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Frankenstein (1931) Poster

(1931)

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

When Little Maria walks from the cottage toward the lake, she casts shadows in two different directions.
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Continuity 

The monster's coat and shirt are pulled over his chest for Dr. Waldman to perform a dissection. In the next scene, as the monster is coming down the stairs, having just killed Waldman, we see that he has neatly tucked in his shirt and buttoned his coat, just as any newly-created-from-corpses, tortured, simple-minded monster would do.
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Early in the film, Dr Waldman presents two brains in glass jars each bearing two neatly typed labels, one in Latin, the other in English. The good brain reads "CEREBRUM" and "NORMAL BRAIN" while the other reads "DYSFUNCTO CEREBRI" and "ABNORMAL BRAIN." When Fritz breaks into the medical school, the typed NORMAL and ABNORMAL labels have been replaced by larger, hand-printed ones.
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After the Monster kills Frankenstein's assistant, Fritz, he's hanging from a rope. When everyone leaves the room and then pass by where he was hanged, his body is no longer there.
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In the film's first scene, when Dr. Frankenstein and Fritz begin to dig up the newly-interred corpse, they both shed their jackets. After a dissolve to bridge the passage of time, when they reach the buried casket, a shovel is upright in the unearthed soil behind them with one of the jackets hanging on it as well as a hat. . .but neither man was wearing or carrying a hat when they arrived at the grave.
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Baron Frankenstein says that Henry Frankenstein's lab is in "an old abandoned windmill". In fact, it is in a castle or watchtower. According to the DVD commentary, this line of dialogue was from an early version of the script, and was left in the final version by mistake.
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People enter castle from outside in driving rain storm but they are hardly wet.
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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.
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In the scene where Henry and Elizabeth are sitting by the lake and talking about their upcoming wedding, the long shot that opens the scene shows a dog at Henry's feet, laying on his right side with his head up and looking around. However, in the next shot the dog is asleep and laying on his left side.
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When the monster is injected and finally falls to the floor, he passes out on his back. When the pick him up to drag him back into his cell, he is face-down.
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In the brain-theft scene, the hanging skeleton's rate of bounce varies from shot to shot.
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When Frankenstein is thrown from the windmill, his body hits the wind wheel driving it to rotate anti-clockwise. In the next shot it rotates clockwise again.
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The Monster stands up to throw Maria into the lake. It then cuts to a shot of her hitting the water and he is suddenly kneeling.
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During the chase, when the Monster first spots Dr. Frankenstein, Frankenstein's torch switches hands between shots. Then, when the two make eye contact, Frankenstein raises the torch about level with his head, but in the next shot it is about level with his shoulder.
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In the close up of Fritz grabbing the abnormal brain the skeleton is bouncing up an down. When it cuts to a quick long shot it is only swaying slightly.
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Crew or equipment visible 

As the Monster is being raised on the gurney to be animated, a crewman is visible in the lower left. He seems to be behind a curtain and is looking down as if at some equipment.
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Miscellaneous 

As Dr. Frankenstein and Fritz are walking up to where the dead man is hanging, there is a jump cut, and they are farther up the path then they should be.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

According to DVD commentary for this film, director James Whale intended this film to take place in an "alternate universe" and therefore freely mixed 19th Century and 1930s technology, hair fashions, etc.
Right before the Monster's awakening Henry Frankenstein replies to the charge that he is crazy by taunting, "One man crazy, three very sane spectators." But there are four spectators: Victor, Elizabeth, Dr. Waldman and Fritz. Fritz is neither a spectator nor called crazy; he is an assistant.
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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.
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Plot holes 

When Fritz steals the brain from the medical laboratory, it is in a jar very clearly labeled ABNORMAL BRAIN. Dr. Frankenstein should not have been startled to learn from Dr. Waldman that the brain he used was abnormal.
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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.
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Revealing mistakes 

Huge streaks are visible across the clouded sky during the chase at the end of the film, making the presence of a backdrop very obvious.
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In the scene in the film where the monster is dragging a supposedly unconscious Henry up the stairs inside the windmill, on the final stairway, you can clearly see unconscious Henry walking up the stairs alongside the monster, making it easier for the monster to "carry" him up the stairs.
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When Dr. Frankenstein and the Monster are fighting atop the burning windmill in medium shot, both their outlines shimmy, revealing the primitive (yet effective) matte process that put the stormy sky behind them.
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When Frankenstein is thrown from the windmill by the Monster it is clearly a dummy.
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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.
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When the Monster throws Dr. Frankenstein off the parapet from where they are fighting, you can see through both the Monster, the parapet, and the dummy of Dr. Frankenstein as it heads toward the windmill blades.
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The monster is famously made up from parts of other men, and the huge scar on his right wrist suggests this. However, any time Karloff is holding both hands in the same shot they are obviously both his and identical to each other.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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