Film: Frankenstein

Opened: November 21, 1931

Directed by: James Whale

Starring: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, Frederick Kerr, Lionel Belmore, Marilyn Harris & Michael Mark

Though it deviates from its source material, Frankenstein is a classic monster movie from Universal whose images have dominated the test of time.

Scientist Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) digs up body pieces from graves to assemble a new creature. When he brings his monster (Boris Karloff) to life, the monster wreaks havoc. Frankenstein’s fiancée Elizabeth (Mae Clarke) and friend Victor (John Boles) worry about his state of mind.

Frankenstein’s monster is literally a monster in this film. Unlike Mary Shelley’s depiction of him gaining knowledge, the monster here becomes a killer without learning to enter the modern world. It creates a fantastic villain but lessens the story.

Clive is fantastic as the mad scientist, but it’s Karloff who claims a spot in cinema history as the monster.

Final say: Still brings life. ★★★★☆

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