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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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Popularity
3,965 ( 218)
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 Boris Karloff)
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:

A Chilling Thriller 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)
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

In the opening credits the Monster is credited as ? and only in the closing credits is the Monster credited as Boris Karloff. 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

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

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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classic Tale
11 May 2006 | by ReelCheeseSee all my reviews

Though not as spectacular as one would expect of such a classic, this loose interpretation of Mary Shelley's oft-told tale delivers. The familiar story focuses on Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the reclusive, stereotypical mad scientist obsessed with creating new life from stitched-together corpses. But something goes terribly wrong when the brain he uses turns out to be that of a criminal. The film starts out slow but redeems itself with time, particularly the windmill climax scene that by 1931 standards is nothing short of stellar. In one of filmdom's all-time great performances, Boris Karloff plays the monster as a sort of tragic figure unable to comprehend right from wrong, and the audience is left feeling more sympathetic than frightened by him.


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