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Frankenstein [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Boris Karloff stars as the screen’s most tragic and iconic monster in what many consider to be the greatest horror film ever made.
Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) dares to tamper with the essential nature of life and death by creating a monster (Karloff) out of lifeless human body parts.
Director James Whale’s adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel and Karloff’s compassionate portrayal of a creature groping for identity make Frankenstein a timeless masterpiece.
The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster
Karloff: The Gentle Monster
Monster Tracks: Interactive Pop-Up Facts About The Making of Frankenstein
Boo!: A Short Film
Feature Commentary with Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
Feature Commentary with Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
100 Years Of Universal: Restoring the Classics
"It's alive! Alive!" shouts Colin Clive's triumphant Dr. Frankenstein as electricity buzzes over the hulking body of a revived corpse. "In the name of God now I know what it's like to be God!" For years unheard, this line has been restored, along with the legendary scene of the childlike monster tossing a little girl into a lake, in James Whale's Frankenstein, one of the most famous and influential horror movies ever made. Coming off the tremendous success of Dracula, Universal assigned sophomore director Whale to helm an adaptation of Mary Shelley's famous novel with Bela Lugosi as the monster. When Lugosi declined the role, Whale cast the largely unknown character actor Boris Karloff and together with makeup designer Jack Pierce they created the most memorable monster in movie history: a towering, lumbering creature with sunken eyes, a flat head, and a jagged scar running down his forehead. Whale and Karloff made this mute, misunderstood brute, who has the brain of a madman (the most obvious of the many liberties taken with Shelley's story), the most pitiable freak of nature to stumble across the screen. Clive's Dr. Frankenstein is intense and twitchy and Dwight Frye set the standard for mad-scientist sidekicks as the wild-eyed hunchback assistant. Whale's later films, notably the spooky spoof The Old Dark House and the deliriously stylised sequel The Bride of Frankenstein, display a surer cinematic hand than seen here and add a subversive twist of black comedy, but given the restraints of early sound films, Whale breaks the film free from static stillness and adorns it with striking design and expressionist flourishes. --Sean AxmakerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Basically we all know the outline of the story, it has become ingrained in our culture. Henry Frankenstein in convinced that he can create a living being from dead bodies, and does so with the help of an assistant (who surprisingly, for me at least, is called Fritz not Igor in the film - though he is an ugly hunchbacked dwarf). Then, the story goes, the monster goes on a rampage. This, like Igor, is also not fully true, Frankenstein's monster kills Fritz only after being tormented by him, and then inadvertently kills a little girl, who he has been playing with by trying to float her on the lake, the way the two of them have been doing with flowers. We are led to what Mary Shelley wanted us to see, that the monster is an innocent who did not ask Frankenstein to create him, rather than a "real" monster. Generally the creature invites compassion rather than fear, and it is his treatment by others that is the real horror of the film.
Karloff's is the really memorable performance of the film. It was made only a few years after the advent of sound and in this film many of the actors are either ex-silent film actors or ex-stage actors. Whatever their background there is a slight tendency to ham things up a little. This is never a big drawback in a horror film, but it is Karloff's understated, silent performance which makes this film a true classic.
Where so many early talkies were static and wordy, Frankenstein skips unnecessary dialogue and exposition and drives through its plot at a speed that seems almost indecent nowadays. Compared to overblown remakes like Kenneth Branagh's 1994 version, Whale's work now seems like a masterpiece of brevity and minimalism. His constantly moving camera, incisive editing and dramatic use of close-ups are a mile ahead of anything far more prestigious directors were doing at the time. Expressionist photography and eccentric set designs lend atmosphere, menace and help augment some rather ripe performances; a foretaste of the paths Whale would tread in the sequel Bride of Frankenstein four years later.
And then of course there's Karloff. With comparatively few scenes and no dialogue he nonetheless manages to create a complex, intimidating, yet sympathetic creature - one of the great mimes in talking cinema and thanks in no small degree to the freedom given to him under Jack Pierce's iconic make-up.
A historic piece of cinema, and one that still stands the test of time as both art and entertainment.
Because if you buy the "Monsters legacy collection" on R1, you'll have the same 6 movies, 8 more universal horror movies from the series', the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula and 3 hand painted min-busts from sideshow collectables, all in a kick ass presentation box, and you'll have only spent £35 including shipping from the US!!!
DO NOT BUT THE UK VERSIONS - if you do, then you're giving distributors a green-light to continue ripping off the Brits!
THE BRIDE OF FEANKENSTEIN 1935 is pure James Whale. It is a glittering celebration of drama, suspense, trick work and black humour.... After reading about and seeing GODS AND MONSTERS(about Mr Whale with Ian McKellen in a great performance) - this is indeed an auteur film....
These two films should always be seen together after a small interval....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
while not being at all scary it was never the less truly entertaining for so many reasons. the dvd arrived quickly , good seller.Published 4 months ago by billyrocker
The true original in crisp detail, wonderfully atmospheric and still effective Karloff's mastery as the creature is superlative, evoking sympathy for his helplessness and ire for... Read morePublished 4 months ago by weep
Having recently read the original Mary Shelley novel, it was very interesting to see how James Whale simplified the original story to make it more of a 'popcorn' film. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. T. Gilmore
The scene were Frankenstein makes his first appearance is the real deal.Published 10 months ago by James Rae