28 July 2014

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
75 min.
Directed by James Whale.
With Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Ernest Thesiger, Una O'Connor, O. P. Heggie, E. E. Clive, Gavin Gordon, Douglas Walton, Dwight Frye, John Carradine.
Only because James Whale's seminal 1931 classic Frankenstein is so perfectly structured and paced would we even attempt to suggest that Bride - his superb 1935 followup - is just *slightly* overrated, since it's often evaluated as an 'improvement' over its preceding big brother.

Suffice it to say, Whale's genius achieves an equal zenith in both films.

In this first true sequel, The Monster has escaped the fire at the end of the first film and now finds that sheer existence means nothing unless there's a companion with whom to share it.

Aided by the flamboyantly creepy Dr. Pretorius (Thesiger, in a performance both scene-stealing and deliciously subversive), the creature persuades Dr. Frankenstein (Clive) to make him a mate. But love can't be cooked up in a laboratory!

A terror masterpiece, this beautifully combines witty black humor, suspenseful pacing, stylish sets and heartbreaking performances. While Karloff turns in another genre-defining stint as the Monster, Elsa Lanchester is equally wonderful in a dual role as both author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley...and "the Monster's Mate."

Also known less popularly as The Return of Frankenstein.

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