Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Director: James Whale

Starring: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Ernest Thesiger, Elsa Lanchester, Dwight Frye

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Warning! The Monster demands a Mate!

Plot: Dr. Frankenstein and his monster both turn out to be alive, not killed as previously believed. Dr. Frankenstein wants to get out of the evil experiment business, but when a mad scientist, Dr. Pretorius, kidnaps his wife, Dr. Frankenstein agrees to help him create a new creature, a woman, to be the companion of the monster.

My rating: 6.5/10 (UPDATE: 6/24/13 - new rating 8/10)

Will I watch it again? Sure.

UPDATE: 6/24/13 - I had the great pleasure of seeing  FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) back to back in a theater recently and my feelings about this film have changed.  I love it and I feel that BRIDE is just as good as the original, surpassing it in some areas.  It's yet another example that drives home how important it is to see every movie on the big screen.

#32 of 31 Days of Horror 2010.

This year I managed to squeeze in at least 32 horror movies in October. There were a couple I started but never finished (damn you, sleep!) and probably two or three I've already forgotten about. The month started out heavy on werewolf movies and ended heavy on Frankenstein. No real reason. That's just how it ended up. This was the last film I watched on Halloween.

I don't get it. This is hailed as being better than FRANKENSTEIN (1931). How is that? Can someone explain that to me? It's a step down for me. I really liked how Karloff was allowed to explore the monster. He speaks and plenty. The scene with him and the blind man is so touching. If it didn't have the sappy orchestra playing Ave Maria behind all of the on screen emotion I would have been in tears. The music killed the impact it could have had on me. It's still a powerful scene despite it. What's also great about that sequence is how faithful Mel Brooks was with it in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974). Franz Waxman's score is great and recognizable as pieces of it have turned up all over the place including the Flash Gordon serials of the mid to late thirties.


I LOVE the huge sets. I can do entirely without the recognizable old lady who's in hysterics most of the time. She's only there to provide comic relief and it ain't funny but then that's a sign of that time just like fucking jump scares and shaky cameras are a sign of this one. Ugh. The scene where the Bride rejects the Monster's advances because of how hideous he looks is also very touching and sad. I'd go apeshit, too, if I had to endure what he did.

I dig the film, sure, but it's too light-hearted for me to find it better than the first film. Outside of the two emotional beats it provides, I'd rather see the first one a few times before coming back to this one. Seriously, someone please explain to me how this is better than the first...please?

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