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Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Boris Karloff , Basil Rathbone , David J. Skal , Erle C. Kenton    DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

Product details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Colin Clive
  • Directors: David J. Skal, Erle C. Kenton, James Whale, Rowland V. Lee
  • Writers: David J. Skal, Curt Siodmak, Edmund Pearson, Edward T. Lowe Jr.
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 27 April 2004
  • Run Time: 384 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001CNRLQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,223 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


DVD box set. Region 1.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Air is Filled with Monsters" 19 Aug 2006
Universal Studio's great black and white "horror" films from the 1930s and 40s were put together in special themed collections called "The Legacy Collection".

These collections were themed movies, about 4 to 6 films in each collection, that were focused around the one "big hit" and it's "Sons of" features.

The Frankenstein Collection is probably the best of the collections, containing more films that were of better quality overall than the other collections. Frankenstein was a big hit, and they actually had better scripts and actors in the "Sons of" films than the others.

We start with the classic Boris Karloff Frankenstein. This film examines our right to be "god" when it comes to "life and death". Karloff plays the monster, and while we see him growling around the set check out his facial expressionsI It is well shot, love the angry mob scenes, and is a classic horror film.

The next biggie is the classic follow up Bride of Frankenstein. Still staring Boris Karlof, this is one of the few "Sons of" in these collections that was almost as popular as the original. Gotta love the hair, and her "eeps" in the film. It is a monster love story. Quite bizarre and unique, it is a must have also. The title of this review comes from a quote by Mary Shelley in this movie, played by Elsa Lanchester, who is also the Bride.

Boris Karloff reprises his successful monster role yet again with the original "Son of" in Son of Frankenstein. I actually like this film. This is a remarkable in that it is almost as good as the original, in some cases probably even better in that it does have more of a plot, if that is possible. We also have Bella Lugosi playing Ygor in this one. Very dramatic is Josephine Hutchinson as Elsa von Frankenstein.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 10 July 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Okay so this legacy collection features almost all the original Universal Frankenstein movies:

Frankenstein 10/10
Bride of Frankenstein 10/10
Son of Frankenstein 9/10
Ghost of Frankenstein 8/10
House of Frankenstein 7/10

