“Frankenstein” (1931) directed by James Whale, starring Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff & Dwight Frye / Z-View

Frankenstein (1931)

Director:  James Whale

Screenplay by:  Garrett Fort, Francis Edward Faragoh based on FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

Starring: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye and Marilyn Harris.

Tagline: The Man Who Made A Monster!

The Story: 

Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Clive) dreams of creating a living being from body parts stolen from cadavers.  Frankenstein’s hunchbacked assistant, Fritz (Frye) steals the corpses of  recently hung criminals.  When Frankenstein achieves success, his creation becomes uncontrollable.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Although based on Mary Shelley’s famous novel, the movie uses her story as a springboard.  The “monster” looks different than Shelley described thanks to make-up artist Jack P. Pierce.  Universal copyrighted the look through 2026.  In the novel the “monster” is intelligent and able to carry on conversations.  It was quite a shock for me as a kid reading the novel after seeing the movie.

Although Boris Karloff isn’t listed in the opening credits, and is covered by heavy makeup throughout the film, Frankenstein made him a star!