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Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 21 November 1931 (USA)
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An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

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Writers:

(based upon the composition by), (from the novel by) (as Mrs. Percy B. Shelley) | 4 more credits »
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3,991 ( 330)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
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:

A Chilling Thriller See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal Pictures owns the copyright to the make-up designed by Jack P. Pierce for Frankenstein's monster. See more »

Goofs

Right before Fritz climbs the gibbet to cut down the hanged man, supposedly a beam of light from his lantern hits and travels across the "sky" behind him, which is obviously a backdrop. The latter is right, the "light beam" however is a lens flare, which is obvious because it also travels before Frankenstein without being displaced - it's an optical phenomenon and not a practical one. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The closing credits start with "A GOOD CAST IS WORTH REPEATING...". The first four actors' names are listed in all caps-sans serif font with the "S" in John Boles & Boris Karloff plus in CAST & IS tilted to the right 45 degrees. The remaining 5 cast members have their names listed in Serif font with both Caps & lower case letters. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Fairly OddParents: Where's Wanda/Imaginary Gary (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Grand Appassionato
(uncredited)
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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