Frankenstein (1931) re-viewed

Scene from Frankenstein (1931)

TITLE: Frankenstein
STUDIO: Universal Pictures
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1931

STARRING: Colin Clive, Edward Von Sloan, Boris Karloff, Dwight Frye, Mae Clarke, John Boles
DIRECTOR: James Whale
PLOT: Scientist and his assistant bring life to a body stitched together from dead body parts and a pre-loved brain. Newly-created creature takes umbrage at being treated like a second-classed citizen even though he’s made from second-hand parts. Whole lot of people get hurt and upset in the process.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Providing employment to the disabled might be a noble thing to do, just make sure it isn’t an incompetent, disobedient hunchback deviant sadist or he might end up botching your whole project.
FUN FACT: The opening credits attribute the novel to “Mrs Percy B. Shelley” rather than Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.


I WATCHED Frankenstein (1931) today – the first time I have  seen the complete film in over 20 years. To my delight, I discovered the copy I had was the restored version – complete with the infamous God remarks and girl drowning footage. Throughout the film, I took some notes:

Edward Van Sloan’s presence at the start of the film, coming from behind the curtains to warn the audience about the terrors that lie ahead is an outstanding piece of theatrics. However, from the outset, it is very clear that Edward Von Sloan is a very strange, peculiar man.

But not as weird as Fitz the hunchback assistant.

Boris Karloff is unbelievably amazing in this film. He is clearly the star and the reason he is one of the most recognisable people of the 20th Century.

Author: The Spooky Isles

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2 Comments

  1. I have always been irritated by the murderer’s brain plotline too – it does not appear in the book and I think it almost spoils the movie. We are supposed to feel sorry for the monster.

    I think you are right about the father too. Does he even ever clap eyes on the monster?

    Nice review by the way.

  2. I remember seeing this as a child in 1976 during the Horror double bill season on BBC 2 on Saturday nights. I was allowed to stay up late to watch it. Back at the junior school I attended I would draw the Frankenstein monster burning in the mill for friends. Good days.

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