7.9/10
58,191
546 user 154 critic

Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 21 November 1931 (USA)
Trailer
1:39 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

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 »
Reviews
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive
Dracula (1931)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
The Mummy (1932)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A resurrected Egyptian mummy stalks a beautiful woman he believes to be the reincarnation of his lover and bride.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan
The Wolf Man (1941)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr.
King Kong (1933)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning
Nosferatu (1922)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After being awakened, Larry Talbot chips Frankenstein's Monster out of a block of ice. When Talbot changes to the Wolf Man, the two creatures battle each other.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Ilona Massey, Patric Knowles, Lionel Atwill
Edit

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
Edit

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:

A Monster Science Created - But Could Not Destroy! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Франкенштейн See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

In closing credits: A good cast is worth repeating See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Scrubs: Their Story II (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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.


60 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 546 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed