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Black Friday

Reprint of Black Friday movie poster
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Produced by Burt Kelly
Written by Curt Siodmak
Eric Taylor
Starring Boris Karloff
Bela Lugosi
Stanley Ridges
Anne Nagel
Anne Gwynne
Music by Hans Salter
Cinematography Elwood Bredell
Editing by Phil Cahn
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) April 12, 1940
Running time 70 min.
Country United States
Language English

Black Friday is a 1940 American science fiction film starring Boris Karloff. Bela Lugosi, although second-billed, has only a small part in the film and does not appear with Karloff.



The famous Dr. Ernest Sovac's best friend, a 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, Karloff attempts to have the man lead him to the fortune. Bela Lugosi plays a gangster also trying to get his hands on the cash.



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.[1]

The film provided a rare opportunity for the now forgotten Ridges to display his considerable acting ability,[1][2] and gave him one of his finest screen roles (Ridges was nearly always one of many supporting cast members, and seldom was cast in roles where he could really make an impression. He is also remembered as Professor Siletsky in the original To Be or Not to Be, and as the Scotland Yard inspector in the Charles Laughton thriller, The Suspect).

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