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Gods and Monsters (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  4 November 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 24,177 users   Metascore: 74/100
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The last days of Frankenstein (1931) director James Whale are explored.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 31 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 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 <>

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?


There are five original James Whale drawings in this film. See more »


During a meeting with James Whale, Clayton has a drink in his hand. The end of one shot shows the glass in one hand while the beginning of the next shot shows it in his other hand. 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 format of the end cast credits, headlined "A Great Cast is Worth Repeating," mirrors the way Universal gave their closing credits when James Whale was directing his horror classics. See more »


Bride of Frankenstein
Written by Franz Waxman
Published by EMI Robbins/Fidelio Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

Not always easy to watch, but worth it...
19 January 1999 | by (Farifield, CT) – See all my reviews

I resisted seeing this film at first, but agreed to see it at a second run house with a group of people. At the film's conclusion, I found that I liked it much more than any other person I went with. I found "Gods and Monsters" to be a thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive-yet-harsh study of later life and the reflections one experiences as death approaches. I was also very pleased to see the film draw Whale's Great War experiences into focus (although in less detail than I would have liked), and make them the central point to his life and career, and, as he is dying, his misery. The rather exquisitely torturous method of his wasting lends veracity to his ultimate actions. The film is also an excellent rumination on the vagaries of fame, artistic or professional control of one's work, and the value of work. Whale also bitterly recalls his youth and the feeling of being trapped in the English caste system in several scenes during a prior "family values" generation.

The film is well-filmed but slow in spots, contains some cliches or scenes that are too "easy", but is highly rewarding, and is driven by excellent performances from Redgrave and McKellan and, to a lesser extent, Fraser. The film's final scene is great, too. I eagerly awaited the premiere of "The Thin Red Line", and having seen it, I would say that this film addresses the issues of individual humanity, social decay, and the horror of war much better. This film should be an Oscar sleeper. 8* out of 10*.

22 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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