The below is a timeline I made up to try to reconcile all of the movies in the various Universal "classic horror" collections that I own. I ended up folidng in a bunch of Abbott and Costello movies, plus Young Frankenstein, just for fun. Enjoy!

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1779 BC: In Egypt, the High Priest Im-Ho-Tep is mummified alive as punishment when he tries to steal the Scroll of Thoth in hopes of reviving his lost love, Princess Anck-es-en-Amon.
(The Mummy. Based on info given in the movie.)


1056 B.C.: Prince Kharis is mummified alive when he is caught stealing sacred tana leaves in an attempt to revive his lost love, Princess Ananka.
(The Mummy's Ghost. Based on info given in the picture.)


1886: Two American policemen known only as "Slim" and "Tubby" go to London to study British police methods. While there, they help uncover the mysterious case of Doctor Henry Jekyll and Mister Edward Hyde.
(Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Based on the release date of the original novel.)


1897: Scientist Jack Griffin discovers a drug which renders him invisible, but which has the side effect of driving him insane. He embarks on a campaign of violence before being tracked down and shot by the police.

(The Invisible Man. This date is one I found on-line, though I'm not sure what it's based on. It suits me, so I'm using it.)

Griffin's notebooks pass to his brother Frank.

(The Invisible Man Returns. Based on info given in the movie.)
The vampire Count Dracula  travels to Britain, where he is apparently destroyed.
(Dracula. Based on the novel's release date.)
A vampire calling herself Countess Marya Zaleska, claiming to be Dracula's daughter, claims his remains. She lures Doctor Jeffrey Garth to Transylvania, but is destroyed there.
(Dracula's Daughter. Presuming these events immediately followed those of the previous film.)


1899: Viktor Heinrich "Henry" von Frankenstein constructs a humanoid creature from parts of corpses and successfully reanimates it. The creature proves to be mentally unstable, becoming a Monster, and is subsequently destroyed.
(Frankenstein. Date based on information given in Bride of Frankenstein.)
Henry subsequently marries his fiancee Elizabeth. Shortly thereafter Henry's father dies and he becomes Baron Frankenstein.
Henry is pressured by his former colleague Doctor Pretorius to create a mate for the original Monster. Frankenstein and Pretorius successfully reanimate a female creature, but she rejects her intended mate. Incensed, the Monster destroys Pretorius, the female creature and apparently, himself.
(Bride of Frankenstein. In this film, Frankenstein is seen looking at a grave dated "1899". Since one would assume that only fresh corpses would interest him, I am positing that the events of the two films occur in 1899.)


1901: In London, housekeeper Martha Winthrop attempts to convince heiress Phyllis Allenby that she is insane as part of a plot to gain control of Allenby's property. However, WInthrop's plot is foiled with help from Allenby's fiance and friends.
(She-Wolf of London.  Based on info given in the film.)


1906: When he is framed for murder, Geoffrey Radcliffe has Frank Griffin inject him with the invisibility drug. Radcliffe uses the advantage of invisibility to track down the real murderers. (The Invisible Man Returns.)


1912: In Egypt, adventurers Steve Banning and Babe Jensen battle a mysterious cult guarding the tomb of the Princess Ananka, and encounter the living mummy, Kharis.  They bring Ananka's mummy to Massachusetts.
(The Mummy's Hand. Based on these events occurring thirty years before those of The Mummy's Tomb, which is definitely set during World War Two.)


1921: In Egypt, an expedition led by Sir Joseph Whemple inadvertently revives Im-Ho-Tep.
(The Mummy. Based on info given in the movie.)


1924: Seeking revenge on those he believes wronged him, Robert Griffin - younger brother of Jack and Frank - seeks out Doctor Drury, a scientist that he knows has been following up on his brother's invisibility research.  Robert uses invisibility as part of his attempted revenge, but it ends badly and he is killed.
(The Invisible Man's Revenge. Robert being related to the other Griffins is my speculation, as is the idea that he knew
that Drury was working on invisibility.)


