Night Monster \
Night Monster film poster
Directed by Ford Beebe
Produced by Ford Beebe
Written by Clarence Upson Young
Starring Bela Lugosi
Lionel Atwill
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) October 20, 1942 (U.S. release)
Running time 73 min
Language English

Night Monster is a 1942 American black-and-white horror film featuring Bela Lugosi and produced and distributed by Universal Pictures Company. The movie uses an original story and screenplay by Clarence Upson Young and was produced and directed by Ford Beebe. For publicity value, star billing was given to Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill, but the lead roles were played by Ralph Morgan, Irene Hervey and Don Porter, with Atwill actually in a character role as a pompous doctor who becomes a victim to the title character, and Lugosi in a small part as a butler who simply disappears from the script about halfway through the film.


In a small Southern town bordering a swampy region, unexplained murders and rumors of mysterious happenings surround the swamp-based home of the reclusive but respected Curt Ingston (Morgan). Ingston uses a wheelchair, and has invited to his home the three doctors who were trying to cure him when his paralysis set in. Already in the household are his grim-humored butler Rolf; a lecherous chauffeur, Lawrie; a mannish housekeeper, Miss Judd; an Eastern mystic, Agar Singh; and Ingston's allegedly mentally-ill sister, Margaret. Outside, the gate is watched by a shrivelled old hunchback called Torque.

Coincident with the arrival of the three male physicians is the appearance of a woman psychiatrist, Dr. Lynn Harper, summoned secretly by Margaret to prove she is not insane and help her secure freedom from the control of Ingstrom and Miss Judd. She arrives accompanied by neighbor mystery-writer Dick Baldwin, who has rescued her after her car's broken down in the swamp. Neither Ingstrom nor Miss Judd welcome her presence, but must contend with keeping her over night until her car can be fixed.

Following dinner, at which Ingstrom's conviction that the three doctors are directly responsible for his current condition, the party witness an exhibition of materialization of an Egyptian skeleton by Agar Singh. Dr. Harper is forbidden to meet with Margaret. Then, one by one, the doctors are frightfully killed as they prepare for bed. Suspecting Ingston, Dick and police Captain Beggs confront him in his room, but discover he is actually not paralyzed but a quadruple amputee. Suspicion then falls on Lawrie, who was last seen driving a murdered ex-employee of the household back to town; but he too winds up dead.

In the climax, Dick confronts the killer outside the estate as he menaces Lynn, and discovers it is Ingston after all: by studying under Agar Singh, he has learned how to materialize arms and legs, hands and feet for himself, long enough to accomplish his evil deeds. As Dick struggles with him to the death, Margaret sets fire to the unholy house, committing suicide while taking the malevolent Miss Judd to the grave with her. As the house burns to the ground, Dick and Lynn are saved by Agar Singh, when Singh shoots Ingston. Only Captain Beggs escaped the burning household.


Actor Role
Ralph Morgan Curt Ingston
Irene Hervey Dr. Lynn Harper
Don Porter Dick Baldwin
Faye Helm Margaret Ingston
Doris Lloyd Sarah Judd
Leif Erickson Lawrie
Nils Asther Agar Singh
Lionel Atwill Dr. King
Frank Reicher Dr. Timmons
Francis Pierlot Dr. Phipps
Bela Lugosi Rolf
Robert Homans "Cap" Beggs, sheriff

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