The Frozen Ghost
|The Frozen Ghost|
|Directed by||Harold Young|
|Produced by||Will Cowan|
|Written by||Harrison Carter, Henry Sucher|
|Starring||Lon Chaney, Jr.
|Music by||Richard Hageman
Hans J. Salter
|Editing by||Fred R. Feitshans Jr.|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||June 1, 1945|
|Running time||61 min|
Alex Gregor (Lon Chaney Jr.) is a stage mentalist performer, known to the audience as "Gregor the Great". One night, while performing live on stage, placing his own fiancé into a hypnotic trance, he is ridiculed by a sceptical member of the audience. Simultaneously, the show is aired live to a radio audience. The man, clearly plastered, starts accusing Alex of being a fake. Alex reacts to this accusation by hypnotizing the man, ending up accidentally killing him. Even though the medical examiner concludes that the drunken man died from a heart attack, Alex is ridden with guilt and confesses to have murdered the man. Ashamed of himself and what he has done, he decides to breaks off the enagagement to his girlfriend.
George Keene, who is Alex's manager, tries to protect Alex from bad publicity and arranges for Alex to work for an old friend of George's, Mme Valerie Monet (Tala Birell). She is the owner of a wax museum and Alex is hired to work there as a lecturer. Valerie's niece, Nina Coudreau (Elena Verdugo), is also working at the museum, and they are both very excited to have a man with Alex's gifts working with them. In addition to these two ladies there is also the quite disturbed former plastic surgeon Rudi Poldan (Martin Kosleck) on the payroll, working as a sculptor. This odd physician becomes jealous of the attention given to Alex upon his arrival. Gregor's former stage assistant and fiance, Maura Daniel (Evelyn Ankers) also starts pursuing him romantically.
Jealousy spreads among the workers, infecting Valerie, who falsely accuses Alex of making advances to her niece Nina. Arguments ensue, ending with Valerie fainting and Alex leaving the museum in anger. Following a good night's sleep Alex returns to the museum to find that Valerie had disappeared without a trace. Police Inspector Brant (Douglass Dumbrille) suspects that Valerie has been murdered, with his suspicion directed towards Alex because he is the last person to have seen Valerie alive.
However, they are all unaware that Rudi Poldan has found Valerie in a coma and hidden her away among his unfinished wax sculptures. Nina discovers Valerie's whereabouts and immediately suspects Alex, accusing him of scheming together with the crazy surgeon to be rid of Valerie. What they don't know is that Rudi, in fact, has planned to get Alex committed as mentally ill, and his partner in crime and the mastermind of this ingenious plan is none other than Alex's manager, George. The reason for this conspiracy is to gain control over Alex's property. Rudi manages to make Nina fall into a coma, also, and hides away with her body in the same manner as was done with Valerie.
George and Rudi secretly meet in the wax museum, and Rudi shows where he has placed the bodies of the two women. After a closer look though, they discover that Valerie is dead. Now guilty of murder, George becomes frantic, wanting to get rid of both of the bodies, even though Nina is still alive.
Alex decides that the only person he can trust is Maura, his former assistant, so he goes to her apartment to ask for help. She agrees to aid him and they go to the museum together. They find George in an awful state. Alex places Maura in a trance, and she implicates both George and Rudi. Trying to escape from the Alex and Maura, George is captured by Brant, who has heard every word of the tranced Maura. Alex and Maura go down to the museum cellar to free Nina, and encounter Rudi. He is so shocked by their appearance that he falls backward into the furnace to his death.
The story ends after Alex and Maura is married, and on their way to their honeymoon, together with their new ward, Nina. Brant visits and asks Alex for help with a case, as a medial consultant. Alex answers: "Oh, Inspector, I thought you knew. It's all done with mirrors."
- Lon Chaney, Jr. ... Alex Gregor aka Gregor the Great
- Evelyn Ankers ... Maura Daniel
- Milburn Stone ... George Keene
- Douglass Dumbrille ... Inspector Brant
- Martin Kosleck ... Dr. Rudi Polden
- Elena Verdugo ... Nina Coudreau
- Tala Birell ... Valerie Monet
- Arthur Hohl ... Drunk Contestant