Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  27 December 1978 (Portugal)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,005 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 24 critic

A more psychological telling of the Mary Shelley story has a different kind of monster...



(teleplay), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rachel's Man (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Director: Moshé Mizrahi
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Mickey Rooney, Leonard Whiting
Frankenstein (TV Movie 1992)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Dr. Victor Frankenstein creates his creature, who escapes into the countryside to find that humanity has only pain and sorrow for him. But a psychic link between created and creator draws ... See full summary »

Director: David Wickes
Stars: Patrick Bergin, Randy Quaid, John Mills
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An evil scientist and a hunchback escape from prison and encounter Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., J. Carrol Naish
Frankenstein (TV Movie 1984)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A scientist who is obsessed with creating life finally does it, with tragic results.

Director: James Ormerod
Stars: Robert Powell, David Warner, Carrie Fisher
The Other (1972)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Down in the farm country of the US twins are born. One of them turns out to be good, while the other becomes rather evil.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Uta Hagen, Diana Muldaur, Chris Udvarnoky
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Ygor brings the monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the monster's current criminal brain, with a normal brain.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy
Horror | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Baron Frankenstein is once again working with illegal medical experiments. Together with a young doctor, Karl and his fiancée Anna, they kidnap the mentally sick Dr. Brandt, to perform the ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In the beginning of the movie you see a woman getting raped by a man-creature of some sort. The movie takes place years later when the child that was a result of that rape is on the rampage... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Mora
Stars: Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Paul Clemens
Frankenstein (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Another adaption of Mary Shelley's novel about a scientist who brings life to a creature fashioned from corpses and various body parts.

Stars: William Hurt, Luke Goss, Alec Newman
Sci-Fi | Horror | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dead and frozen Baron Frankenstein is re-animated by his colleague Dr. Hertz proving to him that the soul does not leave the body on the instant of death. His lab assistant, young Hans, ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When the now famous "star crossed lovers" of two feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery


Cast overview, first billed only:
Agatha / Prima
Nicola Pagett ...
Elizabeth Fanschawe
Sir Richard Fanshawe
Clarissa Kaye-Mason ...
Lady Fanschawe (as Clarissa Kaye)
Margaret Leighton ...
Francoise DuVal
Mr. Lacey
Sea Captain
Julian Barnes ...
Young Man
Arnold Diamond ...
Passenger in Coach


A more psychological telling of the Mary Shelley story has a different kind of monster...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 December 1978 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

A Verdadeira História de Frankenstein  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (theartrical release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy published their original version of the screenplay for this film because they were so unhappy with the way it had turned out. The published script differs from the final film in a number of ways. They were also unhappy with casting - they had requested that Jon Voight be offered the part of Victor Frankenstein - and their hope that John Boorman would be hired as director was also dashed. See more »


When Frankenstein dissolves the severed arm with acid, the arm as first shown at the beginning of the scene is significantly different in appearance than the one which is shown actually being dissolved. See more »


Dr. Victor Frankenstein: [to the Creature, viciously] Are you satisfied now? Have you punished me enough for giving you life?
[he calms down, then:]
Dr. Victor Frankenstein: I've wronged you, I know. I, I disowned you. I wanted to destroy you. How can I blame you for anything that you've done? Poor creature... you're as weary of life as I am. If only I could rid mankind of us both. I'm a weak human, I can't stay long in this terrible place. But your iron body will keep you alive against your will. You'll be all alone here. That would be too ...
See more »


Referenced in Frankenhooker (1990) See more »


Mazurka No. 5, Op. 7
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Arranged by Bernard Ebbinghouse
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) ***
1 October 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A two part television movie which claimed to tell, for the first time anywhere, the genuinely faithful tale of the man who made a creature, exactly as its writer, teenaged Mary Shelley, first concocted it. Well, it may be helpful going in to be forewarned that this isn't really the "true story," but it comes close and what matters most is that it's a good film, albeit one that's three hours long.

In this version, young Victor Frankenstein (Leonard Whiting) is a medical student thirsting for knowledge, which he gets from the wildly eccentric Dr. Henry Clerval (David McCallum). Clerval has devised a method of restoring dead insects back to life, and his greatest achievement comes when he reanimates a man's severed arm. Frankenstein teams up with Clerval and they are just about to proceed with the ultimate experiment of assembling a complete man from dead bodies and making it live, when Henry dies and Victor is forced to work alone (I'll bet you never knew it wasn't all Frankenstein's idea). The final product is a perfectly attractive male creation (Michael Sarrazin) who has been given Clerval's brain and instantly bonds with Victor, his creator. Frankenstein begins to neglect his fiancé Elizabeth (Nicola Pagett) while taking the time to refine his new Adam. Unbeknownst to Victor, before Clerval died he tried to warn Frankenstein that the animation process performed on the first severed arm was actually reversing itself and the flesh was deteriorating. In a short period of time, the once-handsome creature begins to show signs of his skin rotting and upon witnessing this, Frankenstein suddenly loses all interest in his creation and abandons him. The rest of the film carries on with the scorned monster's journey to punish his master. He meets up with a nasty and cunning former associate of Clerval, the elder Dr. Polidori (James Mason), who blackmails Frankenstein into constructing a female named Prima (played by Jane Seymour).

This is a lush and well-crafted Victorian period piece, and the story of unrequited love between the creature and his creator is at the core of it. For those who up till now have only been familiar with the classic Boris Karloff image of the flat-headed monster with big boots and bolts in his neck, this is something else entirely. It's touching but also horrifying at times, with a good cast. In addition to Michael Sarrazin's sympathetic work as the creature, David McCallum's obsessive Clerval and James Mason's unscrupulous Polidori (presumably the Ernest Thesiger character in this one) are the best performances. *** out of ****

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Left a lasting impression. silas10961
Jane Seymour's death FilmHunter928
Question about the End polezogopoulosfam
Tom Baker lists-94
Question About The New DVD ashtonu
is this the version with the... tattygurl
Discuss Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: