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Gods and Monsters (1998)

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The last days of Frankenstein (1931) Director James Whale are explored.


Bill Condon


Christopher Bram (novel), Bill Condon (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 36 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian McKellen ... James Whale
Brendan Fraser ... Clayton Boone
Lynn Redgrave ... Hanna
Lolita Davidovich ... Betty
David Dukes ... David Lewis
Kevin J. O'Connor ... Harry
Mark Kiely ... Dwight
Jack Plotnick ... Edmund Kay
Rosalind Ayres ... Elsa Lanchester
Jack Betts ... Boris Karloff
Matt McKenzie ... Colin Clive
Todd Babcock ... Leonard Barnett
Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy ... Princess Margaret
Brandon Kleyla ... Young Whale
Pamela Salem ... Sarah Whale


The story of James Whale, the Director of Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), in the time period following the Korean War. Whale was homosexual, and develops a friendship with his gardener, an ex-Marine. Written by James Fortman <sydb1367@rocketmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Gods and Monsters




English | Hungarian

Release Date:

4 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Father of Frankenstein See more »


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,508, 8 November 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,390,032, 23 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As of 2017, one of only three films since the advent of the Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Medium Oscar to win the award without receiving a Best Picture nomination as well. The first was The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), the second was Sling Blade (1996). See more »


When James Whale invites Clayton for some ice tea, by the time Clayton gets to the door the sweat and most of the dirt on his shirt have disappeared. See more »


[first lines]
Hannah: [whispering] She was ugly when I brought her. I not like her. Mr. Jimmy not like her. Better you indicate, Mr. David.
David Lewis: Stop.
Hannah: Shhh.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The character name "Boris Karloff" has the 'TM' symbol next to it, meaning it's trademarked. See more »


Referenced in Clive Barker: Raising Hell (2004) See more »


Bride of Frankenstein
Written by Franz Waxman
Published by EMI Robbins/Fidelio Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

Who Is the Monster
27 April 2006 | by sryder-1See all my reviews

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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