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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2014
If you love classic cinema then you have to own a copy of Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. Both movies in this set have been remastered (the latest mastering) and look better than ever, outside of Blu Ray of course. The debut of Boris Karloff's iconic monster is still a thrill to watch even now. It's funny to think that everything seen in this film would be used and reused by just about every monster movie since. Karloff's performance has never been beaten for sheer emotion for a non speaking role, though Christopher Lee's monster was extremely good too (The Curse of Frankenstein) The Bride of Frankenstein takes the series into black humour, but still doesn't lose any of the initial spectacle that the original had. In fact for sheer entertainment Bride of Frankenstein is the better film in many ways. However having both is a must and will delight classic film enthusiasts (especially on Halloween).
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 November 2009
A castle on a lonely Easter European hilltop. A storm in the dead of night. A bolt of lightning, in a laboratory in the castle an insane experiment is taking place. Sounds like a cliché? Used over and over again in horror films? Well, these are the films that started the cliché. The films that set the standard for all horror films that followed.

The films stand out for several reasons. The intelligent script, the great direction that masterfully keeps you in suspense. The use of light and shadow. The great acting, even from the supporting cast. And of course, the legend that is Boris Karloff in THAT make-up.

James Whale directs with an eye for detail, and a taste for the macabre. And manages to bring the monster to life superbly. Colin Clive shines as Frankenstein, the deranged scientist trying to conquer death, playing it with just the right level of mania. The `It's alive!' scene has rightly become a Hollywood legend, oft imitated and never equalled. And Elsa Lanchester as the `Bride' has to have one of the most memorable hair-do's ever seen on the silver screen!

It is Karloff who dominates though, mute for most of the films, and face hidden by layers of make-up, he still manages to convey volumes of expression. It is said he didn't want the monster to speak at the end of `Bride', but those three words are so devastating they add the perfect finishing touch to the films. This is the film that made his name, and it easy to see why. The word `Iconic' comes to mind.

Compared to today's horror films these might seems a little anaemic and slow paced, but personally I think they compare well. There are some truly shocking scenes, some great plot and narrative devices and well drawn characters.

The prints of the films are pretty good considering they are 80 years old. They have been remastered and it shows. They are presented in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, with mono soundtrack. The two discs include a wealth of extras, including documentaries, a look at the other Frankenstein movies made by Universal, and theatrical trailers. For the price being asked well worth it.

For real fans Universal also have a Frankenstein Legacy collection, on Region 1 discs, which presents all the Universal Frankenstein films. Also check out the Dracula, Mummy and Werewolf discs, all have been given the same impressive and loving treatment as Frankenstein.
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on 28 December 2012
This was the second of Universal's 1930s horror films, after Dracula and the first of their Frankenstein cycle. It was the film that introduced Boris Karloff to the horror genre and created a classic horror icon in the process. I have always enjoyed this film and I sometimes prefer it to Bride of Frankenstein, even though this film lacks some of the humour of Bride. I think this is a more darker and straightforward horror film than Bride and it also has a more sombre ending. The film was quite heavily censored back in the 1930s and it has only ever been seen completely uncut fairly recently - you may be interested to know that this DVD version appears to be the complete, uncut version, including the infamous "drowning" scene. I recommend this film to anyone who likes classic horror, especially the old Universal horror films of the 1930s and 1940s. It is a landmark film and I award it five stars. Classic horror at its' very best.
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on 4 June 2008
James Whale's 1931 film of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of those `museum piece' movies that are still regarded as all-time greats, especially by more senior critics, but which can prove to be a bit of a slog for today's audiences. Of course, the movie was a trend-setter in more ways than one, and features one of cinema's all-time finest performances from Boris Karloff as the tragic Frankenstein Monster, whilst Whale's inventive direction, the splendid sets, the awesome make-up, and Colin Clive's hysterical turn as Henry also contribute to the movie's overall effect.
Unfortunately, the effect of the film is lessened by the generally mediocre scripting and several below-average supporting performances. Mae Clarke is weak as Henry's bride Elizabeth (looking nothing like as gorgeous as Valerie Hobson in the later Bride of Frankenstein), whilst the forgotten Clark Gable look-alike John Boles is almost invisible in the tedious role of Henry's best friend. Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye are nowhere near as effective here as they were in Tod Browning's Dracula (released the same year), whilst Frederick Kerr's camera-hogging Music Hall turn as Henry's father is one of the most excruciating acting performances I've seen in any 1930s' film, and totally out of place in what is supposed to be a straight-faced horror movie (`Are ye, by jove').
Whilst both the blackly comic Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and the action-packed Son of Frankenstein (1939) are superior to this movie, from a historical perspective this first film with Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster is one of talking cinema's great early achievements, and a monument to his status as the horror genre's first real star.
Also included here is a good documentary, `The Frankenstein Files', previously featured on Universal's 1999 VHS release of the movie.
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on 7 March 2014
A true classic in every sense of the word. James Whale was a master of his craft and horror films were is main staple. He knew how to wring tension out of quiet moments and Frankenstein still stands as his crowning jewel. Never bettered and certainly never more emotive, Frankenstein is a beautifully told story.

Here the monster feels real. The turmoil is real and the sense of fear the residents hold is palpable. The stark black and white only serves to enhance the detached fear this monster holds over the town.

The finest achievement of the universal monster range and long will it remain that way.
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on 15 July 2017
The original and best. The monster is much more than just a monster. If he was around these days, I'm sure that he would be given greater respect, and most certainly a nice castle, and a good income to help make-up for his botched surgery. He is really a nice guy, when you get to know him better.
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on 13 December 2013
The film 'Frankenstein' and its sequel 'Bride of Frankenstein' are to me the original Frankenstein monster movies and although looking like they are made in the thirties they still for me are very entertaining. When the monster kills the little girl that scene was originally cut out for television being considered too much for the viewing audience but in today's modern world where shocking is a bit blase, the scene is put back in for the DVD. However, I still find it shocking but that is the whole point, the monster is just that and does despicable things. However, a certain amount a sympathy must be reserved for him in the second film when he demands a companion who turns out to be the iconic image of Elsa Lancaster. This must have been a golden age for Hollywood as the special effects for the little people are excellent. Finally, when the monster starts speaking what does he say?: 'smoke good'
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on 1 November 2017
Timeless classic. It can easily stand it's ground against any modern horror. It's gothic set pieces are awe-inspiring. It's easy to forget this film dates back to the 30's. Get your comfies on and enjoy the film.
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VINE VOICEon 10 July 2013
Although many will find this film too slow at times, it's still stands as a classic American horror film. We all know the story extremely well by now, and Karloff's performance is classic. What stands out with this Blu Ray release is the fantastic quality of the picture and sound for such an old film. Everything looks so sharp and it gives it a new lease of life. The last time I watched this film on TV it was a very poor picture. So glad to have it remastered and looking better than ever... one might even say "IT'S ALIVE!"
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on 5 October 2016
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 the shallow regard shown too his creation's agonised cries for help in understanding his 'rebirth.'
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