Dr. Frankenstein dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster out of lifeless body parts.

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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4,502 ( 556)
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
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:

To Have Seen "Frankenstein" Is To Wear A Badge Of Courage (Print Ad- Rochester Journal, ((Rochester NY)) 5 December 1931) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A 20-minute test reel, starring Bela Lugosi as the monster and directed by Robert Florey, was filmed on the Dracula (1931) sets. This footage has not been seen since 1931 and is now considered lost. Only a poster, featuring the vague likeness of Bela Lugosi as a 30 feet colossus, remains. See more »

Goofs

When the monster is injected and finally falls to the floor, he passes out on his back. When they pick him up to drag him back into his cell, he is face-down. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Edward Van Sloan: How do you do? Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We're about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you feel that you...
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits start with "A GOOD CAST IS WORTH REPEATING...". The first four actors' names are listed in all caps-sans serif font with the "S" in John Boles & Boris Karloff plus in CAST & IS tilted to the right 45 degrees. The remaining 5 cast members have their names listed in Serif font with both Caps & lower case letters. See more »

Alternate Versions

The scene where the monster throws Maria in the water was restored some years later. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Better Off Dead... (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Grand Appassionato
(uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Becce
[End title & end cast music]
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User Reviews

 
Dated-yes, scary-sure, must see-absolutely !
20 March 1999 | by Don-102See all my reviews

James Whale's original FRANKENSTEIN is a short but memorable horror classic that has influenced so many other fright flicks, it should be considered the Godfather of Horror Movies. This was the first of Universal Studios' moody screen adaptations of literary Gothic horror (the other being Dracula). Put all thoughts regarding Mary Shelly's novel aside and see this original work of art, with Boris Karloff bringing the ultimate monster to life.

The sets are a pure spin off of German Expressionism. The good Doctor Frankenstein's castle is twisted and distorted and seems to be not of this world. He is played by Colin Clive in a delightfully freakish performance. And, of course, the well-proportioned Fritz is there to help. Notice the signposts of evil in the opening grave robbing scenes. It is a prop-master's dream and the black and white photography displays a theatrical sense of spookiness. "It's Alive!" will live forever as one of the cinema's most familiar lines and the picture begins to sparkle as Karloff is brought to life. The influence of Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS is evident during the dazzling scene of the Monster's birth.

Boris Karloff is and always will be the prototypical Monster. The closeups of his face are truly frightening after all these years. He is walking death, however, Karloff gives him a hint of sadness, of a creature who was not meant to be. The flower-toss scene with the little girl was so controversial at the time of the film's release, it was cut from many versions. The new, restored print available on video has it.

I know FRANKENSTEIN has been spoofed many times and is wide-open to criticism regarding its dated look. Mel Brooks went so far as to use the actual props from Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory in his hilarious send-up, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Be sure to keep an open mind and watch it in the dark. Boris Karloff and James Whale have created a monstrously fun film.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

Frankenstein See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$291,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,626
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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