Sunday, 15 December 2013

Frankenstein (1931)

"Frankenstein" (1931, Universal Pictures, James Whale, Carl Laemmle, Jr.) is the iconic classic starring Boris Karloff in his most famous (and career making) role.

Based on the story by Mary Shelley, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and his hunchbacked assistant, Fritz (Dwight Frye) build a man from the body parts of corpses and bring it to life using Galvanisation with electricity. The poor creature, who is not the villain of the piece really, goes on a rampage and incurs the wrath of the townspeople.

Henry's fiancé, Elizabeth (Mae Clarke), his best friend Victor (John Boles) and his old teacher, Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan) attempt to help make things right before the monster goes too far.

A truly awe-inspiring piece, the famous appearance of the monster character is still striking to this day. The film itself is fun as well as pretty, with some really humorous scenes involving Henry's father, Baron Frankenstein (Frederick Kerr), and a plot which moves forward. The full film is only 71 minutes long but manages to fit a lot of lovely creepy scenes, German folk dancing and an angry mob vs monster battle in there!

Despite not being a gory film, it remains a steadfast piece of cinema history and a thrilling and atmospheric horror. Seeing it in the cinema today was a real experience!

[Image: Universal Pictures]

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