Frankenstein Goes to the Movies
Frankenstein Goes to the Moviesand to Broadway - onceFrankenstein, 1831 IllustrationIllustration by Theodor von Holst from the frontispiece of 1831 edition of the novelThe Monster looks like a body-builder, an over-developed human male
Frankenstein, 1931 FilmThe classic monster, i.e. the one most people envision when one says FrankensteinThe Monster is large, ugly, and muteIntroduced the idea of the criminal brain supplied by the hunchback assistantA makeup artist designed the flat head look
Bride of Frankenstein, 1935 filmBoris Karloff returns as the MonsterThe Monster speaks in broken sentencesThe Monster convinces Henry Frankenstein to make him a bride, the bride rejects the Monster and he destroys the two of them
The Curse of Frankenstein, 1957English film that focuses on Baron Victor Frankenstein more than the MonsterVictor assembles the Monster from a corpse found swinging on a gallows and hands and eyes purchased from a charnel house
The Curse of Frankenstein, cont.Victor kills an aging professor to obtain a sharp brain for the Monster.Victors mentor tries to stop Victor and the brain is damaged.Victor wins and implants the damaged brainThe Monster is intelligent, psychotic, and violentEventually the Monster is dissolved in acidFrankenstein, 1981 Broadway playOpened and closed January 4, 1981Reviled by criticsInvolved puppetsOne critic described the Monster as bland and elaborately made up with the requisite cranial fissures[but] just a beery lout in a Halloween costume.
Frankenstein, 1994 filmOften follows the Shelley novel with a few notable exceptions:Victor fashions the monster from the brain of his mentor and the body parts of the man who murdered his mentorHenry Clerval doesnt dieVictor stitches Elizabeth back together and brings her back to life
Frankenstein, 1994 film, cont.Robert De Niro plays the MonsterRoger Ebert said the movie is short on villainy but loaded with the tragically misunderstood. Even the Creature, an aesthetically challenged loner with a father who rejected him, would make a dandy guest on any daytime television talk show.
Young Frankenstein, 1974 filmA parody of the 1931 film which used many of the original propsCritical favorite and box office smash as a COMEDYPreserved in Library of Congress National Film Registry
Young Frankenstein, 1974 film, cont.The Creature loves violin music and hates sparksWith Frederick, the Creature performs Puttin on the Ritz but can only shout his song lines in painfully high-pitched monotonesHowever, he dances impressively with almost perfect timing
Other interpretations of the Creature