The Return of the Vampire (1943) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: 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… Runtime: 69 min Release Date: 11 Nov 1943
Bela Lugosi made This Film a CLASSIC! (by whpratt1)
This is another great Classic Film because Bela Lugosi put his heart and soul entirely into being a Vampire or Dracula. No matter how old the film is, sixty or one-hundred years, all his B films are instant Classics. This is a very well made picture from Columbia and deals with the period during WW II in London, England where Bela Lugosi Armand Tesla , seems to come back to life twice and manages to make sure that every one gets a Blood Transfusion young or old! These films will bring you back into the world of the 1940's and great actors like Boris Karloff and Lugosi will live forever <more>
in Black & White which seems perfect for that period in History!
atmospheric and mesmerizing vampire film (by moviestosee)
I consider that this movie is better than Bela Lugosi's 'Dracula'. The photographic quality is superior and the music adds a great eery element especially with the thick fog moving about. Lugosi's vampire character with enslaved Matt Willis as the obedient evil werewolf is the perfect model of one evil entity being subordinated by a greater evil entity.
True masterpiece (by Bored_Dragon)
Multilayered and deeper than in any previous Dracula movie, the story is balancing between drama and thriller. Characterization has much more attention than in any other monster movie from this period, acting is solid, and camera, directing and effects are superb. For its own time and genre, this movie is simply perfect.10/10
Good escapism (by reve-2)
If you're looking for a movie that will give you some good, old fashioned, escapism and not try to preach to or lecture you, you will enjoy this movie. Lugosi, with the aid of Andreas his werewolf assistant is once again trying to capture the heart and soul of a young woman. But, the young womans' soon to be mother-in-law is on to Lugosis' plot and a real battle royale is soon underway. This is a down to earth, old time vampire movie which takes place during the WW II years. Enjoy it for what it is and don't take it too seriously. IMHO, the walking, talking, sharp dressing <more>
vampire assistant is one of the best parts of the story. Andreas has a real inner conflict while trying to decide whether to help his evil vampire master or to help the heroine rid the earth of this monster.
So many great touches in this movie, from the means by which the Dracula surrogate Tesla is "unearthed" by means of a German bomb during WW2! to the inventive use of an articulate werewolf masterfully portrayed by character actor Matt Willis as Tesla's Renfield.I'd love to see a "director's cut" of this film because obviously a whole lot of backstory wound up littering the floor. Clearly Tesla preyed upon the same family a mere generation earlier why doesn't Lady Jane recognize him, for heaven's sake? and they managed to stake him and bury him. <more>
Clearly, he would have remained interred but for the intervention of Herman G and the Luftwaffe.The werewolf, Andreas, was "cured" following Tesla's temporary demise and has not gone werewolf in all that time. Lady Jane, as played by Nina Foch, is so holier-than-thou she actually gets a halo effect in some scenes. She's also capable of saving Andreas' soul -- but only as long as Tesla's off-stage.The reunion between Tesla and Andreas upon the former's revival looks like a newly-clean crack addict being picked up by his connection as he leaves Rehab Mountain and he's ready to puff! The soul that Lady Jane is so certain she has cleansed proves weaker than O'Doul's "beer". Instantly, he's burbling: "The master's back! The master's back!" He instantly sets off on a mission of murder and even returns with the dead man's effects the oft-referenced "laundry package" so Tesla can do an identity theft.Great Scene Alert: Tesla is advancing on Lady Jane, her back to him playing an organ, the nape of her neck exposed. Then, suddenly, she jerks away the sheet music to reveal that she bought the Hammond Organ model that comes with a built-in illuminated crucifix.SPOILER ALERT: By the end, of course, goodness triumphs. The decomp scene with Tesla is great stuff and the look of innocence on Andreas' face "He found his soul at last." is really well done.There are also the obligatory London bobby scenes, including the constable turning to the camera and addressing the audience in order to crap all over the end of an other wise excellent film.See this one.
I really enjoyed this movie. It was unique in that the Vampire had a werewolf as his assistant. This werewolf wears a suit, talks, smiles and, in general, acts like a normal human being. The movie was basically a sequel to Dracula but the vampire played by Bela Lugosi could not use the name Dracula because this was a Columbia picture and Universal Studios had the legal rights to the Dracula character. But, it was still Lugosi at his scary, pompous best.
