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The Bride [Frankenstein]

   

The Bride (1985) starring Sting, Jennifer Beals, Clancy Brown, David Rappaport

The Bride is a retelling of Frankenstein – more specifically, it takes the story of The Bride of Frankenstein in a totally different direction. And creates a very enjoyable movie in the process.

Review

In many ways, The Bride is one of my favorite Frankenstein movies. It’s not dreadfully faithful to the original novel — but that’s okay. It makes for a very enjoyable movie.

It flips some characterizations around. Dr. Frankenstein is not only obsessed with science, he’s a jerk. A jerk willing to rape The Bride …. If he could get away with it. The creature (who calls himself Viktor here), isn’t a soulless murderer. Instead, he’s a lonely, lonesome individual. A creature who becomes a person, during his interactions with his first true friend.

The bride herself, Eva, is more of a person. She’s not initially rejected by Dr. Frankenstein, but protected and taught by him. For his own purposes. But she reaches out to the disfigured Viktor early in the movie, demonstrating her kind character. And, Viktor’s scars fade over time, visually showing him becoming a more “real” character.

The acting, sets, costuming, etc. are all gorgeous. In short, I highly recommend The Bride.

Rinaldo and Viktor in "The Bride"

Cast

  • StingFrankenstein. Yes, Sting’s a famous singer. But here, he’s a very good actor. He portrays a brilliant, egotistical, scientist. A man who plays God. And considers himself above consequences.
  • Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) … Eva. The Bride of the title. Initially created for Viktor, within moments of her “birth”, she rejects him — not knowing who or what he is, much less what she is. She develops into a lovely, kind woman. She later shows kindness to Viktor, not recognizing him. Eva and Viktor have some kind of bond. But Frankenstein wants her for himself.
  • Anthony Higgins (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) … Clerval. Frankenstein’s friend and sounding board. As self-centered as he is.
  • Clancy Brown (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) … Viktor. The creature, who gradually discovers that he’s a person. His friendship with Rinaldo is one of the highlights of the movie. Clancy literally deserved an Oscar nomination for his performance.
  • David Rappaport (Time Bandits) … Rinaldo. The little person, who befriends Viktor, on his way to join a circus. He invites Viktor to join him, and likely find a job at the circus. At first, I thought he was going to try to take advantage of Viktor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone should have a friend like Rinaldo. His eventual death is heartbreaking.
  • Geraldine Page (The Rescuers) … Mrs. Baumann. Frankenstein’s housekeeper. Whom Frankenstein tasks with teaching Eva manners and culture.
  • Alexei SayleMagar. Owner of the circus. “I don’t like that dwarf …”
  • Phil Daniels (Chicken Run) … Bela. Magar’s right-hand man. He belittles Viktor, and threatens Rinaldo. And he likes knives …

Secondary characters

  • Veruschka von Lehndorff … Countess. Hostess of the party, where Frankenstein exposes Eva to the upper crust. “You never told me about cats. I thought it was a small tiger.”
  • Quentin Crisp … Dr. Zahlus
  • Cary Elwes (Princess Bride) … Josef. The young soldier, who notices Eva at the party. He later begins pursuing Eva romantically.

Editorial review of The Bride courtesy of Amazon.com

Sting stars in this version of the Frankenstein story as the obsessive doctor, who manages to create the perfect woman (Jennifer Beals) after years of research. Naming her Eva, she initially is little better than an animal, but gradually Frankenstein grooms her into a cultured and sophisticated debutante. He is unprepared however for her growing independent spirit and her burgeoning sexual desires. As Frankenstein struggles to deal with the person he has created, his original creation (Clancy Brown), takes to the road under the assumed name of Viktor. After becoming a circus performer, he finds that he cannot escape the psychic link with his ‘bride’, and returns to Frankenstein’s castle to find him in a bitter love triangle with Eva and a shallow new suitor (Cary Elwes).

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