Black Friday (1940 film)
|Directed by||Arthur Lubin|
|Edited by||Philip Cahn|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Black Friday is a 1940 American science fiction gangster psychological thriller starring Boris Karloff. Béla Lugosi, although second-billed, has only a small part in the film and does not appear with Karloff. Writer Curt Siodmak would revisit this theme again in Donovan's Brain (1953) and Hauser's Memory (1970).
The famous Dr. Ernest Sovac's best friend, 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, Sovac 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
- Murray Alper as Bellhop
- Gonzalo Meroño as Richard Steward
The original story treatment was titled Friday the Thirteenth before being changed to Black Friday. It 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.
Black Friday had its world premiere in Chicago on February 29, 1940. Black Friday was released theatrically April 12, 1940 where it was distributed by Universal Pictures. Black Friday was released on a DVD as part of The Bela Lugosi Collection on September 6, 2005. Dave Kehr of The New York Times noted that the compilation compiled The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray and Black Friday on a single disc, stating that the video quality is acceptable but contained "a lot of video compression"
- "Black Friday". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Weaver, Brunas & Brunas 2007, p. 214.
- Erickson, Hal. "Black Friday (1940)". allmovie. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
- Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 256-257
- Wilt, David (1991). Hardboiled in Hollywood. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. ISBN 978-0-879-72525-9.
- DVD Savant review
- MSN Movies
- Mank 2011, p. 618.
- Kehr, David (September 2, 2005). "Classic DVD Sets Star Lugosi and Garbo". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
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