Béla Lugosi (1882 –1956), was a stage and film actor best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the American Broadway stage production (1927), and subsequent film (1931), of Bram Stoker's classic vampire story.
Through his association with Dracula (in which he appeared with minimal makeup, using his natural, heavily accented voice), Lugosi found himself typecast as a horror villain in such movies as Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein for Universal, and the independent White Zombie. His accent, while a part of his image, limited the roles he could play.
1. Dracula (1931) - Bela Lugosi: [Movie has been removed from this site]
Dracula is one of the earliest classic American horror films from Carl Laemmle's Universal Pictures. It is an acclaimed masterpiece starring Béla Lugosi as Count Dracula and directed by Tod Browning. It is based on the stage play of the same name by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which in turn is based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.
After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and is turned into one of his slaves, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood of - and turning - the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Jack Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.
While traveling to New York, the young couple Madeleine Short Parker (Madge Bellamy) and her fiancé Neil Parker (John Harron) are convinced by their new acquaintance Charles Beaumont (Robert Frazer) to stay in Port Prince and get married in his mansion. However, Beaumont felt in love for Madeleine and his real intention is to convince her to call off the wedding. When he realizes that the time is too short to seduce her, he visits the local witch Legendre (Bela Lugosi) , who gives him a drug to transform Madeleine into a zombie. She dies immediately after the wedding, and her corpse is disputed by Beaumont and his sick love for her; Legendre, that wants her for his team of zombies; and Neil, who is convinced by the local missionary Dr. Bruner (Joseph Cawthorn) that she might be alive. In the end, true love wins.
The Death Kiss re-unites three of the stars of Dracula in a Hollywood movie-set murder mystery. A movie studio is shrouded in mystery when its top star is murdered on the set, and everyone is a suspect. Bela Lugosi plays a temperamental actor who's the most likely suspect, alongside "Dracula" co-stars Edward Van Sloan, David Manners.
4. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) - Bela Lugosi:
In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back.
5. The Mysterious Mr. Wong (1934) - Bela Lugosi as Mr Wong:
Investigating a series of murders in Chinatown, wise-guy reporter Jason Barton is captured by the megalomaniacal Mr. Wong (Bela Lugosi) , desperately trying to complete his collection of the twelve gold coins of Confucius, with which he will be able to acquire the power to become ruler of a large province in China.
This movie is not based on the the Mr. Wong - Detective Series.
6a. Shadow of Chinatown(1936) – Bela Lugosi: [SERIAL]
15 Chapter Serial from Victory Pictures.
Sonya Rokoff acting as a representative of a European importing firm hires Victor Poten (Bela Lugosi), a Eurasian mad scientist who hates both whites and Asians, to ruin the tourist trade in San Francisco's Chinatown. Rokoff soon realizes that Poten has become an unstoppable monster, beyond her control. Poten's nefarious activities draw the attention of newspaper reporter Joan Whiting and her novelist boyfriend Martin Andrews who begin to investigate the mysterious and violent events in Chinatown.
During a horrific storm at sea, the crew realizes that there is a murderer among them who is killing them off one by one
7a. The Phantom Creeps (1939) – Bela Lugosi:
The Phantom Creeps features Bela Lugosi (as Dr. Zorka), a mad megalomaniac genius with a utility belt and a sack of gadgets. He is against a team of CIA-types, a reporter, and local law enforcement.
Lugosi hams up a storm and really seems to enjoy himself in this immensely silly role.
His somewhat untrustworthy and dull side-kick, played by Jack Smith is a great foil to his overbearing stage presence, and he makes a truly great sadist! This is the 1939 movie made from the 1939 Universal serial (See below).
7b. The Phantom Creeps Serial (1939) –Bela Lugosi: [SERIAL]
The Phantom Creeps is a 1939 12 chapter serial from Universal Pictures about a mad scientist who attempts to rule the world by creating various elaborate inventions. In a dramatic fashion, foreign agents and G-Men try to seize the inventions for themselves. The serial stars Béla Lugosi as the villainous Doctor Zorka with Dorothy Arnold and Robert Kent.
