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BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, 1935
Starring: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Dwight Frye and Colin Clive
Dr. Frankenstein and his monster both turn out to be alive, not killed as previously believed. Dr. Frankenstein wants to get out of the evil experiment business, but when a mad scientist, Dr. Pretorius, kidnaps his wife, Dr. Frankenstein agrees to help him create a new creature, a woman, to be the companion of the monster.
On a dark and stormy night, three friends, Lord Byron, Percy Shelly and Mary Shelly (Elsa Lancaster), are up late watching the lightening storm. Lord Byron in a talking mood, starts to discuss a recent wager he and the other two had about writing a horror stFrankenstein come from this wager, but so did the origins that would become Dracula written by Lord Byron). Byron continues to talk about how horrifying Mary’s story was and wishes that she had written more.
Mary tells him that the story isn’t over, as she begins to narrate, the scene is changed to the old burnt down mill that was at the original movie. The townspeople, believing that the monster is finally dead, load Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) in the back of wagon and return him to his estate.
The rest of the townspeople leave as well, except for the father of the young girl that had been drowned in the first film, he is wanting to see the charred remains of the creature, ignoring the pleads of his wife. As the man looks over the edge of a well, aUna O’Connor’s character sees the creature and runs back to the town, when she reaches them as they are carrying Henry’s body into the house, who is in very bad shape. As the villagers place Henry’s body on a table, they are met by his fiancé Elizab.
While Henry is in bed resting, he is visited by his former mentor Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), who begs Henry to create another monster with him. Henry, obliviously wants nothing to do with this idea and forces Pretorius out, not until after Pretorius sh
Soon after, the monster, who has been on the run for a while, stumbles across a group of Gypsies who are about to sit down for a meal. At this point, the monster is very hungry and approaches the people begging, the best way he can for a piece of food. Seeithe police office. This does not last long as the monster is able to break the chains and goes on the run again.
While on the run again, the monster hears a violin playing in the distance, so he goes towards it. He comes across a modest hut and sees a lone man playing. The monster opens the door and growls, this however does not frighten the man who is blind and welcosoup and allows him to sleep. Not knowing how much time has pass, it comes obvious that it was enough time that the blind man was able to teach the monster few words, like food, good, bad, basic stuff.
The monster is on the run again, when he happens upon a graveyard, where he knocks over a statue of a bishop revealing a crypt, so the monster hides out there. Shortly after he enters, Dr. Pretorius and two henchmen also enter, carrying the coffin of a recenugh, Pretorius welcomes him, gives him food and drink and recruits the monster to help him force Henry into creating a female monster. The monster likes this idea and agrees to help.
Henry and Elizabeth are planning on leaving the country shortly, one reason to be married the other, to avoid the monster, but before they are able to get out, Pretorius visits Henry, and while he is talking him into helping him, the monster kidnaps Elizabeth.
The next scene is in the familiar lab of Henry Frankenstein, on top of a mountain with all the gadgets and machines from the first film. After several attempts and failures, Henry is finally able to get everything right and create life. In a very similar scenario Pretorius and Henry help the monster out of her bandages and help walk around a little bit. About this time, the female monster sees the original and screams, which causes him to cry. It is at this time that Elizabeth who had escaped from her prison rushes , pulls a leveler and the lab explodes.
Considered the greatest “film” or the “crowning jewel” the first wave of the Universal Monster Movies, The Bride of Frankenstein was the long waited sequel to the first Frankenstein, and it was well worth the wait. For nearly four years the studio begged Whale to make the sequel but he kept putting it off, until he finally got the okay to make the movie the way he wanted to. Universal was not about to turn down this request and what wdidn’t make as much as the first film, Universal was praised for the beauty of the movie, many consider it insulting that the film did not receive an Oscar nomination for best picture that year.
I tend to agree with most of the praise that goes along for this movie, although it isn’t my favorite, I still love watching it. This is another film that I really wouldn’t consider a monster movie, but instead a drama with some horror in it.
For true horror fans, if you haven’t seen this, then you probably aren’t that true of a fan. However for those of you who are just now discovering the Universal monsters, this is an absolute must viewing. Enjoy.
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN