Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)



Critic Consensus: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is ambitious and visually striking, but the overwrought tone and lack of scares make for a tonally inconsistent experience.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Director Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of Mary Shelley's classic horror novel stars Robert DeNiro as a terrifying monster created in an obsessive attempt to defeat death and stretch the limits of medicine in the early 19th century. With the use of flashback, a dying Dr. Viktor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh) divulges a tale of gruesome terror to a sea captain (Aidan Quinn): As a medical student, the rebellious Frankenstein elaborates on the work of a brilliant scientist (John Cleese), successfully bringing to life a "man" assembled from the body parts of corpses. Upon realizing the destructive consequences of his experiment, Dr. Frankenstein abandons the creature and attempts to return to a normal life with his medical partner, Henry (Tom Hulce), and his fiancée (and adopted sister), Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter). In the meantime, the nameless creature struggles with loneliness and rejection from society until he sets out to track down his creator in search of one of two things: a bride to keep him company or revenge. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) was produced by Francis Ford Coppola, who previously directed and produced monster-drama Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).more
Rating: R
Genre: Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Steph Lady, Frank Darabont
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 7, 2001
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Kenneth Branagh
as Dr. Victor Frankenst...
Tom Hulce
as Henry Clerval
John Cleese
as Prof. Waldman
Aidan Quinn
as Capt. Walton
Ian Holm
as Victor's Father
Richard Briers
as Grandfather
Robert Hardy
as Prof. Krempe
Cherie Lunghi
as Victor's Mother
Celia Imrie
as Mrs. Moritz
Alfred Bell
as Landlord
George Asprey
as Policeman
Ryan Smith
as William
Charles Wyn-Davies
as Young William
Rory Jennings
as Young Victor
Christina Cuttall
as Young Justine
Hannah Taylor-Gordon
as Young Elizabeth
Susan Field
as Frau Brach
Jimmy Yuill
as Grigori
Chris Barnes
as Ship's Crew Member
Shaun Prendergast
as Ship's Crew Member
David Kennedy
as Ship's Crew Member
Tommy Wright
as Ship's Crew Member
Paul Gregory
as Ship's Crew Member
Chris Hollis
as Ship's Crew Member
Robin Lloyd
as Ship's Crew Member
Alex Lowe
as Ship's Crew Member
Graham Loughridge
as Ship's Crew Member
Simon Cox
as Ship's Crew Member
Robert Hines
as Ship's Crew Member
Lonnie James
as Rough Woman
Jenny Galloway
as Vendor's Wife
Peter Jonfield
as Rough Man
Edward Jewesbury
as City Official
Francine Morgan
as Assistant Midwife
Sue Long
as Woman in Labor
Michael Gould
as Stablehand
Max Gold
as Servant
Abigail Reynolds
as Mansion Staff Member
Theresa Fresson
as Mansion Staff Member
Mark Inman
as Mansion Staff Member
Dudi Appleton
as Mansion Staff Member
Meriel Schofield
as Mansion Staff
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Critic Reviews for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (9)

Kenneth Branagh has indeed created a monster, but not the kind he originally envisioned.

Full Review… | June 20, 2008
Top Critic

Watching the movie work itself into an operatic frenzy, one remains curiously detached: the grand gestures are there, but where's the music?

Full Review… | March 31, 2008
Top Critic

Not frightening, just silly.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Branagh is in over his head. He displays neither the technical finesse to handle a big, visually ambitious film nor the insight to develop a stirring new version of this story.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Branagh doesn't evoke terror, only repulsion.

January 1, 2000
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

As this movie switches, unevenly, from swashbuckling adventure to classic horror to frilly-shirted romance to campiness to graphic gorefest, there's no telling what you're watching.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Slightly better than 'Bram stokers Dracula' in the sense that its more sensible and realistic with less cheese haha De Niro is believeable as the monster and Brannagh is actually just right for 'Victor'. The rest of the cast much like Coppola's Dracula is pretty impressive and gives the film a real epic sense with the likes of Cleese, Holm, Carter, Quinn and Briers, the only difference is this film doesn't have any major let downs performance wise like Dracula does with Reeves and Ryder. Helena Bonham Carter is perfect in the film, she fits anything like this really, any dark period drama...she fits it haha.

The visuals are damn good with that cracking gothic feel of course, you get a really good sense of dirty, dusty creaking wooden floorboards set against age old science with lots of odd looking machines created by Frankenstein, rotten body parts and murky dark cemeteries, you can almost taste the sweat and dampness of it all hehe.

There isn't anything especially stunning here I must confess, its pretty bog standard despite having De Niro against type casting as the monster, by the numbers without anything to really make it a classic. Its better than Coppola's film casting wise that's for sure and makes abit more sense but there is nothing that really stands out. Hard choice if you put De Niro up against Oldman for best monster performance, I guess Oldman may take it but this film would win for everything else I reckon.

Not as visually stunning as Coppola's Dracula maybe but certainly more down to earth.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

This adaptation by Kenneth Branagh is much like Coppola's version of Dracula, they are very close to the original works of their respective creators. Branagh's vision for the adaptation of the classic Horror work is superb. I read the book in my early teens, and still remember ii, it's one of those books you do not forget. By what I remember, Branagh kept [pretty much everything intact. The film has an old school monster atmosphere, but is modernized slightly. The cast do a fine job at bringing the classic characters to life and the story is chilling, creepy and has everything you'd expect from a classic horror film. Robert De Niro plays the monstrous creation created by Victor Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh plays Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious young doctor who seeks to defeat death. Instead he unleashes a monster who is bent on ruining his life. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an underrated horror film. Critiques of the film has been severely unfair and some downright dismissive. But this horror story is really a close adaptation of Shelly's work, and though not perfect, it does have enough momentum to terrify the audience as it tears across the screen. What you have here with Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is a good, underrated film based on one of the greatest horror tales of all time.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Quotes

– Submitted by Bonnie F (3 years ago)

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