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The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 9/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 0

An eccentric, campy, technically impressive, and frightening picture, James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein has aged remarkably well.

100

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

An eccentric, campy, technically impressive, and frightening picture, James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein has aged remarkably well.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 23,401

My Rating

Movie Info

This greatest of all Frankenstein movies begins during a raging thunderstorm. Warm and cozy inside their palatial villa, Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon), Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton), and Shelley's wife Mary (Elsa Lanchester) engage in morbidly sparkling conversation. The wicked Byron mockingly chastises Mary for frightening the literary world with her recent novel Frankenstein, but Mary insists that her horror tale preached a valuable moral, that man was not meant to dabble in the works of God.

Unrated,

Horror, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy

William Hurlbut

Aug 28, 2001

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (0) | DVD (13)

Screenwriters Hurlbut & Balderston and Director James Whale have given it the macabre intensity proper to all good horror pieces, but have substituted a queer kind of mechanistic pathos for the sheer evil that was Frankenstein.

October 7, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Karloff manages to invest the character with some subtleties of emotion that are surprisingly real and touching.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whale added an element of playful sexuality to this version, casting the proceedings in a bizarre visual framework that makes this film a good deal more surreal than the original.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Another astonishing chapter in the career of the Monster.

August 8, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whale's most perfectly realised movie, a delight from start to finish.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seen today, Whale's masterpiece is more surprising than when it was made because today's audiences are more alert to its buried hints of homosexuality, necrophilia and sacrilege. But you don't have to deconstruct it to enjoy it.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

James Whale's extravagantly produced sequel to his own Frankenstein still ranks as one of horrordom's greatest achievements.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

A riveting, funny, and suspenseful horror classic.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This was to be [director James Whale's] last horror film. Small wonder; what could he possibly have left to prove?

October 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A must for anyone with even a passing interest in horror, this not only confirms Karloff as a master of the genre, but also shows, more than any of Whale's subsequent films, the influence of his vision.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Whale's erudite genius brings it all together. He sculpts every nuance of self-parody, social satire, horror, humour, wit and whimsy into a dazzling whole, keeping every one of his fantastical plates spinning until the tragic, inevitable finale.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

one of the greatest movies i've ever seen

May 27, 2007 | Comment (1)

The greatest of all the Frankenstein films.

October 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Classic - the pinnacle of Universal horror

October 28, 2005
Film Threat

My Big Fat Monster Wedding.

March 30, 2005
Reel.com

[The film impresses] with its painterly and dramatic lighting, beautiful dissolves and tracking shots, sophisticated effects, and unexpected eccentricities.

December 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmjourney

One of those extraordinary films that transcends genre and period to provide fresh, untold pleasures year after year.

October 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Absolute classic horror, the best of the 'Frankensteins.'

October 14, 2004

Among the best of what Hollywood has to offer.

July 8, 2004

A horror mega-classic.

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

One of the best horror SEQUELS ever made.

March 27, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Audience Reviews for The Bride of Frankenstein

Whale returns to his Frankenstein with this amusing sequel that has an even campier, deliciously wrier humor and also offers a lot more depth to Karloff's Monster - and it all seems more complete here (despite its gaps in logic), including a score that was absent from the original movie.
January 25, 2014
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Even though 1931's "Frankenstein" was neatly wrapped up at the end, killing off the doctor and his monster, Universal intended to make a sequel to the monsterously successful film (Universal's policy was to use the same crew for the next film, which is why production was delayed four years, waiting for the director to become available again). Director James Whale wasn't crazy about making a sequel, and with "Bride of Frankenstein", he chose to have the monster speak (something Karloff was set against). The film begins with Mary Shelley and Lord Byron discussing the "complete" story of Frankenstein, the one never heard before. Of course the Doctor and the monster survived the fire at the wind mill, and as the doctor rested and recouped, the monster continued to reek havok on the villagers, exacting revenge upon them. That is, until he meets an old blind hermit who takes him in, and teaches him to speak. Doctor Frankenstein, meanwhile, is visited by a Doctor Pretorius, a scientist who, like himself, is in the business of creating life. But whereas Frankenstein does it by piecing together old bodies, Pretorius creates life from scratch (the flaw being that they're little miniature people). Pretorius wants to combine his work with Frankenstein's so that they might create a race of manmade people, and proposes that they work together to create a mate for the creature.

The film is a contrivance to be sure, but the uncomfortable creepiness of the monster is still there. In Mary Shelley's book, Frankenstein's monster was literate, capable of thought and feeling but evil because it had been created not by God, but by man and therefore was without a soul. In the film version of Frankenstein, the Creature is a failure of science, an aberration of nature, a sub-human. It's horrific by nature of it's existence. We may feel pity for it, but we cannot suffer it to live. "We belong dead!" screams the monster in it's horror, it's horror of self-awareness. Every fiber of it's being screams out for death, and yet it exists in spite of mother nature and God himself. Even the brief respite bought from friendship and food and wine can't satisfy. For the creature, life is only pain. And yet, it clings to it in spite of itself. It's one of the great mysteries of the monster, of "Frankenstein", and life in general. For some, "life is pain", for the rest, we can only shield ourselves from it's inevitable conclusion.
April 10, 2013
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

A sequel to the film "Frankenstein" this film from director James Whale does a much more adequate job of showing the plight of the monster. While the original dealt more with the animation and creation of the monster, and the crazed state of his creator, Dr. Frankenstein, this film deals more with what's happened in the aftermath. The original film showed the monster as a lifeless monstrosity, incapable of connecting with another person in a way that didn't ignite fear, and that was much more about the ugliness and fear brought about from the monster's rampage. This film humanized the monster, gave him the ability to speak, to yearn for another soul that understood him, and/or possibly love him. Painting the now injured and married Dr. Frankenstein as a man coming out of the fog of madness and yet not guilty for his crimes against those in the village, he isn't even prosecuted for his crimes. Instead he heals himself while locked away in his castle with his new wife Elizabeth and all his servants. Blackmailed by a Dr. Pretorius, who has Dr. Frankenstein's wife captive thanks to the muscle of the monster, Frankenstein has to animate a corpse for the monster to have a mate. The monster crawls around the countryside, finds a friend in a blind man, and is hunted by angry villagers. You feel bad for the monster in contrast to the original, mostly because he doesn't kill a little girl on accident. He still kills people, has the emotional and mental maturity of a child, but there's something so hopeless to his anguish. You wonder how he could possibly feel anything whilst being undead and all. Still, the compassion, misanthropic vantage point, and ambitious effects and cinematography make this a classic film on par with the original.
March 26, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Septimus Pretorius: I grew them from seed.
    – Submitted by Don G (11 months ago)
    1. Minnie: It's a doctor Prae-tor-ius, he says, on a secret grave matter, he says.
    – Submitted by Don G (11 months ago)
    1. The Monster: Yes, go! You live! Go! [to Pretorius] You stay! We belong dead!
    – Submitted by Adam O (15 months ago)
    1. Dr. Septimus Pretorius: Alone you created a man. Now, together we will create his mate.
    2. Henry Frankenstein: You mean...
    3. Dr. Septimus Pretorius: Yes. A woman. That should be really interesting.
    – Submitted by Dennis L (17 months ago)
    1. The Monster: You stay. We belong dead.
    – Submitted by Slade U (2 years ago)
    1. Mary Shelley/The Bride: It's a perfect night for mystery and horror. The air itself is filled with monsters.
    – Submitted by Richard L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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June 17, 2009:
Neil Burger Circles Bride of Frankenstein Remake
Universal and Imagine are in talks with Neil Burger to direct a planned remake of 1935's "Bride of...

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