It is difficult to sort out the same-sex personalities within this film. The only flamboyantly feminine male portrayal appears almost immediately, in the personality of the young man who interviews Whale, gushing over the early horror films, but wanting to know almost nothing about Whale the man; only slightly taken aback by Whale's demand that he remove one item of clothing in exchange for an answer to each question he asks. It seemed clear to me that Whale is just playing with him, and has no real interest in him as a partner. The same young man appears once more as "assistant to the social secretary" of George Cukor, whom Whale has identified as homosexual, who has arranged to have Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester at Cukor's party so that he can arrange a photo of Whale with "his two monsters"; a continuation of his earlier appearance. Whale is the prototype effete not flamboyant British arts based homosexual,in the manner of a Noel Coward or John Gielgud. He does not attempt to hide his same-sex preference from either the reporter or the young gardener whom he "courts". It interested me that when he joined the Marines, to please his father, he never saw combat, whereas Whale did during World War I, where, the film and the dialogue tell us, he first fell in love with a man, a fellow soldier, whose face, remarkable similar to the gardener's, appears periodically throughout the film. The third image of homosexuality appears in the characterization of Brendon Frasier as the gardener. Every man who has had a poor father relationship will often have deep rooted questions about his own masculinity. We see this in his being intermittently drawn toward, then repulsed by Whale's homosexuality. I have seen this ambivalence enacted on a number of occasions in male figuratively "fatherless" students, seeking a close relationship with an older man. In the midst of their developing relationship a brief scene informs us that he may have had relations with a waitress, who does not share his admiration for the original "Frankenstein"; and in an epilogue we see him as husband and father; however, walking in silhouette into the distance as did Karloff in the film. Does this imply that he is the monster? Some reviewers for IMDb have concluded that Whale is himself the monster? Who is the monster? Or is it no one individual in the film? At one point it is suggested that we are all monsters, both desiring friendship and destroying those to whom we reach out but who can never satisfy our inmost needs. A fascinating film that will be in my mind for many weeks or months, as I attempt to sort it all out.
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