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Boris Karloff stars as the screen's most memorable monster in what many consider to be the greatest horror film ever made. Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster (Karloff) out of lifeless body parts. It's director James Whale's adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel blended with Karloff's compassionate portrayal of a creature groping for identity that makes Frankenstein a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time.
"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 stylized 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 Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have heard about the Frankinstein story since my childhood and finally read it. It was not quite what I expected but was worth getting it to see the true story. Read morePublished on Dec 16 2012 by Woody
I feel this is the eeriest horror movie ever made. The sequel and Robert deniro remake were great but this is the one.Published on April 1 2012 by Dean Wirth
Believe it or not I had never seen the original 1931 Frankenstein until now. Except for some clips on television over the years all I really knew was the origins of the story, the... Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2010 by Ray Lefebvre
Frankenstein (1931) is the second of many classic monster movies made by Universal Studios, and in my opinion it is simply the best. Read morePublished on April 14 2004 by Richard Stange
This movie classic was the best for its time.. Just imagine what it must of been like being at Radio City Music Hall when this film first came to the big screen. Read morePublished on March 16 2004 by Michael P. Wilder
The problem with this film is that it's a very poor adaptation of Mary Shelley's gothic novel. If I recall, the first scene is of Dr. F-- at a cemetery to exhume body parts. Read morePublished on March 6 2004
James Whale's adaptation of "Frankenstein" is the most well-known version of Mary Shelley's tale. Purists have objected to the artistic liberties the filmmakers took with the... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2004 by Steven Y.