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Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  21 November 1931 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 45,683 users  
Reviews: 488 user | 173 critic

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



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



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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


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


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


A Monster Science Created - But Could Not Destroy! See more »


Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El doctor Frankenstein  »

Box Office


$291,000 (estimated)


$12,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Boris Karloff's shoes weighed 13 pounds each. See more »


When Maria meets the Monster by the lake and talks to him, the close shots of her show some vegetation and the lake in the background. She then takes the Monster by the hand and walks him closer to the edge of the lake. When she next talks to the Monster, the background in the close shot is the same as it was before, as though she has not moved at all. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

The author of the original novel is listed as "Mrs. Percy B. Shelley." See more »


Spoofed in Runaway Brain (1995) See more »


Grand Appassionato
Music by Giuseppe Becce
[End title & end cast music]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still quality stuff
23 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

A brilliant young scientist creates life from the dead but lives to regret it when his creation goes on the rampage.

Though inevitably dated and primitive by modern standards, Frankenstein remains a tremendously impressive film and a tribute to its still somewhat under-rated director, the eccentric Englishman James Whale.

Where so many early talkies were static and wordy, Frankenstein skips unnecessary dialogue and exposition and drives through its plot at a speed that seems almost indecent nowadays. Compared to overblown remakes like Kenneth Branagh's 1994 version, Whale's work now seems like a masterpiece of brevity and minimalism. His constantly moving camera, incisive editing and dramatic use of close-ups are a mile ahead of anything far more prestigious directors were doing at the time. Expressionist photography and eccentric set designs lend atmosphere, menace and help augment some rather ripe performances; a foretaste of the paths Whale would tread in the sequel Bride of Frankenstein four years later.

And then of course there's Karloff. With comparatively few scenes and no dialogue he nonetheless manages to create a complex, intimidating, yet sympathetic creature - one of the great mimes in talking cinema and thanks in no small degree to the freedom given to him under Jack Pierce's iconic make-up.

A historic piece of cinema, and one that still stands the test of time as both art and entertainment.

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How did they make Boris Karloff look so tall? patchesdf-62-114042
You gotta admit, the movie does pale when compared to the novel Agent_Mulder89
Best Actor to Portray Dr. Frankenstein? KingofWayne66
Why do you like this movie? paulosantoro
Need help with a "frankenstein" style movie dev_nada2
8.0? Come on folks, let's be honest here.... motter25420-153-699254
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