Sunday, May 29, 2011

074 - The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

DVD Box
The Bride Of Frankenstein is a direct sequel to Mary Shelley's original monster tale with the monster now seeking a friend.

Following on from the catastrophic fires of the first story, it now appears that both Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and his monster (Boris Karloff) have survived. Frankenstein recovers at home while his creation roams the country searching for a friend.

As Frankenstein recovers he is visited by another scientist, Doctor Pretorius who goads him into building a female monster, who will both help Pretorius gain notoriety in science while giving the original monster someone who is like him to be friends with.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Considering The Bride Of Frankenstein is, at the end of the day, a 1930's film, some of the effects that were employed into the film were ground-breaking. I can't help but compare the rawness of the monster to the Beast in La Belle Et La Bête. While I forgave that film slightly unrealistic beast and put it down to it being over 50 years old, The Bride Of Frankenstein is evidence of what film makers can accomplish with a little imagination. The monster - or the bride for that matter - aren't overly different from a human, but the film gives enough of an atmosphere to make them seem far more feared.

Frankly, The Bride Of Frankenstein's continuation story was a bit of a pathetic attempt to continue a franchise. That said, it was cleverly employed by introducing the original author (albeit an actress) to claim that this sequel was planned all along.

Once the film finally gets going, it is surprisingly easy to 'get on with' for a film of this era. The characters quickly gain enough depth to become affable - the monster is shown as a lonely, misunderstood beast while his original master changes roles and is manipulated by Pretorius, who could give Doc from Back To The Future a good go for the award of "Maddest-looking Scientist".

Deeply impressive film that anyone, even today, will understand.

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