1957. Long having retired, James Whale, arguably most famous for directing Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) among some other 1930s horror classics, has burned his bridges with the Hollywood community in they having abandoned him, the possible exception being his continuing friendship with former lover David Lewis, James openly gay even during his working period. He is in declining health having recently been released from hospital where he was recuperating from a stroke, he left with some permanent health issues the aftermath of the stroke. Much against the disapproval of his loyal longtime housekeeper Hanna, his health does not prevent him from toying with the handsome young men who may wander into his midst in his continuing homosexual desires, although Hanna is as much if not more concerned about any of those young men taking advantage of him in his elderly and fragile state. The young man who catches his eye among the most recent is Clayton Boone, who Hanna ...Written by
When Clay is in the diner and is about to watch "Bride of Frankenstein" on TV, Harry, the man at the end of the bar, is reading a paperback book but in the next shot, he is reading a pamphlet. And when Clay says, "We're watching the damn movie, Harry," Harry is holding a book again. See more »
She was ugly when I brought her. I not like her. Mr. Jimmy not like her. Better you indicate, Mr. David.
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The character name "Boris Karloff" has the 'TM' symbol next to it, meaning it's trademarked. See more »
Ian McKellen is superb as James Whale, the man behind the celluloid Frankenstein. Departing from that point, everything works. We're taken by the hand of this elderly celebrity in a world - and a town -that worships celebrity. The town also worships youth and box office grosses. For Whale, youth and box office grosses are way back in his distant pass. That's why, I imagine, the arrival of the gardener with Brendan Fraser's body, awakens in the old man some kind of spark. Their relationship is filled with a sort of emotional suspense that makes the entire movie, riveting. The story is told with a sort of personal melancholy that Bill Condon, the young writer/director, seems to understand fully. Compassion is in his eye and in his soul. The scene in which Ian McKellen remembers his swimming pool crowded with naked young men is one of the most beautifully reminders of how the aging heart remains alive within his memories. Very moving, very sad and very, very good.
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