Mary Shelley, when she was only 18, wrote
the novel "Frankenstein Or The Modern Prometheus"
as a story in a contest between friends, never guessing nor
intending, originally, that it be published.
The classic and definitive monster/horror
film of all time, Frankenstein is the screen version of Mary
Shelley's Gothic nightmarish novel. This film was produced
for Universal Pictures, the same year that Dracula (1931),
another classic horror film, was produced within the same
studio - both films helped to save the beleaguered
Significantly, this film launched the
career of actor Boris Karloff, who is surprisingly
uncredited in the opening credits of the film as the Monster.
In the beginning credits titled "The Players," the
Monster is listed fourth, with a question mark after its
name. In the end credits, however, where the cast list is
prefaced by - "a good cast is worth repeating...,"
the Monster is listed fourth with Boris Karloff's name
following. Karloff's performance is remarkable - his acting
communicated a hint of the humanity of the Monster behind
its hideous, stitched and bolted-together body.
sequel to this Monster story is found in director James
Whale's even greater film, Bride
of Frankenstein (1935). In addition to this
film, dozens of other adaptations have been made of the
Frankenstein horror story, as The Curse of Frankenstein
(1957), by Terence Fisher, with Peter Cushing as Dr Frankenstein
and Christopher Lee as the monster. The most recent one is
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), by Kenneth
Branagh and Francis Ford Coppola with Robert de Niro as the
film begins with Henry Frankenstein and his hunchback
assistant Fritz stealing a body from a grave and another
from the gallows. Later Fritz is sent to a medical
university where he is to steal a brain for Frankenstein's
creature. He accidentally drops the glass jar with the brain
and instead takes another, oblivious to the jar's label
"abnormal brain". Meanwhile Frankenstein's
fiancée Elizabeth and his friend Victor plan to visit
Frankenstein in his laboratory. After having received a
strange letter from Henry Elizabeth is worried about him.
Dr. Waldman's revelation, that her husband-to-be has left
university and was involved in strange experiments only
makes her more anxious. The trio arrive just in time to
attend Frankenstein's final experiment, the creation of an
artificial human being, which Frankenstein animates by
exhibiting it to electricity created by a thunderstorm.
Unfortunately, the creature turns out to be an ugly and dumb
brute unable to utter a single word. When the enraged
creature becomes troublesome Frankenstein locks it away in
the cellar. But the Monster, constantly tortured by Fritz
with a whip and a torch, breaks free, kills Fritz and Dr.
Waldmann and escapes. Meanwhile Frankenstein, believing
his creature to be destroyed by Waldmann, prepares for
hiswedding with Elizabeth. But the joyful event is suddenly
wasted when a peasant father arrives in the village carrying
his murdered daughter Maria. Soon a lynch mob lead by
burgomaster Vogel and Frankenstein leaves to kill the
Monster. In the mountains Frankenstein and his creature
finally meet. The Monster drags its creator into an old
windmill and throws him down the walls. Frankenstein's fall
is weakened by a blade of the mill and he survives. The
enraged citizens set the building on fire and the Monster is
supposedly burnt to death.