Bride of Frankenstein (1935) starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive
reviewed by: The masked reviewer
Bride of Frankenstein begins with Mary Shelley informing her friends that she has written a sequel to her masterpiece. She begins this story at the end of Frankenstein with Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) recovering from his injuries, and the mill fire still crackling. A curious villager and his worried wife are watching the fire when a familiar hand strangles the man and throws the wife down to her death.Minnie (Una O’Connor) starts screaming when she spots the monster walking away from the ruins. The monster runs away before the mobs can begin their monster hunt again. Henry refuses to accept the monster as his creation and decides to quiet the evil experiment business to follow in the family business.
- Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive, Frankenstein): Dr. Frankenstein is a much better character in this film because he has to deal with the consequences of his monster’s action. Even though Colin Clive was drunk the whole film again. It actually added to the character, rather than detract.
- Elizabeth Lavenza (Valerie Hobson, Werewolf of London): Henry’s faithful fiancee.
- Dr. Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger): A madman with the dream to mix black magic, and science. He is an eerie, selfish, charismatic villain that will steal any scene he is in.
The Monster (Boris Karloff, Bedlam): The monster is much more sympathetic in this film. He has learned from his mistakes, and tries to help others but doesn’t know how to. He also learns to speak in this film.
- The Monster’s Mate (as ?) (Elsa Lanchester, David Copperfield): The monster’s unwilling bride. Her movement is graceful like a swan but has quite the temper.
- Minnie (Una O’Connor): The woman that informs the village of the monster’s return.
- Hermit (O. P. Heggie): The monster’s only friend, sadly the monster is his only friend as well. He is one of the warmest and welcoming characters in this series, but he’s been abandoned by everyone in this small town. One of the most tragically realistic portrayals of isolation in film history.
- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Elsa Lanchester): An excellent portrayal of Mary Shelley. Calm, collected and wiser than Lord Byron, or Percy.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton, Mary of Scotland): An excellent portrayal of Percy Shelley. A forgettable man who believes that his work will outshine his wife’s masterpiece.
- Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon): An excellent portrayal of Lord Byron. An egomaniac, that is convinced that he is God’s gift to humanity.
The settings, as in the original Frankenstein film, are beautiful, and well shot. The hermit’s cottage is warm and inviting. The graves are lifeless, as the corpses inside them. Dr. Pretorius’s lab is mad, and confusing as the evil doctor himself. In Bride of Frankenstein, the special effects are much more impressive than the setting. The homunculi scene is still visually amazing.
I rate it 5/5 stars