Frankenstein (1931) starring Colin Clive, Boris Karloff
reviewed by: The masked reviewer
All they need is a fresh brain, and Frankenstein knows where the perfect brain for his experiment is, his old school. Fritz steals the wrong brain, and keeps that information to himself so he can finish the job. Dr. Waldman is too late to stop his former pupil. Frankenstein has made his monster and is teaching him to walk, talk, and function as a normal human being. While Frankenstein is teaching his monster, Fritz is shown abusing the poor creature whenever the mad doctor isn’t around. One day the monster has had enough and escapes. I won’t say any more because you should see Boris Karloff’s portrayal of the monster for yourself.
- Doctor Frankenstein (Colin Clive, Bride of Frankenstein): A selfish, foolish man that decided to play God without even thinking once about the consequences. That could be a great character if it had the right actor, unfortunately, Colin Clive is drunk throughout the whole film. I am not kidding, there are scenes where you can see Fritz holding Frankenstein in place so he won’t keep wobbling.
- Elizabeth Lavenza (Mae Clarke): Dr. Frankenstein’s faithful fiancee.
- Fritz (Dwight Frye): The cruel, and sadistic hunched backed criminal who works for Dr. Frankenstein.
- Baron Frankenstein (Frederick Kerr): A kind, foolish father who is oblivious to his son’s obsession.
- Frankenstein’s Monster (Boris Karloff, The Black Room): Dr. Frankenstein’s creation. A simple, childlike, creature that is too strong for its own good. Everything he likes leaves him, everything he touches breaks, and almost everyone betrays him. That is a rough life for a creature only a few weeks old.
- Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan, Dracula’s Daughter): Dr. Frankenstein’s sane, and dependable teacher that tries to help save the mad doctor from himself.
- Little Maria (Marilyn Harris): A sweet, loving child that is the first character to offer the monster friendship without a selfish motivation.
- Ludwig, Little Maria’s Father (Michael Mark): The innocent farmer that is harmed by Frankenstein’s selfishness, and incompetence. He becomes the voice of the people.
- Victor Moritz (John Boles): Elizabeth’s friend who wishes that she would leave Dr. Frankenstein for him.
- Herr Vogel, the Burgomaster (Lionel Belmore): He leads the mob in hunting down the monster.
Almost everyone knows the story of Baron Frankenstein. And James Whale’s film is one of the best adaptions of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. It isn’t the most faithful adaption of the book, but it has the spirit of the book.
I rate Frankenstein (1931) 4/5 stars