The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Poster


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Boris Karloff sweated off 20 pounds laboring in the hot costume and makeup.
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.
When filming the scene where the monster emerges from the burnt windmill, Boris Karloff slipped and fell into the water-filled well. Upon being helped out, it was discovered that he had dislocated a hip in the fall. The hip was strapped into place and Karloff soldiered on. He continued to receive massage and heat treatments for the hip for the rest of the shooting of the film.
Elsa Lanchester said that her spitting, hissing performance was inspired by the swans in Regent's Park, London. "They're really very nasty creatures," she said.
Boris Karloff protested against the decision to make The Monster speak, but was overruled. Since he was required to speak in this film, Karloff was not able to remove his partial bridgework as he had done to help give the Monster his sunken cheek appearance in the first Frankenstein (1931). That's why The Monster appears fuller of face in the sequel.
Elsa Lanchester was not the only person to have a dual role in this film. In addition to her role as Minnie, Una O'Connor also appeared in the prologue, as Shelley's maid who is holding the leash as the dogs go off screen.
Elsa Lanchester never receives on screen credit as "The Bride". The character is listed as being played by "?".
Due to his overwhelming fame as a "thriller" actor, Boris Karloff was billed simply as "Karloff" - no first name needed.
Not long before filming began, Colin Clive broke a leg in a horse riding accident. Consequently, most of Henry Frankenstein's scenes were shot with him sitting.
Director James Whale originally did not want to do a sequel to Frankenstein (1931). For a time, Universal considered producing a sequel without Whale's involvement. One possible story included an educated monster continuing Henry's research, while another chronicled Henry's creation of a death ray on the eve of a world war. However, after 4 years of badgering by Universal, Whale agreed to do the film.
Though virtually all of Billy Barty's scenes (as the little baby in the bottle) were deleted, he can still be briefly glimpsed in a wide shot of all the bottles on Dr. Pretorius's table (as well as in still photographs).
The tiny mermaid in Dr. Pretorius' bottle was Josephine McKim, a member of the 1924 and 1928 U.S. Women's Olympic Swim Teams and one of the four members of that team to win the 1928 gold medal in the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay. McKim was also Maureen O'Sullivan's body double in the infamous nude swimming scene of the previous year's Tarzan and His Mate (1934).
Jack P. Pierce altered the make-up of Frankenstein's monster from this film's predecessor to reflect that he had survived the mill fire at the end of Frankenstein (1931) with some flesh burns and with much of his hair singed off.
As a result of audience reactions from the film's preview screenings during the first week of April 1935, the film was extensively re-edited. Many scenes were deleted and trimmed, and at least one, the scene where the Monster stumbles into the Gypsy Camp, was added in. As a result of the editing, the original uncut film was approx. 15 minutes longer than its official release length of 75 minutes.
Purists often consider it inaccurate (going by the Mary Shelley source novel) to refer to the Monster by the name "Frankenstein" rather than "Frankenstein's Monster," however in the prologue, the character representing Lord Byron actually does attach the name Frankenstein to the monster. He says: "Can you believe that bland and lovely brow conceived of Frankenstein, a monster created from cadavers out of rifled graves? Isn't it astonishing?" Since Mrs. Shelley does not contradict him, we can infer that in this set of films, the Monster IS named Frankenstein, in one of many divergences from the book.
The original trailer promises "a lifetime of entertainment in two hours". The final edit ran 75 minutes.
The dual role of Mrs. Shelley and the Monster's Mate was originally offered to Brigitte Helm but she had recently married and refused to leave Germany. Louise Brooks was another actress considered by James Whale for the role.
Claude Rains was offered the role of Dr. Pretorius but he was unavailable due to filming Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935).
There was an epilogue to this movie featuring Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley, but it was cut from the final film.
The name of Little Maria's father has been changed from "Ludwig" in the original Frankenstein (1931) to "Hans" in this film.
Director James Whale was once derided by a disgusted audience member for laughing during a screening.
Doctor Pretorious' full name is "Septimus Pretorious"; this is actually Latin and means "royal seven", a reference to the seven deadly sins - as well as an indicator of his true nature.
The musical soundtrack for this film proved so popular, it was used again in the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials starring Buster Crabbe.
