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…
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.
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!"
I'm not sure if it's necessarily better than the original. It's not as rough around the edges as the original and it does have better sets, but I don't think it's nearly as iconic. It's interesting to see the monster humanize over the course of the film, but you do get a feeling that this is not the same monster from the first film. Maybe because the make-up looked off, maybe because the fact that monster was able to talk was unconvincing to me (or because I just rather not have undead characters talk) or maybe because the monster behaved differently this time. In the end though, The Bride of Frankenstein is an enjoyable monster flick, mostly thanks to its great set designs, impressive special effects and amazing performances from Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorius and once again Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein. Not quite great, but still pretty damn good, I'd say.
Marginally better than its predecessor, The Bride of Frankenstein benefits from director James Whale's unbuttoned approach.
So if the first Frankenstein is like Alien then this is Aliens. It's a departure from the original, but still manages to achieve some cool shit in it's own right. I watched this back to back with the original and it was interesting to note how Whale's stylistic decisions changed. The original is the slow burn mood piece, and Bride is like "Okay the monster is back, lets have some cool shit happen, I'm James Whale"
It picks up right where the last one left off, which is always a cool way to start a sequel. But it's different, there's a bed of (sometimes annoying) music now and the characters are a little more loud and colorful in their acting,…
This is the birth of the horror movie franchise, and one of the greatest sequels to be made. Takes everything good about the first film and makes it great, the Monster is more scary and violent. The evolution of the characters as well was great to see, and truelly it's one of the best horror films of all time.
I don't really get why this is considered so much better than the first. They are both fine, but neither is very deep. This one tries to humanize the monster more, which is nice, but it's also goofier, which doesn't fit the theme.
Hoop-Tober Movie #18
Watching this movie finished out two of my own personal goals that I'd set for myself at the beginning of this event--to watch as many of the original Universal Monster movies as possible, although I never was able to get my hands on The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and to watch the classic James Whale trilogy. And in both lists, I would rank the top three as Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man, because Mr. Whale is just that good. Although it is not at the same level as its predecessor, in my opinion, it doesn't have anything intrinsically wrong with it. The main reason for ranking it as such is that I'd…
Iconic, and a landmark obviously--not just for Elsa Lanchester's hairdo, or for the fact it's that rare sequel that's better than the original, because/in spite of the fact it launched a dozen horror tropes (it'd be tempting to blame the terrific sequence in the flooded mineshaft for the notion of the unkillable monster returning for the horror sequel, but that feels like blaming Nirvana for Nickelback)--the hammy acting works terrifically as a counterpoint to Karloff (and Lanchester's) not-quite-human presence, and of all the film's flourishes, the one that struck me the most in a 'they don't do THAT anymore' was the scene with the blind hermit where the monster puffs happily on a cigar while discovering the finer things of life. Try getting THAT into a remake.......
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The Bride of Frankenstein is a deeply strange film. It's the first to attempt the horror/comedy combination. The combo works to great effect in some moments (Dr. Pretorius' tiny people) and sinks others (everything involving the Minnie character).
The film opens with Lord Byron and Percy Bysse Shelley praising Mary Shelley for coming up with a tale as ghoulish as Frankenstein. The scene retroactively grafts a post-modern element on to the first film and suggests that Mary had far more to say on Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, but a publishing error prevented her full vision from spreading. It's a weird, weird beginning for a film from the 30's.
The film's title is massively misleading. The titular Bride doesn't show…
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