Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1935. Adapted by William Hurlbut, John L. Balderston, Screenplay by William Hurlbut, suggested by the story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Cinematography by John J. Mescall. Produced by Carl Laemmle Jr.. Music by Franz Waxman. Production Design by Charles D. Hall. Costume Design by Vera West. Film Editing by Ted J. Kent. Academy Awards 1935.
Superior sequel to the original reteams Boris Karloff and Colin Clive with director James Whale, this time with the new addition of the menacing Doctor Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) and the Frankenstein monster’s newly born bride (Elsa Lanchester). Lanchester also plays author Mary Shelley, who at the beginning of the film tells her two dear male friends about the monster’s survival from the first story and his subsequent adventures. Whale was not interested in making a sequel at the time the studio brought it to him, so when he finally gave in to the idea he employed a huge amount of creative freedom to enjoy making as ridiculous and overly-indulgent a film as possible. What results is a perfectly shot, beautiful inventive horror film with more social significance than the original, better sets and more excitement, plus Lanchester’s now legendary hairstyle. Fans will also want to take a look at the unforgettable film Gods and Monsters, which details Whale’s last years and makes many references to this film.