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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

great classic

Author: todd2u from Ohio
9 April 2000

Like Bram Stokers Dracula and The Mummy, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a classic horror film. I know that it really wasn't scary but it had a good drama story with it. It also was based closely to the novel which was good. The acting was great. The movie itself was very good. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes a classic horror movie and likes Frankenstein.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Kenneth Branagh's inadequate adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Author: tiger-gent from United States
2 November 2006

As is the case with most films made in recent years based on classic novels, Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein does not live up to the original book. The clear nuances of the mood established by Mary Shelley and the Gothic literature style in which she wrote are not conveyed at all in the 1994 film. Novels for the most part are more complete, detailed, and expressive than films, regardless of the topic, although this is only part of the problem. There are a number of moments in Kenneth Branagh's film Frankenstein which are not convincing in the least in a theatrical sense and sometimes clearly unintentionally absurd. Examples of this can be observed in any of the monster's aggressive acts such as his murder of Elizabeth and especially Victor Frankenstein's attempted recreation of his wife Elizabeth. The monster and Victor practically fight preposterously for the new creation who has the appearance of a female version of Frannkenstein;s original monster and an infant struggling in her first moments of life. Overall, no intentional comic moments should be included in an adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel Frankenstein if one wishes to retain the essential mood typical of Gothic literature.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein?

Author: YourLoudEnglishTeacher from United States
30 October 2006

Wow! What a great movie! Robert De Nero was clearly a great choice for this part. And Branagh's directing - masterful. Mary Shelley would be proud. But on a serious note, what do you think? Did Branagh interpret and translate this novel into film well? Does he appropriately capture the essence of the piece? Where does he fail? Where does he succeed? How would Mary Shelley respond to Branagh's vision? What about the set/setting, acting, cinematography? If you were the producer of this movie, would you be satisfied with the final product? If you were an actor in this movie, would you happy with the film? Is this novel even meant to be a film? If yes, how would your film be different from Branagh's version?

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Devestating Film

Author: Rick Hasley ( from Nashville, TN
17 November 2005

It took me several attempts to view the entire film in one sitting because it gets to a point where you know you are going to witness terrible cruelty, which is difficult to watch. When I finally got through the picture, I was overwhelmed. All in all, it's an unspeakably sad film, direction/screenplay/cinematography/acting all top notch. DeNiro is simply brilliant as the absolutely pathetic creature. Helena Bonham-Carter is stunning as always. Her character is very believable and ends up in an outright jaw-dropping-shocking situation. Highly recommend; however, be prepared for an emotional wringing. You'll be more apt to cry rather than scream with this film.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

who do you root for?

Author: copperskirt from USA
24 November 2004

this is one of the stickiest contaversies i have ever seen in a movie. typically, there's two sides: the good guys and the bad guys. i can choose who i want to root for based on the actions of the hero-be he or she the protagonist or the antagonist. But in this movie there's a thin line between good and evil and the heroes are stepping all over it. they are both good and they are both evil. And what's more, they are both human, as shocking as that is to realize-only one looks more human and the other behaves more human (you be the judge which is which) so who do you root for? whose side do you take? the human in the "monster", or the "monster" in the human? i'm sure i don't know.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

good adaption of Frankenstein!!!!! WARNING!!! SPOILERS!!!!

Author: callanvass
7 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

good adaption of Frankenstein has lavish sets and costumes it ha some beautiful scenery and stunning photograph there is plenty of blood and the ending is pretty cool the acting awesome Robert Deniro is amazing as the monster he is creepy and manages to be funny at the same time i LOVE him! Kenneth Branagah is just as good here with his credible and focused show Helena Bonham Carter was surprisingly good here and caught me off guard here there is lots of animal violence it's talky but never boring but at times it gets a bit silly but manages to be a decent watch recommended *** out of 5 oh the ending is kinda sad at least i thought anyway you might think differently

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I'll Take Boris

Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA
31 May 2004

****SPOILERS**** Robert De Niro reviving his famous role of Travis Bickle in the movie "Taxi Driver" in a different era and under different conditions. With automobiles not being invented at the time, the eighteenth century, of the movie "Mary Shalley's Frankenstein". Bob plays just a garden variety murderer who's executed for killing the renowned professor Waldeman, John Cleese. It was the Doc who tried to inoculate him from catching the plague.

De Niro or "It" or "the Creature" as he's known in the movie has his body kidnapped by one of Prof. Waldeman's fanatical students Vic Frankenstein, Kenneth Branagh. Vic wants to continue the Professor's experiments of creating life out of dead matter. And in him being as dead as you can get De Niro is the perfect candidate. Vic getting body parts from a dozen or so other cadavers and sewing them together has De Niro brought back to life. unfortunately he develops a severe identity crisis by not knowing just which of the people that he's made off he is? He also being nameless becomes the precursor of the famous Clint Eastwood "Spaghetti Western" character "The Man With No Name". For his creator Vic forgot to Christen or name him thus he's always known and referred to in the movie as "The Creature"! I don't think we're even told what De Niro's character's name in "Frankenstein" was before he was executed?

Like Tavis Bickle in "Taxi Driver" the Creature considers himself "God's lonely Man" and yearns for a mate, Cybill Shepherd's Besty from the movie Taxi Driver?, to fill his idle time as well as give him a normal life. It wants Vic to provide him with a woman by creating one out of human spare parts like Vic created him. I guess the singles bar scene didn't quite agree with It.

