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Frankenstein (1931)

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Reviews: 429 user | 161 critic

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

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(based upon the composition by), (from the novel by), 6 more credits »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

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A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein (goaded by an even madder scientist) builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale
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Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
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When Ygor brings the monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the monster's current criminal brain, with a normal brain.

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Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Larry Talbot chips Frankenstein's monster out of a block of ice. When Talbot changes to the Wolf Man, the two creatures do battle.

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An evil scientist and a hunchback escape from prison and encounter Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster.

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Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. Silent classic based on the story "Dracula."

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A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.

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Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
John Boles ...
...
The Monster (as ?)
Edward Van Sloan ...
Frederick Kerr ...
...
Lionel Belmore ...
Marilyn Harris ...
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Storyline

Henry Frankenstein is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He succeeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The monster that terrorized the world. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El doctor Frankenstein  »

Box Office

Budget:

$291,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$12,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Monster in this film does not physically resemble Mary Shelley's character. It was make-up artist Jack P. Pierce who came up with innovations such as the Monster's flat head, the bolts through the neck, the droopy eyelids, and the poorly-fitted suit. Any future Frankenstein film that features any of these physical abnormalities is taking its inspiration from Pierce's make-up work. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Henry is holding the monsters hand and telling Fritz there's nothing to be afraid of. If you look at the body, you can see a dress shoe on the body's foot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Henry Frankenstein: Down! Down, you fool!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits say "Based upon the composition by John L. Balderston", without elaborating on what "Based upon the composition" really means, especially in this case, where there is already one original writer (Mrs. Percy B. Shelley) credited, along with a playwright, two screenwriters, and one scenario editor. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
a flawed but historic hour of cinema
21 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just as the Beatles influenced popular music for decades after they came and went, so did "Frankenstein" shape the landscape for cinematic horror. Had this film been an artistic and/or commercial failure, the American Horror Film would have evolved in a totally different direction, had it survived at all.

It is remarkable that the conventions established in this early talking film would continue to be utilized by serious filmmakers for over four decades, until "The Exorcist" (1973) changed the rules.

However, "Frankenstein" remains a flawed classic, partially because it's characters have, over time, become almost comical (even without the endless satires), partially because of some of the supporting performances (which inspired the endless satires), and partially because of the primitive technology available at Universal Studios in 1931. Even the tiny Hal Roach Studios produced more sophisticated product at the time.

But what of the assets? Charles D. Hall's art direction is striking, as are some of Arthur Edeson's photographic compositions. Colin Clive remains compelling as Henry Frankenstein, the intense medical adventurer, although he seems pushed to the brink at times by director James Whale, a smart, imaginative filmmaker who didn't always know when to apply restraint.

Then there is Boris Karloff as the monster; Karloff was (and is) underrated as an actor, mainly because he became content to lend himself more as a personality rather than as a performer in numerous films, especially after the mid-1940's. But Karloff, aided by magnificent makeup designed by Jack Pierce, perfectly captured the misery, desperation and loneliness of an artificially fabricated creature in this film, guided by Whale's unexpectedly sensitive direction.

"Frankenstein" survives as a flawed, but historic -- and necessary -- document that set the course for one of cinema's most enduring genres.


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How did they make Boris Karloff look so tall? patchesdf-62-114042
Dr. Frankenstein's Assistant...Book vs. FIlms CinematicFinatic
We shouldn't quibble over the Monster's name! kartoon-1
You gotta admit, the movie does pale when compared to the novel Agent_Mulder89
Frankenstein - time destortion rrjustron
sigh.... which version? ale3370
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