Time: 70 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
SYNOPSIS: Henry Frankenstein is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He suceeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again.
BOTTOM LINE: Without a doubt, this is the best version of Shelley's gothic monster tale. Though filmed on a shoestring, everything about this movie is first rate from the acting to the set design, music to story. Whale grabs you from the first frame with strong visuals, meant to disgust and intrigue. Everyone knows the story of this terrible monster pieced together from the dead flesh of other human beings, brought to life by the arrogant genius of Dr. Henry Frankenstein. Colin Clive is wonderful as the morally bankrupt scientist who defies all the laws of nature by playing God. Craziness and contempt ooze from him during most of the film.
It's not until the monster comes home to play and almost destroys Henry's life that he realizes how wrong he was. Karloff was wary of playing the creature, but instead of it being his downfall, he creates a character you will never forget. Though clearly dangerous, he gives the monster soul and heart, making him both scary and sympathetic. After all, he didn't ask to be brought back and has no concept of right and wrong. In fact, all he wants is to be accepted. All he gets is hatred and a painful death. What makes this more than a monster movie is the intelligent, thoughtful script that delivers its' message in a powerful, yet fairly subtle way. A great pic that transcends its genre.