The Creature creates havoc all throughout the movie in his quest to find out who he really is and have Vic get him a girlfriend with It and Vic ending up in the Arctic Sea! What on Earth were they doing there? After the Creature massacred all the sled dogs of a Poler expedition that he ran into Vic is taken aboard the ship by its captain & crew. Bearly clinging to life Vic tells the ship's captain Capt. Walton, Aldan Quinn, the story that we just saw in the movie and finally expires. Now with the Creature all alone in the world he immolates himself on a floating sheet of ice together with the dead Vic who throughout the movie It had a love/hate relationship with.

The movie is way over-the-top in the gore department even for a horror flick with all kinds of weirdos like the Creature and Vic and Pro. Waldeman as well as Vic's step-sister, I think?, Elizabeth, Helena Bonhan Carter, whom he marries. And it's her whom The Creature later kills in order to get Vic to bring her back to life and make her his "Bride". There was also the crazed ship captain in the beginning and end of the movie who's obsession to find a passage to the North Pole was more important to him then his life as well as the lives of the members of his expedition.

Robert De Niro didn't utter his famous quote from "Taxi Driver": "You Talking To Me?"! Maybe because in the movie "Mary Shelly's Frankenstein" "ME" was someone that even "HE" didn't know who "IT" was!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This is one of the most under rated films of all time,

Author: Chris Pettett from Stoneleigh, Surrey, England
22 August 2000

I think this film is one of the most under rated movies of all time. I rented it out to help me with my English coursework and loved it so much I went out and bought it. The acting is superlative (esp. from Brannagh and De Niro) and the special effects, although not amazing, are good enough. Brannagh skillfully conveys many emotions in this film - horror, sadness, amazement, pity and even a bit of humour (provided by Tom Hulce). The film comes very close to being better than even Mary Shelley's novel and I would recommend it to anyone except those with a nervous disposition as some scenes are profoundly disturbing (especially for younger viewers). It also helps if you read the novel beforehand.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Vastly underappreciated

Author: Daniel R. Baker from United States
24 August 1999

The Frankenstein storyline is well familiar to most of us. Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh) makes a scientific breakthrough by which he can create a living creature from the pieces of the dead. In this version, Frankenstein abandons his creation, thinking it dead, but it lives and follows him to seek its revenge for his uncaring treatment of it.

All of the many good film treatments of the Frankenstein story depend on evoking the audience's sympathy for the Creature. Frankenstein himself is usually portrayed as a gibbering madman or a callously evil genius. The brilliance of Branagh's version is that it evokes sympathy for both the Creature and the Doctor. Branagh's Frankenstein is a classic example of a man whose road to hell was paved with the best of intentions; he is a well-meaning physician whose ambition is to defeat death, and who fails to see the potential consequences until it is too late. Branagh plays him with all the feverish intensity the role calls for. DeNiro's Creature is not Karloff's child-in-a-man's-body, but more an adolescent with an adolescent's need for compassion and with an adolescent's rage at being rejected for his appearance.

But the strength of the movie is not so much the characters as the energy and pacing as, slowly at first, then faster and faster, everything in Frankenstein's life falls to pieces, with his horror slowly growing as he realizes that it has all been his own fault. Patrick Doyle's frenetic, pounding score adds immeasurably to this atmosphere of slowly building disaster. Most of the camera shots are deliciously powerful: Frankenstein scaling a mountain in pursuit of his creation, the Creature as a black speck crossing a field of snow in search of his revenge, the Creature's bloodstained hand gripping a block of ice, the ecstasy of Frankenstein's culminating experiment. Make no mistake, this movie is unapologetic, pulse-pounding entertainment.

FRANKENSTEIN has been condemned as excessively gory. It is not. There are only two scenes that splash any appreciable amount of blood around. By modern horror movie standards, the gore level is quite tame.

This movie presents genuine, sympathetic characters that you can care about, in welcome contrast to the conventional interchangeable teen-age characters that appear in most horror movies for no apparent purpose other than to die. It is never slow or boring for a second. I cannot explain its unpopularity except that apparently some people were expecting another HENRY V instead of this colorful, entertaining, and poignant take on the Frankenstein story.

Rating: **** out of ****.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

How could this possibly be unpopular? Here's one or two ideas ...

Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia
13 July 1999

It was a mistake to call this "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"; partly because titles of that sort are manifestly silly, partly because it revived fading memories of "Bram Stoker's Dracula", a wretched movie if ever there was one. The title helped people to think of this film as a turkey. As a matter of fact it did quite well at the box office in some places (notably Britain). It would have done better still had it not been for the mesmeric spell that the North American box office casts over the rest of the world.

This is Branagh at his best - and he is one of the world's greatest directors. Two scenes are notable in particular. The scene where Frankenstein is brought to life threw aside all the old (and not very effective) imagery and started from scratch: the result is beautiful (in a disgusting sort of way) as well as convincing. And the mob lynching around the middle is a masterpiece. Branagh clearly took the time to understand how a mob works. There are no flaming torches or upraised pitchforks in sight; no dutifully shouted Gilbert-and-Sullivan chorus ("Kill him!" "Yes, kill him!") The mob's victim never stands a chance. We understand why, and we feel the helplessness of it all.

But both these scenes are just instances that shine more brightly than the rest. A sense of obsession and drive is built up from the beginning and sweeps like a wave to the end; and the whole, every frame of it, is gorgeously and grimly shot. You should be warned that people complain about Branagh's acting, the soundtrack, and the pacing. I don't know what to say to such people. I could understand it if they attacked the film where it was weakest. I am mystified when they attack its strengths. Without the feverish feel - an essential part of the Frankenstein myth - this would be just another safe, dull and forgettable science fantasy. Perhaps that's what people wanted.

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