It should be noted that Ghost of Frankenstein is a sequel to Frankenstein meets the Wolfman but that was put onto the Wolfman legacy collection probably because it directly follows The Wolfman and House of Dracula which also features the Frankenstein monster was put onto the Dracula legacy collection for obvious reasons. It would have been nice if they added Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein to the collection for sheer completions sake. But overall you can't beat the legacy collections and I plan to collect them all because of their greatness.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Basically "Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection" deserves five stars on the basis of Disc One alone. There you have both of the classic Universal films directed by James Whale, "Frankenstein" (1931) and "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), available on DVD for the first time. You also have the trailers for each film, a original poster and photo gallery for "The Bride of Frankenstein" (the one for "Frankenstein" is on Side Two of Disc Two) and audio commentaries by film historians, with Rudy Behlmer for the original and Scott MacQueen for the sequel. Then, in the "oh by the way" category, we have the fact that in these two films Boris Karloff turns in the greatest performance as a monster in movie history (also one of the most moving). Karloff thought it was a mistake to have the monster speak in the sequel, but he was wrong and when you watch these two classic movies again, with their remastered audio tracks, you will know why.
I used to show both of these films in literature classes where my students read Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and then had to write a paper evaluating how the movies changed, added or deleted key elements when compared to the orignal novel. Given that today more people know about the movies than the original novel, such distinctions are worthy recognizing. For Shelley the sin of Frankenstein (the doctor and not the monster) was not in bringing his creation to life but rather in abandoning it afterwards. However, the Universal movies always have Dr. Frankenstein, his son, or his surrogate, firmly in the Mad Scientist role. At that point we are talking about the fact that there are some things man is not meant to tamper with, an idea that we can trace back to the unsinkable "Titanic" and then all the way back to the Tower of Babel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  184 reviews
198 of 210 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the three Legacy Collection box sets 31 May 2004
By Daniel Jolley - Published on
Just as Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein are the most complex and impressive of all the classic Universal monster movies, Frankenstein The Legacy Collection is the most impressive of the three Legacy Collection DVD sets. Not only do you get five classic Frankenstein's monster films, you also are treated to more numerous and significant extra features here than in the Dracula and Wolf Man Legacy Collection releases.
It is difficult to compare and contrast the different Universal monsters; my personal predilection draws me to Dracula, but I daresay Frankenstein's monster is the most successful, memorable, and influential of the Dracula - Frankenstein's monster -Wolf Man triad. The first two Frankenstein films are nothing short of brilliant (although I still regret that they did not truly recreate the monster of Mary Shelley's imaginative vision), with the sequel, Bride of Frankenstein, actually going one better than the original. When you think of Universal's Dracula, you think of Bela Lugosi; when you think of The Wolf Man, you think of Lon Chaney, Jr. When you think of Frankenstein, however, you think of Boris Karloff as the monster, Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein, Elsa Lanchester as the Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale as the ingenious director, Jack Pierce as the legendary horror make-up artist, etc. Virtually every last detail of the first two Frankenstein films is perfect, unforgettable, and remarkably complex - the vision, the style of presentation, the iconic performances, the make-up, the special effects, everything. Not even Dracula is as memorable in half as many ways as both Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein are.
Little more need be said of the first two Frankenstein films; they are the best of the Universal classics, and their complexity and appeal make them more amazing and impressive with each day that passes. But what of the other three films included here? Well, Frankenstein isn't what he used to be under Whale's direction. A lot of people seem to like Son of Frankenstein, but I see this is as the beginning of the big, dumb Frankenstein's monster stereotype that has stripped the monster of popular culture of the innocence and great human pathos that defined him early on. The film is most significant for being Karloff's last performance in the role he made his own, as the great horror actor wisely wished to have no part in the now-inevitable dumbing-down of the monster. Featuring Basil Rathbone as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi as Ygor, the broken-necked madman who befriends and to some degree controls the monster, and Lionel Atwill as the show-stealing Inspector Krogh, Son of Frankenstein robs the creature of his ability to speak and thus denies him the moving vestige of humanity bestowed upon him in the unsurpassed Bride of Frankenstein.
The Ghost of Frankenstein continues the story begun in Son of Frankenstein, this time introducing yet another Frankenstein son in the form of Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein (played most engagingly by Sir Cedric Hardwick). Incredibly, both Ygor (Lugosi) and the monster (now played by Lon Chaney, Jr.) survived the end of the previous film, and the pair set out to find yet another son of Frankenstein in hopes of restoring the monster's strength (long baths in boiling sulphur followed by radical ice therapy can get a monster down). Not surprisingly, the monster stirs up a little trouble in town, and Ludwig's attempt to undo his father's crucial mistake by replacing the monster's brain with a solid, non-criminal brain ultimately goes awry, thanks to Ygor and Ludwig's traitorous assistant Dr. Bohmer (Lionel Atwill). I actually found Ghost of Frankenstein to be a major improvement on the Son of Frankenstein storyline, although most fans seem to prefer Son of Frankenstein over this film.
House of Frankenstein boasts all three of the Universal monster heavyweights: Frankenstein's monster (now played by Glenn Strange), the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.), and Count Dracula (played by John Carradine - the world's worst Dracula). It also features Boris Karloff in the role of the mad scientist who causes all sorts of trouble. A sequel of sorts to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein is a major disappointment in my eyes; only the Wolf Man character gets a decent treatment in this fun but rather insignificant film.
The extras in this collection are wonderful. For starters, you get theatrical trailers for all the films except Son of Frankenstein, poster and photo galleries for Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, and a discussion by Van Helsing director Stephen Sommers of the pervading influence of Universal's Frankenstein's monster in the horror movie industry. Frankenstein comes with a commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer, while Bride of Frankenstein features commentary by film historian Scott MacQueen (one of the best commentaries I've heard). Then there are two significant feature documentaries: The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster looks back through the history of the Universal Frankenstein movies, while She's Alive! Creating the Bride of Frankenstein examines the making of Bride of Frankenstein. Both of these features include wonderful interviews with the daughter of Boris Karloff and the son of Dwight Frye. Finally, there is a short film called Boo! I was clueless as to what this could be, and I am still unsure of its origins, but it is basically a slightly comical little film featuring footage from Nosferatu, Frankenstein, and at least one other film.
This collection is not perfect (beware in particular a dangerous little bump in the casing beneath each DVD, as each one is just dying for the chance to scratch a disc). Still, considering how much material is included here, the Frankenstein Legacy Collection DVD set is a bargain that all Frankenstein fans would do well to snatch up. Of course, if you are interested in Dracula and the Wolf Man as well as Frankenstein's monster, look into getting the all-inclusive Monster Legacy Collection.
126 of 139 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Packaging/DVDs, not the Films 26 Mar 2005
By Farffleblex Plaffington - Published on
I've been posting my film reviews on IMDb (Internet Movie Database), so if you're curious of my opinions on the content, see what I have to say there. I just wanted to write this to give you a warning about buying the DVDs: There's a good chance that you'll have to exchange your purchase, even multiple times.