8. The Devil Bat (1940) – Bela Lugosi:
Dr Paul Carruthers [Bela Lugosi] appears to all of Heathville as a kindly doctor and research scientist for Heath-Morton Cosmetics, Ltd. But in his secret laboratory, Carruthers is actually conducting personal experiments--one of which is a formula for an oriental shaving lotion; another is the creation of a giant bat who hates the smell of the lotion. Bitter because founding fathers Martin Heath [Edward Mortimer] and Henry Morton [Guy Usher] got rich on his formulas while he himself is awarded with menial bonuses, Carruthers plans to sic his giant bat on their families.
9. Invisible Ghost (1941) – Bela Lugosi:
THE PHANTOM KILLER STRIKES! Only a terrified woman knows the secret of this ghostly murderer...who strikes in the night and leaves no clues---but his victims!
Dr. Lorenz (Bela Lugosi), a mad scientist, wants to keep his elderly wife young. He does this by kidnapping young females and extracting fluid from them. He then injects this fluid into his wife.
11. Black Dragons (1942) - Bela Lugosi and Clayton Moore (who played the Lone Ranger on TV) It is prior to the commencement of World War II, and Japan's fiendish Black Dragon Society is hatching an evil plot with the Nazis. They instruct a brilliant scientist, Dr. Melcher (Bela Lugosi), to travel to Japan on a secret mission. There he operates on six Japanese conspirators, transforming them to resemble six American leaders. The actual leaders are murdered and replaced with their likeness and Dr. Melcher is condemned to a lifetime of imprisonment so the secret may die with him. It is only until detective Dick Martin (Clayton Moore) is assigned to the case that everyone's true motives and identities are revealed.
12. The Ape Man (1943) – Bela Lugosi:
Conducting weird scientific experiments, crazed Dr. James Brewster (Bela Lugosi), aided by his colleague Dr. Randall (Henry Hall), has managed to transform himself into a hairy, stooped-over ape-man. Desperately seeking a cure, Brewster believes only an injection of recently-drawn human spinal fluid will prove effective. With Randall refusing to help him, it falls to Brewster and his captive gorilla to find appropriate donors
13. Ghosts on the Loose (1943) – Bela Lugosi, Ava Gardner and East Side Kids:
Glimpy's surprisingly beautiful sister (Ava Gardner) is getting married to Jack (Rick Vallin), a young engineer, and moving to a 'bargain' suburban house neither has ever seen. During the honeymoon, the East Side Kids decide to fix up the house for the newlyweds...but mistakenly pick the 'haunted' house next door, which is occupied by some mysterious live men (Bela Lugosi), dodging in and out of secret panels and clearly up to no good.
14. One Body Too Many (1944) - Bela Lugosi & Jack Haley:
Insurance salesman Albert Tuttle (Jack Haley) arrives at the Cyrus J. Rutherford estate to sell the millionaire some life insurance. Rutherford is already dead and his heirs have gathered at the mansion to hear the reading of the will. Rutherford's will won't be read until he is properly entombed and the heirs are forced to stay on the premises or be denied their inheritance. Tuttle soon finds himself mixed up in shenanigans involving Rutherford's niece, secret passages, a missing body and murder.
Bela Lugosi uses hypnosis and voodoo to entrall a number of lovely young women so he can use their lifeforce to revive his wife, with assistance from George Zucco and John Carradine
From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a blue mask.
Based on "The Dark Eyes Of London" By Edgar Wallace it tells the story of Scotland Yard inspector Larry Holt (Hugh Williams) who is asked to investigate the case of five bodies that have been found in The Thames apparently drowned, during the last eight months.
The investigation takes him to the Greenwich Insurance Co with whom many of the dead held policies.
This is run by Feodor Orloff (Bela Lugosi), a former doctor who was driven out of his profession and deemed insane by many of his colleagues.
Clues lead Holt to Dearborn’s Home for the Destitute Blind where each of the policy holders have made charitable donations upon Orloff’s request. There Holt comes to believe that each policy holder is being murdered for their money.
18. Bowery at Midnight (1942) - Bela Lugosi:
Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology, Bela Lugosi, uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things get out of hand, Lugosi kills his henchmen, who wind up as zombies in the cellar of the soup kitchen.
19. Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952) - Bela Lugosi:
Entertainers Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo parachute into the jungles of the Pacific island of Cola-Cola, where they meet primitive tribesmen, the chief's sarong-clad daughter Nona, and mad scientist Dr. Zabor (Bela Lugosi) conducting experiments in evolution. Jealous of Mitchell's relations with Nona, Zabor has just the thing to make a monkey of him.