21/10/2013

Frankenstein (1931)

Film: Frankenstein
Release: 1931, theatrical
Starring: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
Directed by: James Whale
Next in the series: Bride of Frankenstein
IMDB page: Link opens in a new window
Description: The young genius and heir to the Frankenstein baronial title, Henry, has secluded himself with his work. Far away from prying eyes. His highest ambition to give back life to the dead, he steals corpses in the night.

Hans' thoughts:

Released at the heels of Dracula and arguably the most popular of the classic Universal Pictures horror line-up, Frankenstein has become one of the most imitated monster movies of all time. From the scientist/hunchback dynamic to the childish demeanor of the monster itself. When people think of Frankensteins monster these days, the look of it is almost always similar to the monster design from this movie, it is just iconic. Rightfully so, for this is to this day a really good movie and honestly one of the best ever made. People who has not even seen this film know of scenes from it and can make at least one quote from it. It's just that much of a powerhouse.

Normally, this is credited to actor Boris Karloff who portrayed the monster. I can see why, he manages to turn the monster into both an imposing and sympathetic creature. Held back by the world around him and treated cruelly despite of how calm it starts out. My personal favorite performance of the movie however is that of Doctor Henry Frankenstein himself, Colin Clive plays the doctor and boy does he do a good job, through the first part of the movie he is obsessed with his work and he pulls a face of pure desperation and insanity, it's so intimidating yet unpredictable that it's stunning, you can never really tell what kind of lengths this man has gone for the sake of his experiments.

As for the other actors they all do a decent enough job, mind you however that this was just after the silent movie era and you can tell that some of these actors mimic more convincingly than they talk - probably originally trained for theatre. By that I mean that some of the supporting cast is unfortunately really stiff in their delivery, case in point is the female lead who just isn't interesting to look at, however I will give her credit for being a frontrunner for the scream queen characters.What more can you say about this version of Frankenstein? From it's well thought out sets to some of the most quoted lines in history Frankenstein from 1931 has turned out to be one of the most well made movies to this day, the even more interesting part is that it still holds up even more than even some movies released much later.

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