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The Bride of Frankenstein

USA 1935
produced by
Carl Laemmle jr for Universal
directed by James Whale
starring Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Ernest Thesiger, Elsa Lanchester, Valerie Hobson, Una O'Connor, O.P. Heggie, Dwight Frye, E.E. Clive, Lucien Prival, John Carradine, Gavin Gordon, Douglas Walton
screenplay by John L. Balderston, William Hurlbut, somehow based on Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley, electrical effects by Kenneth Strickfaden, make up by Jack Pierce

Frankenstein, Universal horror cycle, Universal's Frankenstein, Frankenstein's monster (Boris Karloff)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After having realized creating artificial life was to great an ordeal (see Frankenstein from 1931), Henry Frankenstein decides to give up science & dedicate his life to his bride-to-be Eliuabeth (Valerie Hobson). But enter Dr.Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) who has created life on his own in the form of bizarre hommunculi, and who now needs Henry to create real, human life ...

In the meantime the monster (Boris Karloff) proves to have not died at the end of the previous film (again, see Frankenstein from 1931) after all & soon roams the countryside again. Soon though he is caught by an angry mob, tied up, tortured, stoned, chained up & imprisoned ... but chains can't hold the monster for long & soon he, in his quest for happiness, flees the prison to some remote regions, where he stumbles upon the hut of a blind hermit, who, not seeing him, offers him his friendship & teaches him some basic linguistic & logical skills as well as the joys of drinking & smoking (now that's not something you would see in today's repressive Hollywood cinema anymore).

Of course such an idyll cannot last, & soon 2 hunters who are passing by (one of them John Carradine) misjudge the situation & in an attempt to save the hermit burn down the hut & organize a posse to hunt down the monster. Only just can the monster escape when hiding in a crypt at the local cemetery, & wouldn't you know it, it is exactly the crypt Pretorius is doing his graverobbing in (& actually, he is even having a meal in the crypt). Pretorius of course soon realizes the possibilities of the monster to persuade Frankenstein in helping him create a woman & he persuades the monster to kidnap Elizabeth to always have a hostage ready should Henry refuse ...

Reluctantly, Henry now agrees to help Pretorius create a mate for the monster ... who turns out to bw a rather beautiful woman (Elsa Lanchaster), wasn't it for the scars from all the stitching up. However, when the new creature realizes the role intended for her as the monster's bride, she - despite the monster's greatest efforts to approach her in a friendly way - cries out in terror.

It is then that the monster realizes his existence is doomed, lays his hands on the self destruct-lever of the lab (do all labs come equipped with this ?), allows only Henry & Elizabeth - who has just been freed - to leave & blows up the lab, and himself, the bride & Pretorius with it ...

Dwight Frye has a small & insignificant part as Karl, another hunchbacked assistant, Lucien Prival is a butler, Una O'Connor & E.E.Clive have comical roles as Frankenstein's maid & the burgomaster (mayor) respectively.


Bride of Frankenstein is a rare example of a sequel outdoing the (already great) original, (Frankenstein, 1931), & James Whale has achieved that by slightly shifiting the tone of the movie towards black humour, with great performances (above all by Ernest Thesiger), darkly surreal elements (the most obvious being Pretorius' hommunculi) & some poignant dialogue. This all, complemented by the lavish & creepy Universal sets & a fluid & inventive driection make this a horror masterpiece.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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