Production of this sequel to the original Frankenstein (1931) was publicized as early as 1933 by both Universal Studio press releases and the trade paper "Daily Variety", but director James Whale did not begin work on it until late 1934. With a budget under $300,000, it was originally entitled "The Return of Frankenstein".
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.
Valerie Hobson, who plays Dr. Frankenstein's fiancé/bride in the film, was only 17 years old when she appeared in the film (Colin Clive, who portrayed Henry Frankenstein, was 35.)
Elsa Lanchester was only 5'4" but for the role was placed on stilts that made her 7' tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio and fed through a straw.
Elsa Lanchester's shock hairdo was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.
2007: The movie's line "We belong dead" was voted as the #63 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere magazine.
One of the cast cut from the film after the preview was Helen Parrish, who played a "Communion Girl."
The scene in which the monster encounters the Gypsy camp was filmed shortly before the scheduled release date as a substitute for a scene that had been edited out after sneak previews because of censorship concerns. Since the scene was filmed long after the completion of principal filming - and after the film's musical score had been completed - the Gypsy camp scene is the only segment of the movie that has no musical score.
During the "bottle" sequence in Dr. Pretorius' apartment, the Doctor, while showing Henry Frankenstein the miniature "devil" character, makes a wry comment that he sees a "certain resemblance" between him and his tiny creation. In fact, the miniature devil in the bottle was played by Peter Shaw, who was actually actor Ernest Thesiger's stand-in/film double in the picture.
Film Daily-New York City, Tuesday, May 7, 1935: Differences between the Roxy and the Rialto theaters as to which house to to get "The Bride of Frankenstein" were settled yesterday when the management involved agreed upon a compromise under which the Arthur Mayer (the Rialto) operation will play another Universal Pictute, Werewolf of London (1935), while the Roxy gets "The Bride of Frankenstein." The settlement cancels an injunction which Mayer asked in the Federal Court, New York. Under the booking deal participated in by both theaters, the Rialto is play action pictures while the Roxy gets films described as family pictures. Mayer contended that "The Bride of Frankenstein" came within his classification and started proceedings against Howard S. Cullman, operator of the Roxy, and the Big U exchange.
Shot in 46 days at a cost of approximately $400,000.
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Part of the SON OF SHOCK package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original SHOCK THEATER release of 52 features one year earlier.
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David Niven screen tested for the role of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in the introductory sequence but was passed over.
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The title "Bride of Frankenstein" is an ambiguous title which could refer to either the Valerie Hobson or Elsa Lanchester characters, as both the Colin Clive and Boris Karloff characters are given the name "Frankenstein" within the movie.
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Censors caused Pretorious' derogatory line about "fairy tales" to be changed to "Bible stories," but once they saw the sneering contempt which Ernest Thesiger loaded into his delivery of these two words, they wished they had left the original script unchanged.
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In the opening and closing credits the cast list says "The Monster's Mate" followed by a question mark.
As part of the original VHS release, an extended "trailer" for Psycho (1960) was included where Alfred Hitchcock guides the audience around various sets used in the film.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The Bride", the most obscure of Universal Studios' Classic Monsters, is on screen for less than five minutes and is the only "Classic Monster" never to have killed anyone.
The "body count" in the original cut was 21. This was trimmed to 10 after pressure from the censors.
One of the film's deleted sequences included the Monster murdering the Burgomaster.
Editing after previews resulted in the loss of a subplot in which Karl imitates the Monster's murderous modus operandi to eliminate his miserly aunt and uncle and direct the blame away from himself.
When the castle is self-destructing, the Doctor can be seen against the far wall. Yet he is next seen outside in the arms of his beloved, watching the explosions. There were two endings originally: the first had Doctor Frankenstein dying within the castle and this was filmed. But the producers judged this a bit harsh and wanted a happy ending, so they shot the extra footage (too expensive to re-film the explosions).
The blind hermit is a character taken directly from the Mary Shelley Frankenstein novel. Dr. Pretorious, a new creation, closely resembles the Monster's personality in the book, where he becomes a cold-blooded murderer. The film decided to have the Monster remain an "innocent" character who only kills in self-defense or by accident (until the final scenes), and so created the evil Pretorius to fill the villainous role from the book.
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