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Black Friday
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Produced by Burt Kelly
Written by Curt Siodmak
Eric Taylor
Starring Boris Karloff
Béla Lugosi
Stanley Ridges
Anne Nagel
Anne Gwynne
Music by Hans Salter
Cinematography Elwood Bredell
Editing by Phil Cahn
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) April 12, 1940 (1940-04-12)
Running time 70 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $125,750[1]

Black Friday is a 1940 American science fiction film starring Boris Karloff. Béla Lugosi, although second-billed, has only a small part in the film and does not appear with Karloff. Curt Siodmak, the writer would revisit this theme again in "Donovan's Brain" and "Hauser's Memory"

Plot Edit

The famous Dr. Ernest Sovac's best friend, a bookish college professor George Kingsley, is run down while crossing a street. In order to save his friend's life, Sovac implants part of another man's brain into the professor's. Unfortunately, the other man was a gangster who was involved in the accident. The professor recovers but at times behaves like the gangster, and his whole personality changes. Sovac is horrified but also intrigued, because the gangster has hidden $500,000 somewhere in the city. The doctor continues to treat his friend and, when the professor is under the influence of the gangster's brain, Karloff attempts to have the man lead him to the fortune. Béla Lugosi plays a gangster also trying to get his hands on the cash.



The original script cast Lugosi as the doctor and Karloff as the professor. For unknown reasons, Karloff insisted on playing the doctor. Rather than a straight switch though, Lugosi was given the minor role of a rival gangster, while character actor Stanley Ridges was brought in to play the professor.[2]

The film provided a rare opportunity for Ridges.[2][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. Michael Brunas, John Brunas & Tom Weaver, Universal Horrors: The Studios Classic Films, 1931-46, McFarland, 1990 p206
  2. 2.0 2.1 DVD Savant review
  3. MSN Movies

External linksEdit

Template:Curt Siodmak

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