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Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Horror | 22 April 1935 (USA)
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Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

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(suggested by: the original story written in 1816 by) (as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley), (adapted by) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The Monster (as Karloff)
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Lucien Prival ...
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Reginald Barlow ...
Mary Gordon ...
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Shepherdess (as Ann Darling)
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Storyline

Dr. Frankenstein and his monster both turn out to be alive, not killed as previously believed. Dr. Frankenstein wants to get out of the evil experiment business, but when a mad scientist, Dr. Pretorius, kidnaps his wife, Dr. Frankenstein agrees to help him create a new creature, a woman, to be the companion of the monster. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Created in a weird scientist's laboratory... from the skeletons of two women and the heart of a living girl! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

22 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frankenstein Lives Again!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$397,024 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marilyn Harris, who played Maria, the girl The Monster accidentally kills in the original Frankenstein (1931), appears uncredited as another young girl. She is the leader of the group of young schoolgirls who encounter the Monster as he runs away from the blind man's burning house. Director James Whale deliberately gave her a one-word line ("Look!"), so she would be paid more by the studio as an actor with a speaking role, instead of as an extra. See more »

Goofs

In the outdoor night scenes, the eerily-lit "clouds" in the sky do not move, revealing them as background paintings. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lord Byron: [Prologue]
[Lord Byron looking out the window at a thunderstorm]
Lord Byron: How beautifully dramatic! The cruelest savage exhibition of nature at her worst without.
[turns to face Mary and Percy Shelley, both seated]
Lord Byron: And we three. We elegant three within. I should like to think that an irate Jehovah was pointing those arrows of lightning directly at my head. The unbowed head of George Gordon, Lord Byron. England's greatest sinner. But I cannot flatter myself to that extent. Possibly those ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits have the heading "A good cast is worth repeating". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Night of the Living Duck (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Frühlingslied (Spring Song) Op.62 #6
(1842) (uncredited)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Danced by Kansas DeForrest
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Campenstein!
5 February 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Series note: Although not imperative, it is strongly suggested that viewers take time to watch Frankenstein prior to Bride of Frankenstein. This is a linear continuation of the story of the first film, and the characters and motivations will have more meaning if you watch the series in order.

Despite appearances to the contrary at the end of the first film, Frankenstein (1931), the monster has survived. The quickly recuperating Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is paid a visit by Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), who has been engaging in similar research into the creation and restoration of life. Although Frankenstein wants to quit the business after the atrocities documented in the first film, Pretorius tries to persuade him to continue, while at the same time, the monster starts to become more sophisticated.

Although many fans prefer Bride of Frankenstein to Frankenstein, they are both 10s to me. Given tastes and typical comments about modern horror films, it is surprising that this film is the usual preference, as it is even more rooted in surrealist/absurdist fantasy and it is loaded with a wicked, campy humor--at times the film is more of a spoof of the first than a sequel.

But at that, I love it. I love fantasy, surrealism and absurdism and I like my horror to be campy and humorous as much as I like it to be serious. Director James Whale had acquired more "Hollywood clout" in the four years since making the original film, and said that he wanted to treat Bride as a "hoot"--he found the premise to be "highly amusing". And that it is. Whale gives us whimsical elements from minor characters, such as Minnie (Una O'Connor), who provides a healthy dose of comic relief during the monster's "resurrection", to major characters' mannerisms, such as the Karloff's portrayal of the monster's newfound abilities and subtlety. Pretorius has a flamboyantly questionable sexuality (the film is permeated with all manner of complex sexual metaphors) and his creations are as bizarrely goofy as say, Jar Jar Binks (from Star Wars Episode 1 (1999)), although they do not dominate the film in the same way.

Often noted as a standout element are the sets, and rightly so. Like the first film, the gorgeous sets show a heavy influence from German expressionist films, but here they are even more grand in scale and they are also more numerous and varied. The cinematography is as crisp as can be, and just as atmospheric (occasionally more so) as the first film. The presence of a score this time around works well, although the first film is just as notable for its ability to be just as dramatic without a score.

The story in Bride of Frankenstein is much more sprawling and epic than in the first film. That fact neither makes it better or worse, but pleasantly different compared to Frankenstein's relatively tight, almost claustrophobic plot (which is appropriate for the subject matter). While Karloff's zombie-like muteness from Frankenstein was perfect in that context, it makes sense to have him mature here, and provides for some fantastic scenes, such as his interaction with the blind hermit (O.P. Heggie). Whale also chose to be much more literal and straightforward with the ethical and religious subtexts of the plot, and this film is notable for the large amount of verbal and visual references to God and Christianity--the visual references include the monster being hoisted on a "pole" as if being crucified, the monster descending into a grave with a crucifix looming over him, and a crucifix over a bed upon which the camera lingers.

I actually prefer to think of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein as two halves or a single film, and given their short running times, they can be viewed back to back in about two and a half hours. If you haven't seen either one yet, you owe it to yourself to watch them at least once.


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