Frankenstein

( 12 )

Overview

Still regarded as the definitive film version of Mary Shelley's classic tale of tragedy and horror, Frankenstein made unknown character actor Boris Karloff a star and created a new icon of terror. Along with the highly successful Dracula, released earlier the same year, it launched Universal Studio's golden age of 1930s horror movies. The film's greatness stems less from its script than from the stark but moody atmosphere created by director James Whale; Herman Rosse's memorable set designs, particularly the ...
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Overview

Still regarded as the definitive film version of Mary Shelley's classic tale of tragedy and horror, Frankenstein made unknown character actor Boris Karloff a star and created a new icon of terror. Along with the highly successful Dracula, released earlier the same year, it launched Universal Studio's golden age of 1930s horror movies. The film's greatness stems less from its script than from the stark but moody atmosphere created by director James Whale; Herman Rosse's memorable set designs, particularly the fantastic watchtower laboratory, featuring electrical equipment designed by Kenneth Strickfaden; the creature's trademark look from makeup artist Jack Pierce, who required Karloff to don pounds of makeup and heavy asphalt shoes to create the monster's unique lurching gait; and Karloff's nuanced performance as the tormented and bewildered creature. Frankenstein was greeted with screams, moans, and fainting spells upon its initial release, obliging Universal to add a disclaimer in which Edward Van Sloan advises the faint of heart to leave the theater immediately. If they don't: "Well...we've warned you." Director James Whale was memorably embodied by Ian McKellen in the Oscar-winning 1998 biopic Gods and Monsters.
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Special Features

The Frankenstein files: How Hollywood made a monster; Karloff: The gentle monster; Monster tracks; Universal horror documentary; Frankenstein archives; Boo!: A short film; Feature Commentary with film historian Rudy Behlmer; Feature Commentary with historian Sir Christopher Frayling; Trailer gallery; 100 years of Universal: Restoring the classics
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Because Frankenstein created much of the cinematic language of horror films, it has often been imitated (and parodied). Consequently (and ironically), viewers coming to the film today may mistake the conventions that it created for clich├ęs. The mad scientist and his neo-gothic lab, comma-shaped assistant, and rigidly lurching monster were all creations of director James Whale, and all have become movie icons. However, watching Frankenstein is more than simply an exercise in nostalgia. Despite moments of melodrama, the film is wonderfully economical, telling a complex and engaging tale in little more than one hour. There are more moments of quiet power (most of them involving the strikingly effective Boris Karloff as the monster who simply wants to be loved) than you'll find in a fistful of big-budget horror films. Whale knew his medium and didn't clutter the action with a lot of chatter. Instead, he filled the screen with images that would become part of our cultural lexicon. He builds the story to its tragically inevitable climax, interchanging moments of subtle beauty and dreadful horror. Rather than simply adopt a conventional perspective (man should not play God), Whale emphasized the human drama (Frankenstein should not have abandoned his creation), turning a horror film into an existential tale of man's fear of abandonment.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/17/2013
  • UPC: 025192188831
  • Original Release: 1931
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:11:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 28,455

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Colin Clive Henry Frankenstein
Boris Karloff The Monster
Mae Clarke Elizabeth
John Boles Victor Moritz
Dwight Frye Fritz, the Dwarf
Edward Van Sloan Doctor Waldman
Frederick Kerr Baron Frankenstein
Pauline Moore Bridesmaid
Michael Mark Ludwig, Peasant Father
Francis Ford Villager
Arletta Duncan
Lionel Belmore Herr Vogel, Burgomaster
Marilyn Harris Little Maria
Technical Credits
James Whale Director
E.M. Asher Associate Producer
John L. Balderston Screenwriter
David Brockman Score Composer
David Broekman Score Composer
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Francis Edwards Faragoh Screenwriter
Robert Florey Screenwriter
Garrett Elsden Fort Screenwriter
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Charles Hall Art Director
Clarence Kolster Editor
Carl Laemmle Jr. Producer
Jack P. Pierce Makeup
Maurice Pivar Editor
Herman Rosse Set Decoration/Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    This anniversary edition of Frankenstein has many extras and the story still holds true through all these years with strong performances as well.

    I recommend this great DVD package to anyone who is a fan of universal horror classics. And also to anyone that wants to see a powerful performance by Boris Karloff in the definitive Frankenstein role done with such humanity,care and believability. For a character that did not speak the creatures eyes told of his tortured ordeal to be accepted by man.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Movie Ever Made!!!!

    Great acting, great screenplay. It was as scary as it was suspensful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2002

    A great classic horror film!

    The best of all Frankenstein films that have been made so far, this film is by far one of the best classic films. Boris Karloff is the of all people to play the monster without a doubt. Although the movie is barely based on the book, it is still one of the best films to come out of the black & white era. With a great cast and an excellent director, Frankenstein is a great film that people would be insane to miss. Surely a great horror classic all will love if they appreciate the fine acting and the terror that will make you want to see it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Scary Fun

    My 11 year old saw parts of this in science class so we had to get it for Halloween!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2010

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    Posted May 3, 2009

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    Posted October 6, 2009

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    Posted September 17, 2009

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted July 12, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews