Total Pageviews

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 13- Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Here is one of my personal favorites when it comes to classic horror movies. If you like Frankenstein, you'll love this movie. It's even better than the original and has an amazing story, one which actually shows the monster as a creature in a scary world that he has to get used to instead of a mindless killing machine.
Colin Clive returns as Henry Frankenstein and Karloff as the Monster. Valerie Hobson plays Frankenstein's love interest, Elizabeth, filling in for Mae Clarke, who was very ill at the time. This movie was thought of in 1931, immediately after the first film was released, but because of script issues, the movie was made and released in the first half of 1935, and it was met with critical acclaim.

The movie starts on a stormy night where Mary Shelley (played by Elsa Lanchester) is speaking with her husband, Percy Shelley (played by Douglas Walton) and Lord Byron about the story of Frankenstein. Percy makes a comment that the story ended so abruptly, but Mary Shelley responds by saying that the story wasn't finished. That is where the movie takes place.

Mary and Percy Shelley, along with Lord Byron
The story continues right where the first film left off, with the whole village standing and watching the windmill burn to the ground. Henry Frankenstein's body is retrieved from the windmill and taken back to the Frankenstein residence to recover. Meanwhile, while the father of Maria, the girl who was drowned in the first film, is investigating the ashes of the windmill, he falls through the burnt floor into the water below, where it is revealed that the Monster survived the fire. The Monster then kills the father and when his wife pulls up the monster believing it to be her husband, she is thrown down into the water as well.

The next scene is in the castle where Henry Frankenstein is recovering from the fire. After spending a short period of time talking with Elizabeth, there is a knock at the door. It is Dr. Pretorius (played by Ernest Thesiger), a former professor of Frankenstein's who wishes for Henry to continue his research. Frankenstein adamantly refuses at first, ashamed of the monster he had created in the first place. Meanwhile, the creature is wandering across the countryside until he comes across a girl who is about to come in harm's way. When he tries to warn her of a small cliff, she falls anyway, and she screams when he tries to save her. This alerts hunters nearby, who in turn alert the townspeople. The monster is captured and hogtied to a piece of lumber like an animal. The Monster is not kept captive for very long, and he breaks out of the prison and runs back into the country.

Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorius

While he is wandering through the forest, the monster comes across the sound of someone playing the violin. He is led by the sound to the house of a blind man. When the monster tries to get help from the man, he is happy to find out that since the man cannot see him, he's not afraid of the monster. The old man takes the monster's presence as a sign that God has finally sent him a friend. The monster's new-found friend teaches him how to speak somewhat, how to smoke, drink, and that fire is not necessarily bad. When a couple of hunters see the blind man with the monster in the house, they attempt to dispose of the monster on the old man's behalf. The old man escapes the house with the hunters and the monster is left to his own devices once again.

The Monster finally finds a friend

The monster, wandering through a mausoleum, runs into Dr. Pretorius, and the mad doctor convinces the monster to help coerce Frankenstein into creating a mate for him. When Frankenstein initially refuses the demand, the monster becomes angry and kidnaps Elizabeth. Frankenstein then agrees to begin his work again. After a while, the monster becomes impatient and demands that Frankenstein not sleep until his mate is created.

Dr. Pretorius convincing the monster to help his cause.

Upon finishing the creation of the mate, she is brought to life. The monster's mate is also played by Elsa Lanchester. James Whale's reasoning for this is that it would make the movie portray the idea that the story is based on the dark part of all our imaginations. The bride is also terrified at the sight of the monster and, depressed that no one will ever love him, after allowing Elizabeth and Frankenstein to escape, blows up the entire lab, with himself, Dr. Pretorius, and the bride inside.

2 incredibly iconic horror characters
The reason this movie is so much better than the original is that the story follows the Mary Shelley story more closely. Also, Karloff, Colin Clive, and Ernest Thesiger are in top form in this film. The acclaim and reputation this film has had since it was released is shown by the fact that, although she was only in the film for about 5 minutes or so, "Frankenstein's Bride" is an iconic staple of the Halloween season, even almost 80 years later. Overall, this is truly one of the greatest horror films ever made, with the perfect mix of horror, comedic relief, and drama. If you choose any classic horror film to watch, I'd choose this one.

I give it 5 lightning bolts out of 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment