Additional information for I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, which has a domestic theatrical release set for November 23, 1957. The film is being distributed by MGM and has not yet been rated. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein has a total running time of 74 minutes.
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Professor Frankenstein, a university lecturer with an alligator pit under his house, steals body parts of dead athletes from the wreckage of a crashed airplane. He builds a hunky male ... See full summary
The movie starts with title and credits running over a background of gray boxes.The opening shot is the edifice of a University Building. Professor Frankenstein (Whit Bissell) is guest lecturing to colleagues. His topic is transplantation. Dr. Randolph (Marshall Bradford) interrupts the lecture to ask, "Professor Frankenstein, how can you ask us to believe such a preposterous theory?" Frankenstein's assistant, Dr. Karlton (Robert Burton) upbraids Randolph for his criticism and rudeness, "I think you're being disrespectful."Back in Frankenstein's basement lab, Karlton is working on an experiment. Frankenstein decides to prove his theory and tells Karlton, "I plan to assemble a human being using parts and organs from different cadavers." He proposes to do this on his own in his lab. His goal is perfection of the human race. Karlton expresses reluctance and adds he is not an MD, his doctorate is in Physics. But Frankenstein explains that specialty is what he needs to complete his work. They hear a car crash outside. They rush out to investigate. Two cars have collided and are on fire. A bystander (Paul Keast) tells Frankenstein that one young man was thrown clear of the collision. At Frankenstein's direction, Karlton carries the body back to the house wrapped in a blanket and takes him to the basement lab. Karlton asks how Frankenstein plans to get away with stealing a body. Frankenstein tells him the fire will burn up any evidence there ever was one. Karlton asks why it is so cold, and Frankenstein explains he keeps the lab at 36 degrees, like a morgue. He asks Karlton to describe the body. He is squeamish, but finally notes that the skull is crushed and the face beyond recognition. They store the body in a pull out drawer. Karlton gets cold feet and asks his colleague to find another assistant as he doesn't have the stomach for this kind of work. Frankenstein alludes to an earlier experiment, and threatens Karlton by adding, "That made you my ally, of course I could use another and uglier word, accomplice, but I won't." Blackmailing Karlton completed, they change for a party upstairs. Sitting quietly in a corner is his nurse and soon to be fiancée, Margaret (Phyllis Coates). Frankenstein joins Margaret and tells her he needs her help. She is to join him at the house as an assistant and watchdog. He intimates more. She reads marriage into it. She must give up her nursing position at the University Hospital.Doctors Frankenstein and Karlton examine the body acquired in the auto collision. Dr. Karlton suggests the hands and right leg be amputated as a result of crushing injury. Frankenstein orders Karlton to wire him up so he can feel pain, so when it is alleviated he will know gratitude. To blackmailer, add sadist to Frankenstein's character traits. Karlton again expresses his reluctance. Margaret has moved in and answers the phone. Her job is to handle the mail, answer the phone, and keep any distractions away from the pair working downstairs. After the leg is sawn off, Karlton asks how the parts are to be disposed. Frankenstein tells him he's provided for this also. He wraps the parts in a surgical sheet and directing Karlton over to the wall he opens a door behind an electrical panel. Below the lab is pit with an alligator that quickly consumes the parts. He closes the door.The next morning at breakfast, Frankenstein is perusing the Huntington Park News. He comments on the headline, "Mass Funeral for Teenage Victims." He reads sections aloud to Dr. Karlton. A track team died in a plane crash. They will be interred today. Frankenstein expresses sadness that healthy young men died too soon. But he has an idea. The pair of scientists enter the funeral home that night to collect the hands and leg they need. Frankenstein is pleased to have added the hands of a wrestler and the leg of a football player to his creature. That evening they join Margaret for dinner. Karlton excuses himself, which allows Margaret to speak freely. She complains about a lack of attention from her fiancé. To assuage his guilt, he takes her out for a drive that evening. They decide to park and look at the view. They've chosen a teenage lover's lane.The next morning in the lab, Frankenstein demands his creation speak. The Monster (Gary Conway) is on a gurney and finally says, "Good Morning." It complains that it is dark. Later, up in the study, Margaret meets with her betrothed and seeks his input on wedding plans. She finally asks, "By the way, dear, what is your experiment?" He responds, "Until I'm successful, it's a deep secret." Frankenstein visibly blanches when she kiddingly chides, "Well if you won't tell me I might have ways of finding out for myself." He confronts her angrily. He then slaps her across the face. She apologizes and they reconcile, but the seed of doubt and suspicion is planted. He tells her he needs seventy-two hours of uninterrupted work. Frankenstein and Karlton drive off. Margaret goes down to the basement and takes a wax impression of the lock. She has a key made by a locksmith in town who comments on how old and European the lock must be. She returns home and walks down to the basement, tries the key and lets herself into the darkened lab. She turns on the lights and looks around. She tries to open the cold storage body vaults, but each one she tries is locked. One is not locked, and she opens it. The monster sits up and she screams. She exits the lab.Frankenstein works with the monster on diction and strength exercises. The next day the monster does his exercises with weights. It tells Frankenstein, "You're happy, but I am not." He resents being stuck in the basement and isolated. Frankenstein cuts off the bandages on his head to show him why he can't go out amongst people. It reveals a horrible visage. His face is a mass of scar tissue. He has one protruding eye and an empty socket for the other. Frankenstein threatens to leave him like that unless he cooperates. The doctor storms off leaving the door to the lab open. The monster exits the lab and wanders around in the house. He enters the living room and sits for a while in the chair. He leaves the house and walks down the street. He peers into the window of a beautiful blond woman (Angela Blake) brushing her hair. She sees him in the mirror and screams. He breaks in to silence her, and not knowing his own strength, kills her. The police show up later to take a report from the other tenants who witnessed the crime. The newspaper covers the story. The next days headlines are, "Crazed Man Kills Young Woman." Frankenstein is furious. He enters the lab through the open door and confronts his creation, "Then it was you." He threatens to do away with dangerous evidence, namely his creation. Frankenstein leaves and locks the door.The doorbell rings. Sgt. Burns (George Lynn) and Sgt. McAffee (John Cliff) identify themselves and tell Frankenstein about the fiend in the neighborhood. They talk and leave thinking Frankenstein was cooperative. In the living room, Margaret picks a ring from a display. She invited a jeweler, Mr. Sexton (Charles Seel), over. Frankenstein enters the room, furious, and demands an explanation. Margaret tries to explain, but Frankenstein is very rude and demands to know why he is in the house against strict instructions. He throws the man out. Margaret asks, "Are you hiding something?" That gets a reaction. She tells him, "I saw your great scientific experiment. I saw your monster in the vault in the cellar." She volunteers that she had a key made. She rationalizes that as a future wife she had a right to know. He lies and tells her he's pleased she now knows and can help him. He lets her keep the key to the lab. The plan is underway. Frankenstein tells his monster that he will begin to work on his face tomorrow. He confides that a woman has threatened his security and as a result he will never have a new face. He will use the monster to eliminate his fiancée. Karlton is out of town for a few days, so Frankenstein asks Margaret to help. He invites her downstairs to feed his creation. He tells her to use her own key. He directs Margaret to inject the monster with the nutrient solution. Frankenstein leaves under the pretext of getting some supplementary vitamins. The monster tells Margaret that she wants to see him dead. He jumps up and attacks her. Dr. Frankenstein locks the door trapping her inside. He listens intently as she screams repeatedly and then gasps for air. Next we see the alligator finishing his meal. Dr. Frankenstein says, "Poor Margaret. You've done your work well. You've earned your reward." He tells his creation he can pick his own face. They drive that evening trolling for a body. They spot a couple in a car necking. Dr. Frankenstein asks the monster if the young man's face he saw meets with his approval. The monster approaches Bob (Gary Conway) and Arlene (Joy Stoner) in the car. Arlene screams and the monster attacks both.The police, Burns and McAffee, question Arlene's mother (Claudia Bryar) the next day. Arlene was not physically injured, but she was very traumatized. Bob on the other hand is missing. The mother tells the police what her daughter told her. The creature had no face and only one eye. When she came to, Bob was gone. She drove herself home.Frankenstein finishes putting Bob's face on his creation. He announces him quite handsome. After cutting off the bandages he hands him a mirror. Dr. Karlton returns with the equipment. Per instructions, he purchased from the list discreetly in four different cities. They reward themselves with a glass of sherry. Dr. Karlton asks about the housekeeper, Mrs. Detrich. "Oh, I let her go," he tells Karlton. She had an offer from a wealthy invalid. Karlton also asks about Margaret. Dr. Frankenstein continues the lie, tells him, she's gone, disappeared. "Perfidy thy name is woman," he quotes. He changes the subject back to their creation, for Karlton doesn't know about the new face. When he asks about where it came from, he is told not to burden himself with unnecessary details. Bob is sitting and admiring himself in his mirror. Karlton examines his face and pronounces, "Amazing, absolutely amazing." Frankenstein is concerned that Bob will be recognized. He proposes to take him to England for the launch. Karlton reminds his colleague that he will need a passport, identity, and a name. There is also customs, immigration, and other issues to be considered. Frankenstein has been thinking about this for some time and tells Karlton he will cut up the body and pack it in the crates marked electrical apparatus. For you see, each case has a false bottom. He will reconstruct him in London. Frankenstein orders Karlton to inject their creation with Sodium Pentathal after he straps him to the table. He will employ the ruse that he is going to remove the stitches from his face. Bob gets on the table and they strap him down. As Karlton prepares the injection, Bob reacts violently. He suspects something and breaks free. He chokes Frankenstein, allowing Karlton to run from the lab for help. Bob opens the panel and throws Frankenstein to the alligator. Karlton brings two police officers back to the lab. The police order Bob to surrender. He refuses and backs into an electrical grid on the wall. [Note: the movie switches from Black & White to Color] Bob is electrocuted. He slides down the wall to the floor. He is dead. We close with Dr. Karlton telling the two police officers, "I'll never forget his face after the accident, never." We zoom in on the Monster's face before Bob's replaced it, and the alligator chomping on a lab coat.
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein
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