As others have noted, there are two discs. One single sided that tends not to have any problems (Frankenstein and Bride are on that one), and the other double sided that tends to come lose during shipping and become scratched (it contains Son, Ghost, House and the bulk of the extras).

So far, I've gone through five copies of the set and I have yet to get one that works for all of the films. And the problem doesn't seem to just be scratches. The fourth copy I received didn't have a scratch on it, but Ghost of Frankenstein still got stuck at about the 35 minute mark. There seems to be a manufacturing problem with the discs. So I'm not convinced that the scratches are causing the problem. After all, I've bought other titles as used DVDs from my local rental place that look like a truck drove over them on a gravel road, and they played fine.

I initially bought the box set containing the Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolf Man Legacy collections, and each one had at least one film that was marred. I've received the second copies of Dracula and the Wolf Man, but I haven't watched all of the films in them again yet; there's a good chance the second copies will have glitches there, too, since the packaging/manufacturing is identical, as it also is on Universal's Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Invisible Man Legacy Collections. I recently bought my first sets of those three, as well, but I haven't watched any of them yet. I'm almost afraid too. At this point, I tend to watch the films with a nervous anticipation akin to checking yourself for a tumor, and you keep finding one. Not exactly an enjoyable experience, even though I love the films.

You'd think by now I'd learn and wouldn't even be bothering--after at least 7 bad sets (the five Frankensteins and the one Dracula and Wolf Man) but I want these films on DVD! I just want a copy that works!

Last time Universal released them (the late 1990s or early 2000s) they were only on the market for 18 months before they pulled the plug. I didn't buy them then, and I regretted it. They pulled the plug to eventually release these more budget-priced but cheaply made replacements that won't work! I would have gladly spent twice the amount or more for these films if I could just have DVDs that don't get stuck.

I'm far from the only one experiencing this problem, and for some others who haven't noted the problem yet, I'm wondering if they tried watching all of the films--wait until a year down the road or so when they finally think, "Let's give House of Frankenstein a chance" and then discover that it gets stuck. With the amount of returns Universal must be getting, it seems like maybe they'd revamp the packaging/manufacturing as soon as possible. They must be losing money on these, or close to it. Maybe by my 50th time returning Frankenstein, I'll get one with new packaging that isn't flawed.
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars POOR QUALITY, EVEN FOR THE PRICE. 30 Dec 2005
By Doctor Vollin - Published on
The 1 star here refers only to the DVD, and in NO WAY to the FILMS


I had heard people complain about the quality of these dvd's, but I am a huge fan of Bela Lugosi (Son of/Ghost of Frankenstein) as well as all the old Frankenstein movies & Boris Karloff. I couldn't afford to buy the earlier seperate dvd editions, so I bought this.