1930: Henry's son Wolf von Frankenstein returns to his ancestral home with his wife and his young son Peter Friedrich Frankenstein. There he encounters the monster created by his father. The creature has fallen under the influence of the criminal Ygor, who pressures Wolf to help the Monster. When the Monster and Ygor are both believed killed, Wolf and his family leave, eventually settling in America.
(Son of Frankenstein.  Arbitrary date, chosen to give enough time for a child of Henry and Elizabeth to be old enough to have a child of his own.)


1931: A Spanish-language film is made about Dracula's arrival in Britain. The film stars Carlos Villar as Dracula.
(Dracula - Spanish version. I couldn't think of a way to reconcile both versions in one timeline, so I posit that someone got the details of this story and made a film about it.)


1932: In Egypt, Frank Whemple meets Ardath Bey (who is, in fact, Im-Ho-Tep in disguise), who helps him find the tomb of Anck-es-en-Amon. Im-Ho-Tep kidnaps kidnaps Helen Grosvenor, a woman he believes to be the reincarnation of Anck-es-en-Amon. Frank and his friend Professor rescue her, and Im-Ho-Tep is destroyed.
(The Mummy. Based on the release date.)


1933: Ygor seeks out Ludwig Frankenstein (younger brother of Wolf) in order to force the latter to transplant his brain into Frankenstein's Monster. The operation is only partially successful, and the Monster is believed killed when Ludwig's laboratory is destroyed. Ludiwg is killed at the same time.
(The Ghost of Frankenstein. The date is arbitrary, chosen to be a few years after the previous picture.)


1935: Doctor Wilfrid Glendon becomes a werewolf, but is shot down by the London police.
(Werewolf of London. Based on the release date.)
Lawrence Talbot becomes a werewolf, but is presumed killed shortly thereafter.
(The Wolf Man. The date is arbitary - chosen to be relatively contemporary, but moved back a few years, so as to explain why there's no mention of the Second World War in a film set in Britain.)


1939: Lawrence Talbot is revived by graverobbers, and subsequently travels to Vasaria, in Transylvania. there he encounters Elsa Frankenstein (kid sister of Wolf and Ludwig) and a Doctor Mannering, who attempts to cure him by draining his energy into Frankenstein's Monster. The experiment fails and both Talbot and the Monster are believed destroyed.  Elsa subsequently leaves Transylvania.
(Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. In real-life, Transylvania is a region between Hungary and Romania which they swapped back and forth during the Twentieth Century.  Hungary would have owned it at the time, Romania owns it currently. In this timeline, I am positing that Transylvania became independent after World War One, and remained neutral during the Second, to explain why the war-year pictures have no mention of the war.  As regards Elsa Frankenstein, a number of on-line sources posit her as Ludwig's daughter. I recall no such indication in the film itself, even if there is, it suits my purposes for her to be a daughter of Henry, rather than a grand-daughter.)


1940: Professor Gibbs invents a device to make people invisible, testing it on model Kitty Carroll. Mobster Blackie Cole learns of the device and has it stolen. Carroll, Gibbs and Gibbs' sponsor Richard Russell manage to retrieve the device. Russell and Carroll subsequently marry.

(The Invisible Woman. Based on the release date.)
The U.S. government purchases Gibbs's device but finds it unreliable for practical use.

(This is speculation on my part, to explain why the Feds and the Axis don't seem to have taken any interest in Gibbs' work.)


1941: Richard and Kitty Russell have a child who has inherited Kitty's power of invisibility.
(The Invisible Woman.)
Frank Griffin, Jr. (living under the name "Frank Raymond") is approached by Axis agents seeking to obtain his uncle's invisibilty formula. Escaping from them, he offers his services to the U.S. Government.
(Invisible Agent. Based on info given in the film. I know the film describes him as Jack Griffin's grandson, to me it makes more sense logistically for him to be Frank Griffin's son.)


1942: Frank Griffin, Jr. is dropped into Berlin to obtain information regarding a planned Axis sabotage campaign. He succeeds in this mission.
(Invisible Agent. Based on info given in the film.)
The cult of Ananka sends Turhan Bey and the mummy Kharis to Massachusetts to seek vengeance on Steve Banning and Babe Jensen. Banning's son John leads a counterattack and Bey is killed and Kharis apparently destroyed in a fire.
(The Mummy's Tomb. Based on the release date.)


1943: A vampire calling himself "Count Alucard" comes to America and marries Katherine Caldwell, turning her into a vampire. Katherine's family and friends battle Alucard, and Alucard and Katherine are destroyed.
(Son of Dracula. Based on the release date. To my mind, Dracula, Alucard and Latos are three different individuals, although there may be some relationship between the three. Not just becuase they're played by different actors - they seem like different individuals to me.)


1944: The cult of Ananka sends Yousef Bey to Massachusetts to recover Kharis and the mummy of Ananka.  Bey discovers that Ananka has been reincarnated as Amina Mansori, an exchange student. When Yousef tries to keep Amina for himself, Kharis kills him. Kharis then takes the rapidly-aging Amina and lowers them both into a nearby swamp.
(The Mummy's Ghost. Based on the release date.)
Doctor Gustav Niemann, a former associate of Henry Frankenstein, revives a vampire he believes to be Count Dracula (but who is really Baron Latos, but doesn't mind trading on the Dracula name), and involves him in his schemes for revenge against Bürgermeister Hussman. The scheme fails and Latos is apparently destroyed. Niemann escapes and goes to Vasaria, where he discovers Lawrence Talbot and Frankenstein's Monster. He involves them in his revenge schemes under the pretext of curing Talbot. In the end, Niemann is killed and Talbot and the Monster are again believed destroyed.
(House of Frankenstein. Based on the release date.)


1945: Baron Latos and Lawrence Talbot each independently approach Doctor Franz Edelmann, requesting that he cure them. During the course of his attempt to find a cure, Edelmann finds Frankenstein's Monster. In the end, Edelmann, Latos and the Monster are apparently destroyed. Talbot escapes, but subsequently finds that Edelmann's cure has failed.
(House of Dracula. Based on the release date.)


1948: Doctor Sandra Mornay revives the original Count Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster. Lawrence Talbot becomes aware of this and pursues them to America, where he enlists the aid of delivery men Chick Young and Wilbur Grey in defeating them. In the end, Dracula, the Monster and Talbot are believed destroyed.
(Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Based on the release date.)


1951: Private investigators Bud Alexander and Louis Francis are hired by boxer Tommy Nelson, who's been framed for his manager's murder. Nelson uses the Griffin invisibility formula being researched by his fiancee's uncle, Doctor Philip Gray, to help clear himself of the charges.
(Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man. Based on the film's release date.)


1954: In a remote section of Brazil, an expedition led by Doctors Mark Williams and David Reed discovers an amphibian humanoid they nickname "The  Gill Man".
(Creature from the Black Lagoon. Going by the release date.)


1955: A team led by Professor Clete Ferguson captures the Gill Man and brings it to Florida.  The creature escapes, but is believed killed by police gunfire.
(Revenge of the Creature. Going by release date.)
In Egypt, American would-be adventurers Pete Patterson and Freddie Franklin are caught up in cult leader Semu's efforts to protect the secrets of the mummy Klaris and the treasure of Princess Ara.
(Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. Based on the release date.)
Peter Friedrich "Frederick" Frankenstein, son of Wolf - returns to Transylvania to claim his birthright. He discovers Henry's notes and creates a monster of his own. Despite some initial difficulties, the experiment is ultimately successful, and  Frederick's Creation takes a respected place in society.
(Young Frankenstein. I'm going with the assumption that Frederick Frankenstein is Peter Frankenstein grown up. The date is my arbitrary choice, long enough for Peter to have grown up.)


1956: A group led by Doctor William Morgan finds the Gill Man alive in the Florida Everglades and captures it, burning it badly in the process. To save its life, the humans operate on it, converting it into a solely air-breathing creature. The Gill Man is taken to a facility in California for study. When the humans fall out among themselves, the creature escapes and returns to the water, presumably drowning in the process.
(The Creature Walks Among Us. Going by release date.)


1969: Ilzor Zandaab is sent to Massachusetts to retrieve Kharis and Ananka, who have both been revived. When Ilzor's aide Raghab turns on him, Ilzor, Raghab and Kharis are destroyed, and Kharis and Ananka are at last re-united in death.
(The Mummy's Curse.  Per info given in the film, this is 25 years after the previous picture.)

