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Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 21 November 1931 (USA)
1:39 | Trailer

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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) | 4 more credits »
1,563 ( 313)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
The Monster (as ?)
Edward Van Sloan ...
Frederick Kerr ...
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


The man who made a monster See more »


Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. 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?


The monster make-up design by Jack P. Pierce is under copyright to Universal through the year 2026, and licensed by Universal Studios Licensing, Inc. See more »


When Dr Waldman reveals that Fritz stole a criminal brain, Frankenstein is unpleasantly surprised. However, his first attempt to acquire a brain was from a corpse on a gallows, which presumably would also have been that of a criminal. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits: The Monster - ? See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The ultimate Universal monster classic
17 January 2003 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

When I watched James Whale's "Frankenstein" last night I tried to look it through the unaware eyes of an innocent 1931 audience. Unfortunately I failed. No matter how I try, this film still has absolutely nothing horrifying in it. Nevertheless when I watched the great DVD documentary I finally understood why moviegoers of the early 30's found "Frankenstein" frightening. No one had actually ever seen anything like it before in the motion picture. What we think is funny scared the crap out of people who saw it when it was originally released. It's just so bloody hard to realize it nowadays when we've pretty much seen it all when it comes to movie violence and horror. Knowing how corny and funny this film looks that ridiculous pre-credits warning is absolutely hilarious.

Once again, the fact that the film does not make us shiver doesn't make it a bad movie. It allows the modern audience to enjoy the film in another way. Colin Clive is terrific as Dr. Henry Frankenstein. When he shouts hysterically "It's alive! It's alive!" we are witnessing one of the greatest moments of horror film history ever. Boris Karloff is phenomenal as the creature. Although he may not be scary he's performance is stylish and touching and his make-up is soooooo cool. Supporting roles are good too, Edward Van Sloan and especially Dwight Frye (Van Helsing and Renfield from the 1931 adaptation of "Dracula") are brilliant. "Frankenstein" has to be the ultimate monster classic of the Universal studios. When we think about the concept of "classic movie monster", the image of Boris Karloff's creature of Frankenstein is the image 95% of us has first. It is the most recognized and beloved monster of them all.

55 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Karloff's actig as the monster is overrated agusmaga93
Great angry mob! Peterlh
Why do you like this movie? paulosantoro
You gotta admit, the movie does pale when compared to the novel Agent_Mulder89
Best Actor to Portray Dr. Frankenstein? KingofWayne66
Need help with a "frankenstein" style movie dev_nada2
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