Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Arthur Lubin|
|Produced by||Burt Kelly|
|Music by||Hans Salter|
|Editing by||Phil Cahn|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 12, 1940|
|Running time||70 minutes|
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"
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.
- Boris Karloff as Dr. Ernest Sovac
- Béla Lugosi as Eric Marnay
- Stanley Ridges as Professor George Kingsley / Red Cannon
- Anne Nagel as Sunny Rogers
- Anne Gwynne as Jean Sovac
- Virginia Brissac as Mrs. Margaret Kingsley
- Edmund MacDonald as Frank Miller
- Paul Fix as William Kane
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.
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