Abbott & Costello Meet the Monsters
By Allan Maurer
There are those who felt the series of Abbott & Costello meet the monsters films that began with “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” in 1948 and continuing through “Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy” in 1955 were an inglorious end to the Universal Studios monster series.
The first, in which they encounter the Frankenstein monster (played again by Glenn Strange, who never quite gets the pathos Karloff brought to the part), Dracula (Bela Lugosi), the Wolf Man, (Lon Chaney, Jr.) and at the end, the Invisible Man, is the best. “Pulp Fiction” director Quentin Tarantino, has more than once expressed his admiration for it, and I agree that it’s both funny and scary.
There is nothing funny about the prices posters from their meet the monster films bring, though. Movie paper (posters, stills, etc.) from the series, which includes “Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Boris Karloff); and “Abbott & Costello Meet the Invisible Man,” regularly draw auction prices in the hundreds of dollars or much more for single items.
A linen-backed 1-sheet from “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” sold for $5,400 at auction this year. An unbacked original sold for $3,700 and a Spanish version of the poster for $675.00. An 8×10 still form the film went for $275.
By way of contrast, 1-sheets from “Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy” sold for from $1,300 to $546 from 2000 to 2005.