|“||The borderline between delusion and reality is very narrow.||„|
|― Doctor Mannering|
Frank Mannering is a character from the film Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. He is portrayed by Patrick Knowles
Frank Mannering was a surgeon who worked at Queen's Hospital in Cardiff, England during the mid 1940s. In 1943, he encountered a man who would prove to be his most interesting patient ever – Larry Talbot. Talbot had been found unconscious several blocks away and suffered from a severe head wound. He was brought to Queen's Hospital where Mannering administered to his needs. Also in attendance was Inspector Owen, who wanted to question Talbot at length – particularly since Larry Talbot was supposed to have died four years earlier. Mannering pulled rank on Owen, declaring only he would decide when his patient would be fit enough for questioning. When Talbot was awake enough to speak for himself, he tried to warn Mannering that he was a dangerous beast and a killer. He took credit for the murder of a constable that took place on the prior evening. Mannering believed that Talbot was mentally ill and perhaps had developed some superhuman mental ability brought on by his supposed psychosis. Mannering diagnosed Talbot as a Lycanthrope, but had yet to realize that he was in fact a true werewolf (as opposed to someone who only believed that they were a wolf).
Mannering and Inspector Owen decided to travel to Llanwelly to determine whether his patient was lying or if he truly was Larry Talbot returned from the dead. They arrived at the Talbot family crypt, but upon inspecting his casket, they found nothing but a pile of wolfbane.
While Mannering was in Llanwelly, Larry Talbot escaped from Queen's Hospital. He embarked upon a journey to the European village of Vasaria in the hopes of finding a cure for his condition. Mannering followed him and discovered him in the company of the old gypsy woman, Maleva. He caught up with Larry at the Festival of the New Wine where Larry had been dining with Baroness Elsa Frankenstein. Mannering now believed that Talbot truly was a werewolf and that he was committed towards helping him.
It was Talbot's intent to use Elsa Frankenstein to find her father's journal within the ruins of Castle Frankenstein. From there, he had hoped to find a way to either cure him or, failing that, end his tortured existence.
Through the course of this affair, Doctor Mannering also learned of the existence of the Frankenstein Monster. He met the monster in the ruins of Frankenstein Castle, and promised that he would do everything he could to help it. This was only a half-truth however, as Elsa and Larry believed that he would use Henry Frankenstein's journals to not only help Larry, but to artificially destroy the Frankenstein Monster through science.
Mannering and the others affected repairs on the laboratory and restored most of the electronic equipment. After pouring through Frankenstein's journal, he came to realize that both the Monster and Talbot could be destroyed simply by drawing energy out of their bodies. He had them both strapped down to operating tables as he began the procedure.
At the last moment however, Doctor Mannering realized that he could not bring himself to destroy Frankenstein's creation. He increased the power levels and sparks began to fly out of the equipment panels. Elsa Frankenstein realized what Mannering was doing and tried to stop him. Turning off some of the switches caused a power overload resulting in an explosion. Though neither Mannering nor Elsa were harmed by the explosion, it was enough to cause severe structural damage to the underground laboratory.
To further complicate matters, the moon was full and Larry Talbot transformed into the Wolf Man. The Frankenstein Monster broke free and the two began fighting one another. Mannering and the Baroness fled the ruins and returned to the village of Vasaria. From the top of a hill, they watched as a nearby dam was destroyed, sending flood waters raging across the valley, destroying Frankenstein's castle.
- Patric Knowles also played opposite Lon Chaney, Jr. in the role of Frank Andrews in the 1941 film The Wolf Man.
- It is implied that a romantic link existed between Doctor Mannering and Elsa Frankenstein, but this was never fully developed in the film.
- He was possibly the inspiration for Dr. Hoenneger in the 2010 remake of the original, who was also an asylum doctor who believed Lawrence was insane and had him treated before finding out the truth...