A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to the TLC network program The Hunt for Amazing Treasures (1996),, a unique six-sheet poster for this film, showing Karloff as The Monster menacing Mae Clarke, is worth at least $600,000 (US) and is possibly the most valuable movie poster in the world. The only known (original) copy is owned by a private collector. See more »
As the Monster is being raised on the gurney to be animated, a crewman is visible in the lower left. He seems to be behind a curtain and is looking down as if at some equipment. See more »
In closing credits: A good cast is worth repeating See more »
SPOILERS: The picture was scripted and filmed with Dr. Frankenstein seeming to die in the mill with his creation, but was instead released with a hastily re-shot happy ending, wherein Henry survives to marry Elizabeth (see "Trivia"). However, the sequel, Bride of Frankenstein literally followed the first scenario, and consequently just before "Bride" opened this film was reissued with the original finale restored; "Frankenstein" was seen this way in all subsequent theatrical releases of the old Hollywood era, but when the entire package of classic Universal horror films was made available to television in the 1950s, the prints of "Frankenstein" carried the happy ending of the initial release, and the incompatibility with the opening scene of "Bride..." confused new viewers. See more »
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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