The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, November 11-17

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Directed by Roy William Neill
The problems with movies these days aren’t the reboots and sequels and shared universes; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man proves those patterns were in motion long ago. No, the problem is a staggering lack of graverobbing. It’s the very act that makes possible Mary Shelley’s monster (here played with rare muteness by Bela Lugosi, who also coined the iconic outstretched arms) and, in this case, the rejuvenation of lycanthropic sadsack Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr., man of a thousand frowns). Though not the strongest of Universal’s monster hybrids, FMWM proves a textbook example of wartime Hollywood: Germany is replaced by the merry—but no less monster-infested—Visaria, and an obligatory musical number pads out the kiddie-matinee-ready spookshow by gaily reminding Talbot of his burdensome immortality. Also, graverobbing! Max Kyburz (November 15, 8:45pm at Anthology Film Archives’s “Jack Smith Selects (From the Grave)”)

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