Poll: How old are your children? (select as many as apply)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Movie #20: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

"We belong dead."

Not to spoil the surprise for you or anything, but today is the first of two "Frankenstein" films in our countdown. I'm telling you, it's just how the ranking system worked out. Besides, they are both great films.


  • Rating: Unrated

  • Minimum Recommended Age: 9 (Common Sense Media: "On for ages 9 and up")

  • Quality Rating: 94.5% (Common Sense Media: 5 stars, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 8.9)

  • Number of Lists Recommend: 3

  • Running Time: 75 minutes

  • What does it have to do with Halloween? Nothing


The film follows on immediately from the events of the first film, and is rooted in a subplot of the original novel, Frankenstein (1818). In the film, a chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry's old mentor Dr. Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him.

Watch Out For

Common Sense Media: "The very young may find the monsters, crypts, and a laboratory crackling with electricity unnerving. Grave robbing, murder, tinkering with nature are the film's main themes. This film might scare grade-school kids out of their jammies, but that's why they'll want to watch it. But it's best for older kids and preteens, who will probably get fewer scares and more laughs out of it than younger kids will. Still, parents may want to remain close by."

Talk About It

Common Sense Media:
* Families can talk about the idea of "playing God." Where is this happening in real life?
* What do you think of cloning and other forms of manipulation? What are the ethics of it?
* What do you think about the way the Monster is treated? How does it make you feel?

Of Note

  • This film is widely considered to be one of the greatest sequels of all time
  • Ranks #1 on AMC TV's Best Horror Movies for Romance Haters list
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound (1936)
  • The censor's office, upon reviewing the film in March 1935, required a number of cuts. Whale agreed to delete a sequence in which Dwight Frye's "Nephew Glutz" kills his uncle and blames the Monster, and shots of Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley in which Joseph Breen, lead censor for the Hays office, felt too much of her breasts were visible.
  • The "body count" in the original cut was 21. This was trimmed to 10 after pressure from the censors.
  • Boris Karloff sweated off 20 pounds laboring in the hot costume and makeup.
  • Elsa Lanchester's shock hairdo was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.
  • Elsa Lanchester never receives on screen credit as "The Bride". The character is listed as being played by "?".


Watch It

Special: The Making of Bride of Frankenstein


John Rozum said...

How did your kids like it? I laughed looking through your screen grabs. They are such perfect parental warning images. I especially loved the drinking/smoking images.

Again, I'm really enjoying your countdown.

Stephen said...

My kids haven't actually seen this one yet, since the oldest ones are 7. We did watch "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" last weekend, though, and they liked that one. It was their first real Unversal monster movie. We also watched "Incredible Shrinking Man", which they also liked. The two oldest preferred "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein", and the youngest - age 4 3/4 - preferred "Incredible Shrinking Man".

Yeah, I try to post screen caps that represent what the "experts" consider to be the things to watch out for. I'm glad you liked them. Thanks for the comment, John.

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