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Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 21 November 1931 (USA)
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ON DISC
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director:

James Whale

Writers:

John L. Balderston (based upon the composition by), Mary Shelley (from the novel by) (as Mrs. Percy B. Shelley) | 4 more credits »
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Colin Clive ... Henry Frankenstein
Mae Clarke ... Elizabeth
John Boles ... Victor Moritz
Boris Karloff ... The Monster (as ?)
Edward Van Sloan ... Doctor Waldman
Frederick Kerr ... Baron Frankenstein
Dwight Frye ... Fritz
Lionel Belmore ... The Burgomaster
Marilyn Harris ... Little Maria
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Storyline

Henry Frankenstein is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He succeeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The walking nightmare that frightened the world! (1951 re-release) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Франкенштейн See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$291,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, the film was going to be a tailor-made vehicle for French director Robert Florey and new Horror star Bela Lugosi. Judging by surviving documents, their version of "Frankenstein" would have been quite different to the one that was eventually made. Florey had ideas for making the film as a more somber and bleak production. For example: the Frenchman's idea for an ending, was for Henry Frankenstein to die from being shot at the burning windmill and for Elizabeth to die soon after from a broken heart. In addition, the elderly Baron Frankenstein was to succumb to a heart attack, brought on by grief. Robert Florey story-boarded the last scene to show the funeral of all three characters. For Lugosi, his depiction of the creature was to display none of the character depth and sympathy brought to the role by Karloff. In the hands of the former, the creature would have been a psychopathic murderer. Not long before filming began, Florey was notified that he and Lugosi had been removed from the production with immediate effect. As a consolation, director and actor were offered the film "Murders in the Rue Morgue." See more »

Goofs

Right before Fritz climbs the gibbet to cut down the hanged man, supposedly a beam of light from his lantern hits and travels across the "sky" behind him, which is obviously a backdrop. The latter is right, the "light beam" however is a lens flare, which is obvious because it also travels before Frankenstein without being displaced - it's an optical phenomenon and not a practical one. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Henry Frankenstein: Down! Down, you fool!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits say "Based upon the composition by John L. Balderston", without elaborating on what "Based upon the composition" really means, especially in this case, where there is already one original writer (Mrs. Percy B. Shelley) credited, along with a playwright, two screenwriters, and one scenario editor. See more »

Alternate Versions

According to film historian Richard Anobile, early European prints of the film include a screen writing credit for Robert Florey. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tiny Toon Adventures: Hare-Raising Night (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Grand Appassionato
(uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Becce
[End title & end cast music]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The best ever telling of this classic story.
19 October 2002 | by SmileysWorldSee all my reviews

Oh,the many tellings and variations of this classic story.This,without question,is the best presentation of the classic story by Mary Shelley. The film was presented in such a way that makes you feel as though you are watching a stage play rather than a film.A creature is given the complicated thing called life.His large,overpowering human form,coupled with the limited capacity to grow,and learn,turn out to be very deadly indeed.He is,basically,a very large baby,who does not understand the world around him.He wreaks havoc on those who he feels are out to hurt him.I have seen the completed version of this film,complete with the disturbing sequence involving the little girl with the flowers,which was cut out of the film for many years.It is indeed shocking,and once you see it,you will understand why this was done.While you are shocked at this,at the same time you are sympathetic with the creature,knowing that he does not understand what he is doing,and meant no harm.Most movie monsters,particularly of this era,are just evil beings that make us cheer with delight at the sight of their destruction.When it comes to Frankenstein,we are almost sad to see this creature,who did not ask for life to begin with,meet his end.Classic horror,classic film.


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