Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

In this classic horror-comedy hybrid film from director Charles T. Barton, a satire of Universal’s horror films based upon the characters created by Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker, there were a multitude of Universal's horror characters cast for the film, including Lawrence Talbot/Wolfman (Lon Chaney, Jr.), Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), and Dr. Frankenstein's Monster (Glenn Strange); [Note: the film's title was a misnomer - they actually met "The Monster" created by mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein]:

  • in the film's title credits opening, animation was used to spell out the film's title in cartoon bones, and the silhouetted figures of the main horror characters were introduced and paraded across a backdrop of a moonlit sky
  • the story opened in London where, as the night progressed, Larry Talbot/the Wolf Man was attempting to put a phone call through to the express postal office in the village of Islamorada, Florida (in the Keys); in the baggage room, two unsuspecting, dim-witted handling clerks Wilbur Grey (Lou Costello) and Chick Young (Bud Abbott), were beginning to work on a cart stacked with luggage and crates unloaded from a train; during the slapstick scene, Wilbur removed one piece of luggage from the bottom of the cart, and sent the whole load of cargo onto his head; Wilbur was infatuated with beautiful and classy dark-haired "dame" Dr. Sandra Mornay (Lenore Aubert) who happened to arrive to comfort Wilbur and his injured head; in many scenes, Wilbur was foolishly infatuated and in love with Sandra
  • the phone call from Larry Talbot finally connected and was received by Wilbur as he and Chick were in the midst of preparing to unload the cart; Talbot was desperate to warn Wilbur about not delivering two crates addressed to Mr. McDougal's House of Horrors wax museum: ("Under no circumstances are you to deliver those crates until I arrive")

Wilbur's Phone Call with Larry Talbot

The Wolf Man's Transformation During Wilbur's Call
  • mid-call as the moon was rising in London, Talbot was transformed into the Wolf Man; Wilbur mistook the Wolf Man's noisy growls, garglings and snarls as bad manners: "Mr. McDougal, will you stop gargling your throat?...Hey, you'll have to get your dog away from the phone, I can't hear a word you're sayin'. You're awful silly to call me all the way from London just to have your dog talk to me"
  • after the call, McDougal (Frank Ferguson) arrived at the baggage office and demanded the immediate release and delivery of the crates, insured for $20,000 dollars, to his wax museum; McDougal boasted to Sandra that the crates held two new attractions: the coffin of the original Count Dracula, and the body of Dr. Frankenstein's dormant Monster
  • inside the baggage office, after almost crashing the large crates with the two valuable items inside, Wilbur joked to wax museum owner McDougal about working many hours (and possible overtime) for two unions: "Well, that's gonna cost ya overtime because I'm a union man and I work only sixteen hours a day"; when corrected by the exasperated McDougal: "A union man only works eight hours a day", Wilbur noted: "I belong to two unions"
  • after the delivery of the first large crate into the wax museum through its back entrance, as Wilbur was unboxing the contents of the first crate (a coffin), lightning struck and caused a blackout; partner Chick lit a candlestick and then left to bring in the second crate
  • Wilbur gave hysterically beserk reactions of terror and frozen fright as he read aloud in the candlelight from a placard about the Dracula Legend (Dracula's rising every night at sunset, his changing into a vampire bat, his drinking of blood of his victims to keep himself alive, etc.); shortly later behind him, Dracula rose and draped his hand out of his creaky opened coffin lid; when Wilbur claimed to Chick that he saw Dracula's hand from the partially-opened coffin or that a candlestick moved on its own atop the coffin, Chick was disbelieving; he accused Wilbur of being imaginatively "excited"; by himself again and totally frightened and nervous, Wilbur attempted to call out for "Chick," but couldn't be heard because he was at a loss for words; Chick returned and showed Wilbur that the coffin was empty (Dracula had emerged momentarily, but then returned later to hide in his coffin)

Moving Candlestick on Dracula's Coffin Top

Wilbur Softly and Nervously Calling Out: "Chick, Chick..."