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Tracy and I are making our way through the Universal Studios Frankenstein movies once again, which has (once again) got me thinking about the timeline. We watched “Son” last night, but here’s something that I never thought about before concerning “Bride”: the prologue is set in 1816, I believe (although, according to Wikipedia, the first edition of the novel was published in 1818), and concerns Mary Shelley regaling her husband and Lord Byron with “what happened next.” It’s odd that the fictionalized Mary Shelley of the Universal Studios universe should set her tale in her own future.

“In this film, Frankenstein is seen looking at a grave dated ‘1899’. Since one would assume that only fresh corpses would interest him, I am positing that the events of the two films occur in 1899.”

I missed that (again), but this time I did notice that Pretorius, in the mausoleum, is robbing the grave of an 18 year old girl who died in 1899. As you did, I assumed he would be interested only in fresh corpses, so I, too, set the events of the first two films in 1899. Not that this helps nail down the timeline, but in “Son”, the watch given to Frankenstein’s butler/assistant was engraved 1901.

“1930: Son of Frankenstein. Arbitrary date, chosen to give enough time for a child of Henry and Elizabeth to be old enough to have a child of his own.”

I’d say that’s a pretty good guess based on Wolf Frankenstein’s apparent age. Henry must have died shortly after his son was born (and shortly after “Bride”) because Wolf as no memory of his father. I suspect there is an “untold story” here somewhere. When did the monster rip the inspector’s arm off? His age is about right given that he was about Peter’s age (3?) when it happened, but it doesn’t jibe with the events of the first two movies.

Here’s another detail I noticed last night: Ygor’s former occupation was as a blacksmith, but he was hanged for robbing graves. We are given to assume that he robbed graves for Henry, yet Henry’s assistants in the first two movies were Fritz and Karl (respectively). How exactly did Ygor first come in contact with the monster? And how did the monster survive the end of “Bride”? (And where did he get that wool jacket?)


Denis Gifford, in his history of horror movies, suggests that shepherd Ygor befriended the monster and fashioned his jacket. As for the arm-ripping, it presumably occurs offscreen during one of the monster's wanderings, though that only loosely makes sense.

A more interesting question for me concerns how Fritz and Ygor fused in the popular imagination. Makes for a good trick-trivia question, though: who was Dr. Frankenstein's hunchbacked assistant in Universal's Frankenstein?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

“1930: Son of Frankenstein. Arbitrary date, chosen to give enough time for a child of Henry and Elizabeth to be old enough to have a child of his own.”

I’d say that’s a pretty good guess based on Wolf Frankenstein’s apparent age. Henry must have died shortly after his son was born (and shortly after “Bride”) because Wolf as no memory of his father. I suspect there is an “untold story” here somewhere. When did the monster rip the inspector’s arm off? His age is about right given that he was about Peter’s age (3?) when it happened, but it doesn’t jibe with the events of the first two movies.

Here’s another detail I noticed last night: Ygor’s former occupation was as a blacksmith, but he was hanged for robbing graves. We are given to assume that he robbed graves for Henry, yet Henry’s assistants in the first two movies were Fritz and Karl (respectively). How exactly did Ygor first come in contact with the monster? And how did the monster survive the end of “Bride”? (And where did he get that wool jacket?)



Jeff of Earth-J said:

 (And where did he get that wool jacket?)

Burlington Coat Factory.

Maybe Ygor was a freelance grave robber trying to earn some money on the side. Can't expect the poor guy to make ends meet on a blacksmith's salary.

Jeff of Earth-J said:


Here’s another detail I noticed last night: Ygor’s former occupation was as a blacksmith, but he was hanged for robbing graves. We are given to assume that he robbed graves for Henry, yet Henry’s assistants in the first two movies were Fritz and Karl (respectively).