An enjoyable 40's horror potboiler (by Woodyanders)
1918: Ruthless and cunning 200-year-old vampire Armand Tesla a strong performance of subtle menace by Bela Lugosi terrorizes the countryside. Shrewd, gutsy scientist Lady Jane Aimsley the excellent Freda Inescort and Sir John Aimsley nicely played by Roland Varno manage to stop Tesla by driving a stake through his heart. Twenty-odd years later Tesla gets revived and plots to get revenge on the family that killed him. Director Lew Landers relates the narrative at a slow, yet steady pace, treats the rather silly story with admirable seriousness, and does an expert job of creating and <more>
sustaining a marvelously eerie and brooding midnight-in-the-graveyard fog-shrouded atmosphere. This film further benefits from credible acting by a sturdy cast: the lovely and poised Nina Foch makes for a very attractive victim as the fetching Nicki Saunders, Matt Willis contributes a respectable portrayal of Tesla's tormented talking werewolf servant Andreas Obry, and Miles Mander does well as dour skeptic Sir Frederick Fleet. The elegant black and white cinematography by John Stumar and L. William O'Connell boasts a few nifty wipes and features plenty of striking expressionistic lighting the image of Tesla's shadow cast on a bedroom wall is especially startling . The special effects are pretty crude, but still effective just the same Tesla's climactic face-melting disintegration hits the gooey spot . Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's robust, rousing score likewise does the thrilling trick. Moreover, this picture doesn't overstay its welcome because it's a tight 69 minutes long. Although a bit slow and talky, this movie still manages to work thanks to Lugosi's dignified presence, a few amusing novel touches you gotta love a werewolf that speaks, does his vampire master's laundry, and can transform at any given time of the day , and the supremely spooky'n'misty ooga-booga mood. A fun fright flick.
Bela Lugosi Returns to His Greatest Role...Almost (by ksj870)
The general concensus seems to be that Return of the Vampire is an inferior "unofficial" sequel to Universal's classic version of Dracula, which of course stands as perhaps the foremost cinematic version of Bram Stoker's famous novel. And indeed, Return of the Vampire does borrow a great deal from the Universal film, not the least being Bela Lugosi himself in a virtual reprisal of his celebrated role. That being said, Return of the Vampire is a very effective film in its own right, one which is cleverly written and creatively directed, and which allows Lugosi to effectively <more>
enlarge upon his iconic performance as the Prince of Vampires.Director Lew Anders deserves a lot of the credit for the quality of Return of the Vampire. The plot moves quickly and everything is absolutely saturated in Gothic ambiance. The closed-in atmosphere, centered around a few central sets and principal characters much like the Tod Browning-directed Dracula , is used to marvelous effect and creates a dream-like quality surpassed by few other films of its day. Produced in 1944, the film incorporates the London Blitz into its narrative, and this element serves to produce a couple of key plot points. There is some humor, mostly of the understated sort, but for the most part the story is straightforwardly told and is admirably sober.The cast does a fine job all-round. Frieda Insescourt takes on the role of a feminine version of Dr. Van Helsing and handles it very well, conveying just the right amount of matronly authority. The extremely lovely Nina Foch captures viewer empathy as the innocent and unsuspecting object of the villain's unholy desires, and the expressiveness of Foch's dramatic performance makes the key scenes where she is under the vampire's spell especially resonant. Also impressive is Matt Willis as the vampire's werewolf henchman, a cursed soul who loathes his master's power over him even as he revels in it. The werewolf's struggle for salvation is one of the story's vital subplots, and one which Willis imbues with all the necessary pathos.But of course the standout performance belongs to Bela Lugosi. Lugosi will be remembered forever for Dracula, but his portrayal of this film's vampire--Armand Tesla--arguably surpasses even that. Lugosi radiates evil almost palpably, yet when Tesla is required to put on the mask of a harmless gentleman the seamless transition is in and of itself rather unsettling. For all practical purposes, Lugosi is playing Dracula again--but this time around his performance is even more nuanced and believable. Lugosi's Tesla is a truly malevolent master vampire, and when Lugosi turns his hypnotic glare upon his victim the actor leaves no doubt in the viewer's mind that resistance is indeed hopeless.Classic horror, especially from the pre-Hammer days, is something of an acquired taste, and many of today's horror fans don't want to watch the old black-and-white gems. That's a pity. These older films are classics for a reason, and the best ones stand the test of time. Return of the Vampire is a fine addition to vampire cinema, and offered Lugosi the chance to basically play Dracula one more time. Thanks to solid direction, a strong plot line, and inspired performances from virtually the entire cast, it remains an entertaining movie that all fans of classic horror should see at least once.