Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Bride of Frankenstein
The monster demands a mate.
Bride of Frankenstein begins where James Whale's Frankenstein from 1931 ended. Dr. Frankenstein has not been killed as previously portrayed and now he wants to get away from the mad experiments. Yet when his wife is kidnapped by his creation, Frankenstein agrees to help him create a new monster, this time a woman.
I've seen this movie countless times over the whole course of my life, and still it continues to astound me. On every viewing, I can peel back another handful of its infinite mysteries; another smattering of truth reveals itself. Bride may be a monster movie and a sly queer allegory and a wellspring of cartoon parody, but it's not just those things. No, it's also a tight bundle of emotions, ideas, and images that plays around in a genre sandbox while mordantly commenting on nearly every aspect of human existence. Birth, death, sex, marriage, loneliness: nothing is absent from this story. Frankly, rewatching it makes me shocked that it ever got made—not only in the 1930s, but ever. Perhaps the…
The Bride Of Frankenstein really does have hair like Kramer!
I've seen the original Frankenstein a couple of times, and there's a good chance I've seen the sequel before as well. If I did it would have been when I was a kid and just don't remember it. I used to watch loads of the vintage 1930s horror films when I was a kid, my uncle used to tape them off late night BBC2 for me every Friday night and I used to watch them on a Saturday morning. One night, though, the golf highlights overran and the tape missed off the end of what I think was Dracula's Daughter. I…
As I started my Universal monster movie marathon with Frankenstein it is only fitting that I finish it with James Whale’s sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein. Many consider this to be a rare example of a sequel that is better than the film that preceded it but I’m not quite sure I agree. It is still an undoubtedly brilliant movie that is self-referential, clever and beautifully filmed but I do prefer the simplicity of the original Frankenstein, not least because it is the purer horror film.
Although the story kicks-off almost exactly where Frankenstein finished (watching the iconic windmill burn to the ground) it rather fittingly takes on a life of its own. Instead of a Gothic horror story it…
I enjoyed this so much that it makes me feel silly for never seeing any of the classic Universal Monsters films before now.
It's got wonderfully atmospheric sets and B&W cinematography, entertaining and innovative special effects, and a cast full of excellent performances (especially Ernest Thesinger as the amusingly macabre Doctor Pretorius and of course Boris Karloff as the monster). The comic relief (especially Una O'Connor as a high-strung chambermaid) is occasionally grating, but it's so overwhelmed by the awesomeness that I wouldn't even think of knocking it down half a star.
So beautiful, and it was interesting to finally see it after years of seeing references to it in everything from WEIRD SCIENCE to Tim Burton's entire oeuvre.
Now, onto DRACULA, THE WOLF MAN, THE MUMMY, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, and the original FRANKENSTEIN.
"To a new world, of gods and monsters!"
Hoop-Tober Challenge (For Beginners) Film #16
A tough monster, this one. He refuses to die!
''I love dead. Hate living.''
Karloff topped his own performance in this lovely sequel. With the help of William Hurlbut's superb screenplay, he has successfully showed the gentle and human side of the misunderstood monster -- A monster who grunted nervously as the woman he rescued condemned him; a monster who smiled awkwardly the first time he heard Schubert's ''Ave Maria'' playing in the distance. There are so many touching scenes I can go on and on and on. Ain't this film marvelous! Emotional too. The scene of Karloff smoking alone is enough to give Bride of Frankenstein a classic status.
If you enjoyed Frankenstein, please love yourself and never miss this great sequel!
I had expected to see far more screen time for the Bride herself, but this one delivers completely on Frankenstein's hints at being a film about the pain of loneliness — and the fear that nothing is lonelier than death (except for undeath). Karloff was born for this role, lumbering and staggering through this dire and almost expressionistic landscape in agony and alienation that we can only imagine. The Bride of Frankenstein, even more than the 1931 film, predates the posthuman torment and confusion of films like RoboCop and Under the Skin by decades. This is a real and heartbreaking classic and immortally iconic as an example of genre horror that appeals emotionally, while still being grandly theatrical horror.
Opening with a gorgeous prologue in which the audience is introduced to Mary Shelley discussing her follow up novel "Bride of Frankenstein", Universal's film with the same title is a worthy follow up to the original. This film sweats atmosphere, from the opening with a gorgeously lit ballroom of Mary Shelley's estate, to the subterranean crypt where body snatchers steal the corpse which will make the "bride" complete, I found "Bride of Frankenstein" to be a much more compelling film compared to the original.
Opening on Friday, April 19th, 1935 at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Portland, "The Bride of Frankenstein", as with most Universal monster films of the era, was given the deluxe treatment. The film was accompanied by a series of vaudeville performances by "internationally recognized" musicians and "funsters", which I guess are comedians. The spoiler filled review the following day in the paper ruins about everything in the film, but really put over the makeup and effects.
I would agree with the general consensus that this is superior to the original if not for the presence of Una O'Connor, the 1930's very own Jar Jar Binks who ruins every scene she is in.
Bride of Frankenstein sequel to Frankenstein directed by James Whale. Starring Boris Karloff as The Monster, and Elsa Lanchester in the dual role. This is classic note of following in the footsteps of the original, from where it ends and begins. A great classic-non-stop romantic-horror film. Last half hour of the film is worth everything the movie has generated its popularity from.
NOTE: Re-watched since 2010
James Whales skillfully blends classic horror and comedy in this sequel that is rather more entertaining and eventful than the first film. Top notch sets and special effects, plus a lively Franz Waxman score put production values well ahead of previous Universal monster flicks. It goes without saying, special mention must go to Boris Karloff's now spirited performance as the monster. Scene between the monster and the blind man is superb. Dr. Pretorious' little people in jars is too incongrously silly.
No matter who you hear it from; horror fans everywhere will tell you The Bride of Frankenstein is an essential classic Universal horror movie. Which it most definitely is! This film really shouldn't be looked upon as a sequel to Frankenstein, but more of a follow up or a continuation. It helps conclude the second half of the story of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with some added scenes to the movie that aren't in the original literature.
When the Monster emerges for the ashes of the torched windmill, he stumbles across the demented Dr. Pretorius, who once was a colleague of Henry Frankenstein. Once again roaming the countryside, The Monster no longer wants to live a life of solitude and demands…
" I want friend like me."
Another addition to the (relatively) short list of sequels that are superior to the original. Whale seems more at ease with taking risks with stylization and wit. Making Frankenstein's monster speak was an inevitability in the series but still comes off a little clunky although this makes it easier for the film to focus on him as the main character instead of the doctor. And that's a good thing because Karloff does a great job emoting with his eyes, eyebrows and jaw. The scene where he meets the blind man is so touching my cheeks felt warm. And that cross iconography was a nice special touch at the end of the scene (says someone who is not religious).
"Come Mary, come and watch the storm..."
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