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The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 11 November 1943 (USA)
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0:51 | Trailer
When an errant bomb unearths the coffin of a vampire during the London Blitz, a gravedigger unknowingly reanimates the monster by removing the stake from his heart

Director:

Lew Landers

Writers:

Griffin Jay (screenplay), Kurt Neumann (based upon an idea by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Armand Tesla / Dr. Hugo Bruckner
Frieda Inescort ... Lady Jane Ainsley
Nina Foch ... Nicki Saunders
Roland Varno ... John Ainsley
Miles Mander ... Sir Frederick Fleet
Matt Willis ... Andreas Obry
Ottola Nesmith ... Elsa Walter - Governess
Gilbert Emery ... Dr. Walter Saunders
Leslie Denison Leslie Denison ... Detective Lynch
William Austin ... Detective Gannett
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Storyline

In 1918, an English family are terrorized by a vampire, until they learn how to deal with it. They think their troubles are over, but German bombs in WWII free the monster. He reclaims the soul of his wolfman ex-servant, and assuming the identity of a scientist who has just escaped from a concentration camp, he starts out on a plan to get revenge upon the family. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BEAUTY at the mercy of a MONSTER! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vampires of London See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,090,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The action of the prologue takes place beginning 15 October 1918, while the balance of the film takes place in late summer, early autumn of 1940 (according the the Regent Hall concert program shown). See more »

Goofs

When the gravediggers remove the stake from Tesla's chest, it's tossed aside inside the coffin, where it makes a metal clanging sound (the stake also appeared to be metal). Earlier, the professor clearly stated that the vampire can only be killed with a wooden stake. See more »

Quotes

Horace: [Entering the graveyard] Blimey, look at this place!
Civil Defense worker #2: [Seeing the empty coffin, with a Cockney accent] Blimey, 'e's 'opped! Lord Love-a-Duck!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Creepiest Creatures (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
OK but forgettable
20 October 2006 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

In 1918 Lady Jane Amsley (Freida Inescort) helps kill Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) with a stake through the heart and reform his werewolf helper Andreas (don't ask). 26 years later Tesla's stake is accidentally removed during a Nazi bombing and he decides to take revenge on Lady Amsley--through her son and his bride to be (Nina Foch).

I saw this many times on TV as a kid and loved it. Seeing it as an adult it (sadly) doesn't hold up. The lapses in logic in the plot that I happily ignored in my youth come glaring out now. For starters--a WEREWOLF assistant? How? And why? Also the makeup on Andreas is pretty laughable. And it seems he does Tesla's laundry (!!!) too. How did all the fog get in the house when Tesla goes after Nicki? And a stake in a heart doesn't totally kill a vampire? Lugosi also looks pretty terrible here--but he was in his 60s and a drug addict.

As for the good things--the acting is good. Inescort and Foch are very good and Lugosi is excellent (but he always was). Matt Willis is also pretty good as Andreas. The movie looks great and is very atmospheric. Also I like how they worked WWII into the story. I LOVE the glowing crucifix on the organ (always impressed me as a kid) and the final scene is memorable.

This is probably remembered as one of the three times that Lugosi played an actual vampire--the other two were "Dracula" and "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" ("Mark of the Vampire" doesn't count). Overall it's OK but the gaps in logic were too big for me to forget. It's OK viewing--just turn your brain off.


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