Wilbur's Fear when Opening the Coffin Lid and Seeing Dracula Emerging For the Second Time

Wilbur's Frozen Reaction to the Sight of Dracula
  • before removing the top of the second boxed wooden crate, Chick read its placard for Frankenstein's Monster, who was created by stitched-together parts of other bodies and then animated and given "eternal life" via electricity; some claimed the Monster was "not dead even now, just dormant"
  • while Chick went to speak to McDougal, Wilbur opened the coffin lid to hide a decapitated wax dummy head inside, and spied Dracula emerging from his coffin; the Count was able to hypnotize Wilbur into a trance with his piercing eyes; nearby, Dracula reanimated Frankenstein's scarred-faced Monster (Glenn Strange) with electrical jolts to the bolts in his neck; afterwards, Dracula and the Monster snuck away to an island castle surrounded by water (with Frankenstein carrying the Count's coffin), while McDougal accused the two baggage agents of robbing him - his evidence consisted of two empty crates; Wilbur was disregarded and ignored as he pantomimed what had actually happened; the two baggage clerks were arrested and jailed for over a day on suspicion of theft
  • meanwhile, Dracula knocked on the front door of the nearby castle, where he was revealed to be associated with diabolical mad lady scientist Dr. Sandra Mornay; her her technical assistant was Professor (Dr.) Stevens (Charles Bradstreet) working diligently in a laboratory; the Monster was in a weakened condition, and Sandra vowed with Dracula to not repeat the mistakes of Dr. Frankenstein by creating a "vicious, unmanageable brute" with a will of its own .- she proposed that they operate with a scalpel and give the Monster an implanted brain from a "simple" and "pliable" individual; she assured him that she had already chosen Wilbur's ideal and simple "brain" for the Frankenstein Monster's body
  • in the meantime in their hotel room, Wilbur attempted to convince his disbelieving partner Chick that there were two creatures - an 8 feet tall figure walking with stiff legs, and another with staring eyes that were "balls of fire"
  • Larry Talbot arrived directly from London and explained he was the one who had phoned about the two delivery crates with Dracula and the Monster inside; he took a room across the hall at Wilbur and Chick's hotel, and asked for their assistance to help him prevent Dracula from reanimating the Monster and carrying out his evil plans; he insistently ordered them to lock him inside his room, so that if he transformed when the moon rose, he wouldn't hurt anyone
  • the next day, McDougal's blonde insurance inspector Joan Raymond (Jane Randolph) for Shippers Insurance, Inc., who had bailed Wilbur and Chick out of jail, vowed to McDougal that she was tracking down where his two missing wax museum exhibits had been hidden: "I'm quite sure I can persuade the chubby little fellow to lead me right to them"; Joan convinced Wilbur to invite her to join him and Chick and attend a masquerade costume ball that evening
  • while leaving the hotel, they visited with Larry Talbot across the hall, and noticed his room was in disarray; he admitted to lycanthropy as the Wolf Man (turning into a beast in the light of a full moon), when Wilbur joked: "I'm sort of a wolf myself," since both Joan and Sandra had expressed an interest in having Wilbur as their date to attend the masquerade ball
  • before the ball, Talbot again phoned and warned Wilbur and Chick that a "Dr. Lejos" (aka Dracula) had ordered electrical equipment at his castle's 'House of Dracula' needed to "revive the Monster"
  • while searching in the castle's basement, in a funny revolving door sequence, Chick and Wilbur were on one side of the stone door-wall, while the creatures (Dracula and the Monster) on the other side rotated the wall to try and capture them; Chick played the straight man - who never saw the creatures and didn't believe any of Wilbur's fears, while Wilbur was tormented and haunted non-stop by creaking noises and the threatening presence of the creatures
  • as the group prepared to leave for the ball from the castle, Sandra introduced everyone to Dr. Lejos (Dracula in disguise); he noted to Sandra that he approved very highly of her choice of Wilbur: "What we need today is young blood. And brains!"; worried that his plan would be delayed, Dr. Lejos hypnotized Sandra to force her to immediately operate on Wilbur's brain, and then bit into her neck to compel her to do his will as a vampiress
  • at the costume ball held on a large waterfront dock area featuring big band music, Chick was planning to don a "Wolfman" mask, while Wilbur had a "Devil" mask; when Talbot told them he would soon transform into a Wolf, Wilbur joked: "You and 20 million other guys"; Count Dracula arrived and fit in perfectly amongst the costumed guests
  • controlled by Dracula, Sandra led Wilbur aside to a garden area and tempted to whisk him away to the island castle - with a sexy come-on: "I want to be the only one in your life. I want to be part of you...You are so full-blooded, so round, so firm"; she placed him in a trance and was about to bite his neck when Talbot and Chick interrupted
  • as the group looked for Joan in a wooded area, Talbot transformed under a full moon and attacked Wilbur, who chastised him, thinking it was Chick with a mask-disguise: "Didn't Mr. Talbot tell you not to put that mask on anymore? Now, what'd you put it on for?...Now take the mask off! Come on!"; shortly later, McDougal was found with a neck-wound inflicted by the Wolf Man; both Wilbur and McDougal blamed the innocent Chick for their attacks
  • meanwhile, Count Dracula transformed into a vampire bat and put both Chick and Wilbur into a trance; Wilbur was taken away in a motorboat (with an already-hypnotized Joan) to the island castle to be detained, as Chick and the Wolf Man joined forces to rescue them - they returned to the castle in a rowboat
  • Dracula insisted to Sandra that Wilbur must be operated upon immediately, and Dr. Stevens was knocked unconscious to prevent interference; Wilbur was placed into a trance and tied down on an operating table in the laboratory inside the island castle; he was saved from having his brain removed by Sandra (to be transplanted into the Monster), first by Chick, and then by Talbot as he transformed

