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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of James Whale's criteria for taking up the director's reins on the film was that he would have complete artistic freedom. This was easily achieved, as Universal's studio head Carl Laemmle Jr. was vacationing in Europe at the time. See more »
When Henry visits Dr. Pretorius, Pretorius shows Henry his menagerie of homunculi. Pretorius says, "I have to keep my eye on the King." He then covers both King and Queen's glass jars with a dark cloth sheath. But after panning to the Arch Bishop's glass jar, the King and Queen are inexplicably uncovered again, whereupon the King climbs out of his jar and onto the table. See more »
[looking out the window at a thunderstorm]
How beautifully dramatic! The cruelest savage exhibition of nature at her worst without.
[turns to face Mary and Percy Shelley, both seated]
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 thunders are for ...
[...] See more »
In the opening and closing credits, "The Monster's Mate" is listed as being played by " ? " . Elsa Lanchester is only billed as playing Mary Shelley. See more »
When Ernest Thesiger points and says, "The bride of Frankenstein," rolling his r's, he creates one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history. I do consider the second film superior to the first (though I love them both) because of the complexity of the characters and, more specifically, the monster. In Shelley's book the monster is lonely but articulate. He seeks out a bride. Frankenstein creates one but then destroys her, making his creature furious and vengeful. This monster actually has a kind part to him. For him to be blunt force thug can only go so far. It works in the first film but how much more growling and stomping could there be? The scenes of him wandering in the countryside, meeting the lonely old blind man in the house in the woods, and being shown kindness by him is very touching. The monster is allowed some humanity; some privacy. We know this can't last because his creator has doomed him. We often see Victor as some kind of hero, but, in reality, he has committed an incredible sin against another being. He wants a companion, but she turns on him and destroys his hope.
The setup, with Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley, talking with the foremost romantic poets of the time, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron (who also rolls his r's), is a great lead in as she brags about writing a story that will make your skin crawl. She must have been something in that male dominated society. Of course, her mother was one of the first to demand rights for women. When she reappears as the Bride, it is awesome. And who came up with the hair. It is one of those things like the monster's neck bolts, that has become such an icon for our culture.
These early Universal films deserve to be judged as major movies. Just because the subject is horror, doesn't mean they should be dismissed. James Whale was a great director with an amazing vision.
51 of 57 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?