just graduated from serial work. Despite the disappointment for some Lugosi buffs, this fan has long championed its qualities to remain genuinely frightening even today, receiving its long awaited due as a Universal horror classic, a real ensemble piece where the entire cast stands out, a genuine chiller that featured prominently on Chiller Theater, perfect viewing in the dark at 2:00 in the morning.

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Reviewed by utgard14 7

Interesting "B" old dark house thriller about somebody or something killing people right and left at the estate of wealthy cripple Kurt Ingston (Ralph Morgan). Who the culprit is won't be a huge shock to you but how they are doing it is pretty cool. The main selling point of this film is the terrific cast, even though some of the bigger names have small roles. Despite being top billed, Bela Lugosi plays a minor part as a butler. Lionel Atwill also has a minor role as a doctor. Leif Erickson plays a lusty chauffeur and Nils Asther a Hindu mystic. Janet Shaw has a memorable part early on as a sassy maid who can't get away from the Ingston estate fast enough. But the best parts go to Ralph Morgan and Fay Helm as the deranged brother and sister. This is a great movie to pass an hour. Universal made it and it's usually billed as a horror film. It does have some supernatural overtones but at its heart it's basically a murder mystery. A good one, though.

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Reviewed by the_mysteriousx 7

This Universal horror whodunit from 1942 raises one of the top questions among fans as to how this film should have been casted. POSSIBLE SPOILERS! <br/><br/>Should Atwill and Lugosi have played Ingston and Agor Singh????? The answer lies in what we the fans believe. Ford Beebe did an excellent job in directing this film. Supposedly Alfred Hitchcock thought this an important film when it was being made. It has terrific atmosphere, and it is a lot of fun. The actors are all very exciting. In the last half hour someone gets killed every five minutes too. However, the problem for fans is Atwill is seen only in the first half hour of the film and Lugosi&#39;s character is so forgotten by the end that we have no idea if he escaped the house or burned within it! Also, they are top billed. In fact, it was the only time Lugosi got top billing in a Universal film other than Dracula!!!<br/><br/>We must consider this - Lugosi would have had less screen time if he played Agor Singh. However, that was a juicier part and was also more involved with the horror content than the snotty butler he plays. As for Atwill, playing Ingston would have been a virtual repeat of his role as the mad sculptor in Mystery of the Wax Museum. But again, he would have had basically equal screen time if playing that role. What is so disappointing is that after the first half hour he is no longer in the film! If you accept that all actors are equal in this type of film, then you can enjoy it - It is a good film, and truly an ensemble piece. If studio marketing and Lugosi and Atwill being denied bringing forth their full talents bothers you, then you may find this disappointing. I find myself in both seats when I watch this film. I want more Lugosi and more Atwill, but it just doesn&#39;t happen, but when I follow the story, it is very enjoyable.<br/><br/>Ultimately, though, this film will never be considered as great as it could have BECAUSE Atwill and Lugosi are given the non-horror roles. This film would have a higher status and be considered a greater classic if it had given those two the meatier parts. Just like Dracula&#39;s Daughter. That would have been considered the best Vampire movie of all, if only Lugosi got to be in it! Universal, for all it&#39;s greatness in horror, was not perfect. I wish this film had cast Atwill as Ingston and Lugosi as Agor Singh. I do not collect Ralph Morgan films nor Nils Asther films and neither does anyone I know. Nothing against them either. They were both excellent, but what I pay for is Lugosi and Atwill. And from today&#39;s point of view, they are more important horror stars and should have played the horror roles in this film. Period.<br/><br/>So enjoy this film for what it is. It is still a whodunit classic (even though Ralph Morgan ALWAYS is the killer) with great atmosphere. Love those frogs that stop croaking in a simultaneous halt!

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