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Gods and Monsters (1998)

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The last days of Frankenstein (1931) director James Whale are explored.



(novel), (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Lewis
Edmund Kay
Rosalind Ayres ...
Elsa Lanchester
Colin Clive
Leonard Barnett
Young Whale
Sarah Whale


The story of James Whale, the director of Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), in the time period following the Korean War. Whale is homosexual and develops a friendship with his gardener, an ex-Marine. Written by James Fortman <sydb1367@rocketmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

4 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Father of Frankenstein  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$75,508 (USA) (6 November 1998)


$6,390,032 (USA) (21 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was shot in only 24 days. Filming began on June 30, 1997 in Pasadena, California. The 24 days of principal photography were completed on July 28, 1997. See more »


When Clayton and Betty are by the car talking with the open car door between them, from one angle Betty is seen with her left hand on her hip then shown from the reverse angle her hand is on top of the car door. See more »


[first lines]
Hannah: [whispering] She was ugly when I brought her. I not like her. Mr. Jimmy not like her. Better you indicate, Mr. David.
David Lewis: Stop.
Hannah: Shhh.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The character name "Boris Karloff" has the 'TM' symbol next to it, meaning it's trademarked. See more »


Featured in Late Night with Conan O'Brien: Episode #6.90 (1999) See more »


Just Might Be Tonight
Written by Spencer Proffer and Steve Plunkett
Performed by Johnny Spark
Produced & Arranged by Spencer Proffer and Steve Plunkett
See more »

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User Reviews

Humans and Humans
30 December 1999 | by (Oakland, California) – See all my reviews

Truth be told, it's not easy to write a film review as disconnected as I am from the underlying inspirations and principals of the movie in tow: Gods and Monsters. I knew little about James Whale and the Frankenstein franchise, possessed virtually zilch experience with Bill Condon (aside from the trivial baggage that his previous _and first_ feature film was the Direct-To-Oblivion sequel to the Scariest-Movie-Of-All-Time-When-I-Was-Fourteen, Candyman.), and unceremoniously avoided anything to do with Brendan Fraser. So, there's not much I can say about historical accuracy, era juxtapositions, or tour-de-force performances. All I know comes from the ninety-eight or so minutes I had with the film.

Which were pretty splendid, to say the least. What more, I was pleased by how little the film seemed to hit me over the head. Not with a lengthy diatribe over the political progressions of societal acceptance of diverse sexual orientations, not with any sort of disgusted expose of Hollywood's miscreants. Instead, I found a minimal but simplistically acceptable plot moved along by wonderful acting, vivid portrayals of what it's really like, beneath the typical distractions, gimmicks, and veils, to be a human being. Ian McKellan astounded me. Fact or fiction, he wasn't necessarily James Whale, but a complicated, reserved, and often misunderstood director who found a glimmer of intrigue and desire for his new gardener, Clayton Boone, played impeccably by Brendan Fraser. From their initial meeting with Whale indulging in staring at Boone hard-driving an edger, I was struck by a remarkable sense of kinship between the two, which only got better as the film unfolded. And, with Hanna--the third vertice of the bizarre love triangle--the edgy buffer between the men, I felt incredibly comfortable just watching three very different people open up to each other and to me. The irony of the title, Gods and Monsters, is that whether someone or something is considered a 'God' or 'Monster' is largely due to perception...human perception. We invent our gods and our monsters daily, and they are usually people we know, love, hate, or admire. I spent a very good ninety-eight minutes, mostly from being in the company of those three fellow humans.

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