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Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 6 May 1935 (USA)
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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

Writers:

Mary Shelley (suggested by: the original story written in 1816 by) (as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley), William Hurlbut (adapted by) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Boris Karloff ... The Monster (as Karloff)
Colin Clive ... Henry Frankenstein
Valerie Hobson ... Elizabeth
Ernest Thesiger ... Doctor Pretorius
Elsa Lanchester ... Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley / The Monster's Mate
Gavin Gordon ... Lord Byron
Douglas Walton ... Percy Bysshe Shelley
Una O'Connor ... Minnie
E.E. Clive ... Burgomaster
Lucien Prival ... Butler
O.P. Heggie ... Hermit
Dwight Frye ... Karl
Reginald Barlow Reginald Barlow ... Hans
Mary Gordon ... Hans' Wife
Anne Darling ... Shepherdess
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WHO will be The Bride of Frankenstein WHO will dare? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bride of Frankenstein See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$397,024 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack P. Pierce did the make-up for both Boris Karloff as the Monster and Elsa Lanchester as the Bride. Since Karloff's make-up took four hours and Lanchester's took between three and four hours, this left only limited time when the two were able to work together, so the two rarely appear in the same shot. See more »

Goofs

When the Monster first spots the hermit, the Monster clutches his left forearm with his right hand. In the next shot, both his hands are spread. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[prologue]
[Lord Byron looking out the window at a thunderstorm]
Lord Byron: How beautifully dramatic! The cruelest savage exhibition of nature at her worst without.
[turns to face Mary and Percy Shelley, both seated]
Lord Byron: 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 »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXV (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria (Op.52 No.1)
(1825) (uncredited)
Written by Franz Schubert
Played on violin by O.P. Heggie (dubbed). Also played in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Campenstein!
5 February 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

Series note: Although not imperative, it is strongly suggested that viewers take time to watch Frankenstein prior to Bride of Frankenstein. This is a linear continuation of the story of the first film, and the characters and motivations will have more meaning if you watch the series in order.

Despite appearances to the contrary at the end of the first film, Frankenstein (1931), the monster has survived. The quickly recuperating Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is paid a visit by Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), who has been engaging in similar research into the creation and restoration of life. Although Frankenstein wants to quit the business after the atrocities documented in the first film, Pretorius tries to persuade him to continue, while at the same time, the monster starts to become more sophisticated.

Although many fans prefer Bride of Frankenstein to Frankenstein, they are both 10s to me. Given tastes and typical comments about modern horror films, it is surprising that this film is the usual preference, as it is even more rooted in surrealist/absurdist fantasy and it is loaded with a wicked, campy humor--at times the film is more of a spoof of the first than a sequel.

But at that, I love it. I love fantasy, surrealism and absurdism and I like my horror to be campy and humorous as much as I like it to be serious. Director James Whale had acquired more "Hollywood clout" in the four years since making the original film, and said that he wanted to treat Bride as a "hoot"--he found the premise to be "highly amusing". And that it is. Whale gives us whimsical elements from minor characters, such as Minnie (Una O'Connor), who provides a healthy dose of comic relief during the monster's "resurrection", to major characters' mannerisms, such as the Karloff's portrayal of the monster's newfound abilities and subtlety. Pretorius has a flamboyantly questionable sexuality (the film is permeated with all manner of complex sexual metaphors) and his creations are as bizarrely goofy as say, Jar Jar Binks (from Star Wars Episode 1 (1999)), although they do not dominate the film in the same way.

Often noted as a standout element are the sets, and rightly so. Like the first film, the gorgeous sets show a heavy influence from German expressionist films, but here they are even more grand in scale and they are also more numerous and varied. The cinematography is as crisp as can be, and just as atmospheric (occasionally more so) as the first film. The presence of a score this time around works well, although the first film is just as notable for its ability to be just as dramatic without a score.

The story in Bride of Frankenstein is much more sprawling and epic than in the first film. That fact neither makes it better or worse, but pleasantly different compared to Frankenstein's relatively tight, almost claustrophobic plot (which is appropriate for the subject matter). While Karloff's zombie-like muteness from Frankenstein was perfect in that context, it makes sense to have him mature here, and provides for some fantastic scenes, such as his interaction with the blind hermit (O.P. Heggie). Whale also chose to be much more literal and straightforward with the ethical and religious subtexts of the plot, and this film is notable for the large amount of verbal and visual references to God and Christianity--the visual references include the monster being hoisted on a "pole" as if being crucified, the monster descending into a grave with a crucifix looming over him, and a crucifix over a bed upon which the camera lingers.

I actually prefer to think of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein as two halves or a single film, and given their short running times, they can be viewed back to back in about two and a half hours. If you haven't seen either one yet, you owe it to yourself to watch them at least once.


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