Bride of Frankenstein would take place right after Frankenstein since Mary Shelley states at the beginning that the fire in the first film had just died down. While she wrote the book in 1818, I believe she had the nightmare of the monster standing over her in 1816, when she went with her husband and Lord Byron on their trip and each decided to tell a story. It appears Percy Shelley failed to come up with anything, Byron made a fragment of a vampire story in which the vampire was never even mentioned, just his victim begging a friend to bury him so he couldn't dig his way out, and the doctor that came with them told about a skeletal bride that Mary said was just ghastly. He later took the idea of Byron's vampire, fleshed out the story, and pretty much made the vampire Lord Byron. I believe Byron tried but failed to sue him.

In House of Dracula, when Dr. Neimann's skeleton is found, someone notes it must have been laying there "all these years" so it takes place long after House of Frankenstein.

There's a real problem with the Mummy movies. There's no indication that the last film takes place a couple of decades after it was made (not even an attempt at wacky technology and Flash Gordon style clothing), but you can only push the earlier films back so far. This is like how Superman and Superboy somehow both lived in the same time period.

Donnie Dunagan (the child actor who played Peter Frankenstein) is still alive and has an interestring wiki here. Among other things, he was the Marines' youngest ever drill instrictor, served three tours in Viet Nam, and recieved a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. His last acting job was the voice of young Bambi in the Disney feature cartoon.

Just watched Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein again last night. The Monster goes on a rampage on Henry and Elizabeth's wedding day, apparently killing a young girl. He could have assaulted the young Inspector during that time.

Ygor was and still is an anomaly. Given that he was a blacksmith, he could have helped Frankenstein build his laboratory, though not with the actual creation. Still he would have had access to Frankenstein's technology and possibly his notes! He was hanged because after the events of Bride because he was the only one left alive to punish!

We watched Ghost of Frankenstein over the weekend. Here’s where the timeline begins to fall apart, even under only the slightest scrutiny. You place Son of Frankenstein in 1930 (“Arbitrary date, chosen to give enough time for a child of Henry and Elizabeth to be old enough to have a child of his own”) and Ghost of Frankenstein in 1933 (“The date is arbitrary, chosen to be a few years after the previous picture”). Fair enough, but Ludwig is Wolf’s younger brother. If Wolf was in his thirties in Son, I’d say Ludwig was in his sixties in Ghost. If we agree the original and Bride take place in 1899, then Ghost must take place in the 1960s given Ludwig’s age.

Also, Ludwig and Ygor seem to know each other from before, which also doesn’t fit unless there’s an “untold” movie between Bride and Son. It would almost work better if Wolf and Ludwig were Henry’s brothers. From this point on, the timeline exists on a sliding scale, with each movie taking place in the present, with previous movies moving back as far into the past as necessary.

Ghost of Frankenstein was the first, and arguably most important, of Janet Ann Gallows’ six movie roles. In any case, the little girl Cloestine was the only one of her characters actually named. According to the IMDB, her other roles included “Girl” in Butch Minds the Baby, “Little Girl” in It Ain’t Hay, “Orphan” in Till We Meet Again, “Orphan Girl” in That night with You and “Little Girl” in Canyon Passage. She is still alive, 79 years old. The next time someone makes a Frankenstein movie, she and Donnie Dunagen should be cast in cameo roles.

Oh, and Tracy wants to know why Elsa kept Cloestine in the castle for two weeks after being kidnapped by the monster!?

Possibly Elsa kept Cloestine to placate the Monster. After all, if she was returned to her family, the Monster would probably go on a rampage and kidnap her again!

I want to know how Elsa went from girl-next-door Evelyn Ankers in Ghost of Frankenstein to exotic European Ilona Massey in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man!

And did The Wolf Man take place before Ghost of Frankenstein in this timeline?



Jeff of Earth-J said:

We watched Ghost of Frankenstein over the weekend. Here’s where the timeline begins to fall apart, even under only the slightest scrutiny. 

Oh, pick, pick, pick...

Anyway, Ludwig just didn't age well, that's all. Mad science takes it out of a guy.

...Quick-looking at this , I recall that THE INVISIBLE MAN shows mass radio broadcasting in the U.K. as a reality ~ and even obviously humble working-class or rural homes having them ! (Never mind the rather 1920s-30s women's fashions and hairstyles , practically every movie ever made would break upon that particular rock) .

  A universe where ~ Um , Marconi made his discoveies fifty years earlier ?

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