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Most of the principal cast members of the original Frankenstein movie reprise their roles here, including Colin Clive as Frankenstein and the inimitable Boris Karloff as the monster. Mae Clarke, however, was unavailable for health reasons, and a seventeen-year-old Valerie Hobson took on the role of Elizabeth, Frankenstein's fiancée. This is a noticeable change, as Hobson played Elizabeth in a strikingly different manner. As you may have guessed, Frankenstein's monster did not actually die in the big fire that ended the first motion picture. The windmill was built over a cistern (more like a great big underground pond, if you ask me), and the monster escapes the conflagration, not before killing a couple of people and scaring Minnie, this film's version of interminable comic relief, half to death. Dr.Read more ›
The plot elaborates an idea contained in the Mary Shelly novel: Frankenstein is pressured to create a mate for the monster. In Shelly's novel, the doctor eventually balks; in the film, however, he sees the experiment through due to a mix of his own obsession and the manipulations of a new character, Dr. Pretorious, and the two create the only truly iconographical monster in the film pantheon of the 1930s horror film: "The Bride," brilliantly played by Elsa Lanchester.
The cast is excellent throughout, with Colin Clive and Boris Karloff repeating their roles and Frankenstein and the monster, and Valerie Hobson an able replacement for Mae Clarke in the role of Elizabeth; Ernest Thesiger and Una O'Connor also give incredibly memorable performances as the truly strange Pretorius and the constantly hysterical maid Minnie. The art design is remarkable, and the Waxman score is justly famous. But the genius of the film lies not so much in these new and bizarre characters, in the familiar ones, or in the production values: it is in the way in which Whales delicately balances his elements and then subverts them.
FRANKENSTEIN owes much of its power to its directness--it has a raw energy that is difficult to resist, still more difficult to describe. But THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN owes its power to its complexity.Read more ›