Summaries

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Movie review coming on 10/20/2023

Film and Plot Synopsis

In one of the most popular horror films of all time, The Bride of Frankenstein, Karloff reprises his role as the silver screen’s most misunderstood monster who now longs for a mate. Continuing exactly where the original left off, the critically acclaimed sequel introduces Dr. Pretorius as a deranged scientist who forces Dr. Frankenstein to help him create a companion for the monster. Once again directed by Whale and adapted from Mary Shelley’s classic novel, the sequel features outstanding makeup and special effects, instantly making the Bride of Frankenstein.

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‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) The film begins with a fictitious Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester)—the author of Frankenstein—talking to Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton) and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) about her book. She says Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and his Monster (Boris Karloff) did not die at the end of her novel.

We then get a flashback to 1931’s Frankenstein film to set up this new tale…

The old mill has collapsed from fire and is now in ruins. The Monster is presumed to be dead, so the town’s mayor (E.E. Clive) orders the assembled mob to return home. All leave except for the father (Reginald Barlow) of the little girl whom the Monster had accidentally killed in the first film. He’s not going to believe the Monster’s truly gone until he sees the dead body with his own eyes.

His wife (Mary Gordon) tries to stop him, but he falls through a hole that leads to a flooded cavern below the mill and she loses sight of him. The Monster rises out of the water where he was hiding and kills the man. Once the Monster climbs out of the cavern himself, he kills the wife.

The Frankensteins’ servant, Minnie (Una O’Connor), is also still wandering about the charred remains and runs into the Monster next, but she runs off before he can kill her. Unfortunately for her, no one believes her when she hysterically reveals the Monster is still alive and well and on the loose. So she washes her hands of the whole thing.

Henry is revealed to be alive at this point and now wants nothing more to do with the Monster and sets out to live a peaceful life with his new bride (Valerie Hobson). However, his old professor, Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), appears and demands his former student continue working on creating new life, but this time with him as a partner. He entices Henry with a tour of his own lab where we learn Pretorius can only grow people a few inches tall.

As this goes on, the village learns that the Monster is still alive and hanging out in the nearby woods. They capture him and throw him in the local police dungeon, but once alone, the Monster escapes and heads back to the forest with the locals in hot pursuit.

The Monster eventually comes across a blind old hermit (O.P. Heggie) playing the violin in his ramshackle cabin. The two lonely souls bond over music, cigars, and wine. While the Monster understands humans, he can not speak for himself and the hermit teaches him some words.

This love-fest is spoiled when two travelers stop for directions. They quickly spot the Monster and attack him. In the ensuing fracas, the hermit’s cabin catches fire, and the Monster is forced to run off. (The travelers save the blind hermit if you were worried.)

The Monster makes his way to a tomb where he has a chance encounter with Dr. Pretorius. Pretorius bribes the Monster with cigars and wine and the two head over to the Frankenstein mansion to kidnap Frankenstein’s lovely bride. Once they do, Pretorius blackmails Henry into returning to his castle to help him create a bride for the Monster.

Henry and Pretorius successfully create a female monster (Elsa Lanchester), but the Monster horrifies her as well. Sad she won’t be his friend, the Monster lets Henry and his wife go before pulling a lever that destroys the castle, himself, the new female Monster, and Dr. Pretorius.

Will the Monster of Frankenstein survive? Watch 1939’s Son of Frankenstein to find out!

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Universal Pictures released The Bride of Frankenstein on April 20, 1935. James Whale directed the film starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, and Colin Clive.

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