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Night Monster

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
  • October 20, 1942 (1942-10-20) (U.S.)
73 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Night Monster is a 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.


In a small 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 lady psychiatrist, Dr. Lynn Harper, summoned secretly by Margaret to prove she is not insane and help her secure freedom from the control of Ingston and Miss Judd. She arrives accompanied by a neighbor: mystery-writer Dick Baldwin, who rescued her after her car broke down in the swamp. Neither Ingston nor Miss Judd welcome her presence, but must contend with keeping her overnight until her car can be repaired.

Following dinner, at which Ingston's conviction that the three doctors are directly responsible for his current condition becomes evident, the party witnesses 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.

Ultimately, 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 with her. As the house burns to the ground, Dick and Lynn are saved by Agar Singh, when Singh shoots Ingston. Only Beggs apparently escapes the burning house.


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

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