GenreDrama, Horror, Sci-Fi Music directorHans J. Salter LanguageEnglish
WriterCurt Siodmak, Eric Taylor Release dateApril 12, 1940 (1940-04-12) CastBoris Karloff (Dr. Ernest Sovac), Bela Lugosi (Eric Marnay), Stanley Ridges (Prof. George Kingsley / Red Cannon), Anne Nagel (Sunny Rogers), Anne Gwynne (Jean Sovac), Virginia Brissac (Mrs. Margaret Kingsley) Similar moviesGoodfellas, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Departed, The Godfather, Up, Bound
TaglineA Reign Of HORROR... a man-made monster on the loose!
Black friday 1940 trailer
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. 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
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.