One of the dvds, due the the CHEAP cardboard packaging had come loose and was horribly scratched! The same thing happend to me with the Dracula Collection. Also, disk 2 in the set is a cheap double sided thing onto which Universal has crammed 3 movies plus extra features - this can often cause skipping and other problems.

I have taken back all 3 of the Legacy collectins that I bought.

AND I also had to return The Bela Lugosi Collection because it froze and skipped!

MY experiance with the NEW Universal horror releases has been so bad that I won't buy any of them anymore.

If you decide to take a chance on these dvds, be SURE you will be able to return them and get your money back.

Note: I have the original DVD release of Dracula. It is great.

You might consider these editions instead? It might be worth it.

Either way I recommend not buying the legacy sets....

This could have been an amazing set.

It is very sad how Horribly Universal treats it's classic Horror.
51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Alive! 12 Feb 2005
By Steven Hellerstedt - Published on
FRANKENSTEIN - Mad scientist creates the Monster, which escapes and wreaks havoc. Boris Karloff creates an unforgettable creature, and a career, in this classic directed by James Whale. Still manages a scare or two.

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN - The Monster demands that his creator make him a mate. The best Frankenstein story, best horror movie (ever) and a landmark in world cinema. Everything works in this profound work of gothic horror.

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN - Demented villager cares for the Monster while creator's son moves into father's estate. Last appearance of Karloff as the monster, SON teams him with Bela Lugosi as the Ygor with the broken neck. Doesn't have the layered depth Whale brought to the material, but a great gothic horror nonetheless. Seems to be the movie Mel Brooks borrowed most heavily from for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. After the original and BRIDE OF the Frankenstein franchise take a steep drop in quality.

GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN - Ygor and the Monster find son of Frankenstein and convince him to switch their brains. Lugosi reprises his role as broken-necked Ygor and Lon Chaney, Jr. takes over as the mute Monster. Silly plot - transplanting Ygor's brain into the Monster's body indicates that the franchise was running out of gas fast. A good B-movie, but not much more than that.

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN - Karloff plays a mad scientist who stumbles across Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein's monster. Veteran stuntman Glenn Strange plays the Monster in a decidedly minor role. Another goofy brains-playing-musical-skull plot doesn't get too much in the way of things, and we're given out last opportunity to watch tortured Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) gradually transform into the Wolfman.

I watched these five movies in sequence and was struck at what a great actor Karloff was. Karloff's Monster was at once more frightening, and more sympathetic, than anyone who preceded or followed him. FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF... both have commentary tracks by two different film historians that are thick with detail and information and a real asset and among the best I've ever heard.

Beyond the five-movies, the extras make this two disk (three sided) dvd set a great value. Besides original trailers to most of the movies, The Frankenstein Files and She's Alive! provide a wealth of information about Universal's Frankenstein - focusing primarily, and rightly, on the first two films directed by James Whale.

In all, this is a great collection. Strongly recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who could ask for more!!!! 16 May 2004
By Johny Bottom - Published on
I can't believe it. For twenty dollars you get five of the classic Universal Frankenstein films! The original, the Bride sequel, the Son of, the Ghost of, and the House of. This is the Boris Karloff collection, but he does not appear in 'Ghost of Frankenstein', the monster is portrayed by The Wolfman himself, Lon Cheney. Also House of Frankenstein is awesome becouse Boris is the mad scientist that succumbs to the monster. As if you need anything else, Bela Lugosi plays Igor in Son and Ghost. These are the classics that we all searched for for years. Now they are all together in an awesome package.
Great price, great movies, and awesome extras. Hear from Boris' Daughter, film historians, and even Clive.
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