The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Article #16 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 3-31-2001
Posting date: 8-14-2001

 

Dr. Frankenstein discovers that the monster still lives after the fire at the windmill, He is also visited by the evil Dr. Pretorius, who wants his cooperation in creating a mate for the monster.

This is one of those movies I can watch repeatedly and I never tire of it. I not only consider it James Whale’s masterpiece, but it’s my favorite horror movie of all time. Not that it’s scary anymore, mind you, but it’s one of the richest, most entrancing cinematic experiences I’ve ever had. Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Dwight Frye and Una O’Connor are all great, but the movie is stolen by Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorius, my all-time favorite mad scientist; he’s certainly the wittiest one ever devised, with a collection of some of the greatest lines in horror movie history. Still, the best scene of the movie is the most unexpected; the monster’s encounter with the blind hermit is absolutely heartbreaking, even given the way it was brilliantly parodied years later by Mel Brooks in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

One of the signs of a really great movie is the way you can get more and more out of it with repeated viewings. The observation I made this time round was that Karl (Dwight Frye) is present when the monster is first taken by the villagers; he is leaning against a tree, grinning (if I remember correctly). I was wondering what he was doing in that scene, and then I realized that the monster had been blamed for murders that were never shown, and that Karl was known to be a murderer. Could it actually have been Karl who was responsible for the deaths? It’s something to think about…

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