Wilbur on Operating Table for Brain Transplant

Sandra Operating on Wilbur to Surgically Remove His Brain

Sandra Thown Out Window by the Monster, as Chick Freed Wilbur from Operating Table
  • as the Wolf Man and Dracula were fighting against each other, the Monster freed himself from his restraining straps on the operating table, grabbed Sandra, and threw her from a window; Chick was able to free Wilbur, who exclaimed: "Do you believe me now?"; they evaded the Wolf Man and Dracula who were continuing to fight inside the castle until both plummeted into the ocean; with Dracula's demise, the trance-like Joan woke up and helped Dr. Stevens set the Monster on fire on the pier, allowing Chick and Wilbur to finally escape in a rowboat after untying themselves from the dock
  • they were relieved and thinking that they were safe from any more attacks or excitement, when Chick assured Wilbur: "Now that we've seen the last of Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Monster, there's nobody to frighten us anymore"
  • however, they found a disembodied Invisible Man (voice of Vincent Price) making a surprise, curtain-closing appearance in their rowboat; the two were dismayed by the Invisible Man's words: "Oh, that's too bad, I was hoping to get in on the excitement.... Allow me to introduce myself. I'm the Invisible Man"

Baggage Clerks Chick (Bud Abbott) and Wilbur (Lou Costello) - Tumbling Luggage

Dr. Sandra Mornay (Lenore Aubert)

Mr. McDougal (Frank Ferguson) - House of Horrors Owner Demanding Two Crates

Wilbur Atop Two Large Crates in the Baggage Office

Delivering the Crates to the Wax Museum With Scary Wax Figures

Dracula's First Emergence From His Coffin

Dracula Reanimating Frankenstein In the Second Crate With Electrical Jolts

Wilbur Hypnotized and In a Trance

Island Castle of Dr. Mornay and Dracula

Count Dracula (aka Dr. Lejos)

Wilbur Attempting to Convince His Disbelieving Partner Chick of the Creatures' Existence

Insurance Investigator Joan Raymond (Jane Randolph)

Wilbur Threatened by the Monster in the Castle

The Revolving Door-Wall Sequence

Wilbur With Dr. Sandra Mornay and Dr. Lejos (aka Dracula): "What we need today is young blood and brains!"

Wilbur Chastising the Wolf Man: "Take the mask off!"

The Monster Burning Up on the Wooden Dock-Pier

Last Scene: The Invisible Man in the Rowboat with Chick and Wilbur


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