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Gods and Monsters (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  4 November 1998 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 24,066 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 227 user | 125 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

The last days of Frankenstein director James Whale are explored.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

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 <sydb1367@rocketmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Father of Frankenstein  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$6,390,032 (USA) (21 May 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ian McKellen said that he felt very comfortable playing the role of James Whale. For, like Whale, McKellan is a homosexual British actor who spent his early career in the theater and ultimately started a career in Hollywood. See more »

Goofs

Before starting his line about James Whale wanting "to draw him like a statue" Clayton tosses away his towel. James turns from the window and Clayton punctuates the end of his line by tossing his towel away again. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in Now You See Him: The Invisible Man Revealed! (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
More than just gay vs. straight.
18 January 1999 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Originally, I thought this would be a film of gay man versus straight man. It is. But much more than that, it is a film that speaks of human strengths and weaknesses, one that studies with quirky charm and quiet strength the scenario of man versus man.

Without getting maudlin or preachy, "Gods and Monsters" goes about telling its story about ignorance, frailty, and unconditional love, the very themes that ran throughout most of James Whale's life and films.

Bill Condon has created a poetic masterpiece, a wonderful answer to the question "Can't we all just get along?". Ian McKellen as James Whale is fascinating and absorbing, his facial expressions and body movements mesmerizing. He does not give a stereotypical "queen" performance. Rather, his James Whale is a dignified, yet tortured man. Lynn Redgrave is comical for the most part as Whale's maid, though she does lend a certain down to earth quality. It is Brendan Fraser, though, who steals this film. As Clay Boone, Fraser holds his own in McKellen's formidibal shadow. He does not provide a stereotypical performance either. Boone prooves to be as dignified and monstrous as Whale.

The few problems I had with the film where two gimmicky scenes, one showing Boone's surrender to a request of Whale's that he pose "like a statue", the other a dream sequence that has Whale walking among his fallen comrades in the trenches of World War one, and one flashback on the set of "Bride of Frankenstein", a scene tainted by Arthur Dignam's awful portrayal of Ernest Thesiger.

Eventually, "Gods and Monsters' proves two things: that we are all at once superhuman and sub-human, and that Hollywood can still show this in a beautiful way.


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