Bride of Frankenstein
Starring – Boris Karloff (The Monster), Colin Clive (Dr. Henry Frankenstein), Valerie Hobson (Elizabeth), Ernest Thesiger (Dr. Pretorius), Elsa Lanchester (Mary Shelley/The Monster’s Bride).
Released – April, 1935
Directed By – James Whale
Produced By – Universal Pictures
Distributed By – Universal Pictures
Description – At the conclusion of 1931’s horror classic Frankenstein the villagers celebrated what appeared to be the death of The Monster and his creator, Dr. Henry Frankenstein.
The Monster survived the burning windmill sheltered from the flames by a pit beneath the windmill. Dr. Henry Frankenstein’s body, thought to be dead, was shipped to his fiancee Elizabeth’s home. After seeing movement in the body, Elizabeth realizes that Henry is still alive.
After Elizabeth nurses Henry back to health, he condemns his creation, but still feels that he is meant to unravel the secret to creating life.
A fearful premonition of death by Elizabeth is followed by the arrival of Henry’s former mentor, Dr. Pretorius, who brings with him an unthinkable plan. Henry learns that The Monster still lives and Dr. Pretorius wants his help in creating a mate for The Monster. Pretorius has some work to complete first and will return for Henry when all is ready.
Henry and Elizabeth are now married when Pretorius returns to get Henry’s assistance in this “grand collaboration.” Henry refuses, and Pretorius has The Monster kidnap Elizabeth in an effort to force Henry to help.
Pretorius guarantees the safe return of Elizabeth after Henry’s participation. Henry has no choice. Returning to his lab, Henry begins working and again finds himself slowly becoming intoxicated with the potential power to create life.
NOTABLE: The Bride of Frankenstein received an Oscar nomination for Best Sound, Recording.
In 1998, The Bride of Frankenstein was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
The films popularity has increased over the years, and The Bride of Frankenstein is considered to be a masterpiece for director James Whale.
The motion picture had some difficulty with censorship issues. The Hays office objected to some lines of dialogue that compared the work of Dr. Henry Frankenstein with that of God, as well as the number of murders (21 cut to 10) both committed and implied, and a scene where they felt too much of actress Elsa Lanchester’s breasts were visible. Strangely, they had little problem with numerous scenes portraying crucifixion imagery.
Elsa Lanchester stood 5’4″ in reality and stilts were necessary to bring her to 7 feet for the role. She also had to be wrapped in bandages that were so tight she was carried on and off the set, having to eat through a straw. Her “unusual” hairstyle was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.
Personal Note: Film sequel’s seldom live up the the original story. However, The Bride of Frankenstein is an exception. It is one of the best movie sequel’s ever, and is thought by many to be even better than the original Frankenstein.
A truly classic Universal horror film with a great laboratory creation scene. “She’s Alive! Alive!”