Scary Movie Review: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Title: Bride of Frankenstein
Release Date: April 20, 1935
Director: James Whale
Production Company: Universal Pictures

This sequel is widely-regarded as better than the original, and I agree with the assessment. Some of the iconic moments of Hollywood Frankenstein lore originate in this movie rather than its predecessor. This includes the absolutely brilliant sequence where the monster (Boris Karloff) befriends a blind hermit (O.P. Heggie) which is full of humanity. Of course, we also get to see the monster’s “bride” (Elsa Lanchester) with the famous streaked hair, but not until the very end of the film.

The movie does have some surprises though. It begins with a delightfully campy prologue in which Mary Shelley (Lanchester, again) tells her husband and Lord Byron that there is more to the story. I’m also pleased that Shelley gets credited under her own name this time. With Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) having regained his sensibilities, a new and madder scientist appears in the form of his mentor Doctor Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger). In one of the weirdest and most unsettling moments of the movie, Pretorius shows off that he has created living humans, albeit tiny ones that live in jars. The movie also prominently features Una O’Connor as Minnie, because the one thing the Frankenstein franchise was lacking was a comical Irish maid.

The Bride of Frankenstein is a bit uneven, but better paced and more surprising than its predecessor. The pair of movies still make for an enjoyable evening of scary entertainment.

Rating: ***1/2

3 thoughts on “Scary Movie Review: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

  1. Wasn’t Dr. Frankenstein’s first name Victor? Not sure if I’ve seen this one but have seen pics of the Lady Frankenstein with the white streak in her hair. So they left out Igor and replaced him with an Irish maid? lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. I remember several modern remakes, but none (except Young Frankenstein) can compare in quality to those old ones. I’m disappointed they changed Victor’s name that far back.


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