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Wow! What a movie! A horror classic and still pure entertainment.
'Frankenstein', like Todd Browning's 'Dracula' released earlier the same year (1931, a landmark year which also saw the release of Fritz Lang's dazzling serial killer thriller 'M'!), is an important movie and should be compulsory viewing for any SF/horror fan, but it isn't a dull movie to be studied, it is a wonderfully entertaining movie to be ENJOYED. Okay, the modern viewer has to try and watch it without jaded and cynical eyes and take it in its historical context to really appreciate it, but that isn't difficult. The acting is often hokey, the special effects, which were astonishing 70+ years ago, may look a little primitive by our standards, and the movie isn't anywhere near as terrifying to us as it was to 1930s movie audiences, but even so, I can't see how anyone can not LOVE this movie! Director James Whale was a lot more sophisticated and original than Todd Browning, and as much as I enjoy 'Dracula', 'Frankenstein' is a much better movie, and the best from this era, not counting its brilliant sequel 'Bride Of Frankenstein' which to mind mind actually surpasses it. Talented character actors Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye, both from 'Dracula', reappear in different but similar roles, and Colin Clive is fine as Henry Frankenstein, the prototype mad scientist, but the real star of the show, and the main reason this movie has lived for so many years, is the utterly superb performance by the legendary Boris Karloff as The Monster. I think Karloff is amazing in this and doesn't get the respect he deserves because many dismiss it as "just a horror movie". 'Frankenstein' is one of the most important and influential movies ever made, and is one movie I NEVER tire of no matter how many times I watch it, and James Whale is one of the most underrated directors of all time, looking at his innovative work in this, 'The Invisible Man', and especially 'Bride Of Frankenstein', the greatest sequel in the history of motion pictures. What a movie! What a director!
- Apr 16, 2003
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