Dr. Frankenstein and his monster both turn out to be alive, not killed as previously believed. Dr. Frankenstein wants to get out of the evil experiment business, but when a mad scientist, Dr. Pretorius, kidnaps his wife, Dr. Frankenstein agrees to help him create a new creature, a woman, to be the companion of the monster.Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Pretorius states, "Nothing that is, except what He demands" as he approaches Frankenstein after warning everyone to say nothing, his mouth does not move. See more »
[Lord Byron looking out the window at a thunderstorm]
How beautifully dramatic! The cruelest savage exhibition of nature at her worst without.
[turns to face Mary and Percy Shelley, both seated]
And we three. We elegant three within. I should like to think that an irate Jehovah was pointing those arrows of lightning directly at my head. The unbowed head of George Gordon, Lord Byron. England's greatest sinner. But I cannot flatter myself to that extent. Possibly those ...
[...] See more »
In the opening and closing credits, "The Monster's Mate" is listed as being played by " ? " . Elsa Lanchester is only billed as playing Mary Shelley. See more »
The Director's cut was 87 minutes long, but Producer Carl Laemmle Jr. imposed a number of cuts, to tame down the Director's "excesses". The Prologue was cut (making difficult to understand the present dialogue), the body count was reduced from 21 to 10, two love scenes between the couple and a toy representing the Monster with a child have been deleted. This ammount of 12-minute footage has subsequently been lost, making it impossible to reconstruct the initial idea by 'James Whale'. See more »
One of the more superior sequels you'll see and another superb addition to the Universal horror archive.
Bride of Frankenstein is definitely one of the more memorable sequels of all time. The first Frankenstein film was a truly memorable exploration of horror and was extremely advanced for its time; dealing with issues of modernity when the doctor starts talking of space travel and also pushing censorship to levels it hadn't been pushed to before; having characters exclaim they 'knew what God felt like' and also including images of dead bodies and murder. With Bride of Frankenstein, certain elements of surprise have been lost but the film delves deeper into its characters and explores different things to make it more of an 'entertaining' film.
The film doesn't hang around and cleverly introduces the story through the original author Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester) dictating what it is that happens next. For a film in 1935 to use such a technique and manage to include elements of heartbreak when we assume Dr. Frankenstein is dead, horror when The Monster re-emerges AND murder when someone mistakenly crosses him all in the first ten minutes or so, is extremely impressive and is only the result of fantastic direction through great, inventive ideas.
Then, the film uses the character of The Monster as a sort of MacGuffin. It is reduced to a wondering, babbling, hulking thing getting into mischief as it makes its way through the forests nearby but this isn't a bad thing. What we see is the first example of the characters in this, so far, series of two films develop. The Monster starts to develop emotions of pity when it sees someone in the forest in trouble and attempts to rescue them as well as intelligence because it manages to get itself out of trouble when danger threatens it there is no excuse for this development of ideas and intelligence but it's interesting to see anyway.
What's more, this wondering and random character is a great excuse for it to cause havoc and/or get into adventures of its own and this it does to a basic level. Apart from stumbling across a picnic of some description when everyone assumes its safe since when last they heard, he'd been captured; The Monster gets involved with a seemingly lonely man who lives in a log cabin in the woods. The curse here to me is that I'd seen Kenneth Branagh's 1994 Frankenstein before this so I knew what was up and how things would develop.
As a result, it was predictable to me but to fresh eyes what follows between The Monster and this man is an education and a friendship that truly supports evidence that this film really is all about developing characters such as The Monster further away from the 'dead' tag and closer to the 'human' tag. Not only this but Dr. Frankenstein himself is leaning more and more towards a 'normal' life away from insane experiments; tempted back only by blackmail. About half way through, Frankenstein's creation manages to get himself into a bit of trouble and is caught but escapes so soon afterwards, the sequence passes off without too much suspense or interest which was disappointing; also, the character of Minnie is so obviously an attempt at comic relief that she becomes annoying quite quickly although I suppose they had to include this character to stop the film appearing too dark.
If Frankenstein from 1931 was an out and out horror shockfest for the time, Bride of Frankenstein remains a character piece full of 'what would happen if.....' a mindless, homicidal lab creation was loose in rural Europe. Some of the later scenes still made me squirm a little when the 'mate' is being created and if you can look past the rushed ending; you'll see a sequel to a film miles ahead of its time, ahead of its time.
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