Bride Of Frankenstein

Director: James Whale (1935)
Starring: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson
Find it: IMDB, Amazon

Black and white movies can be good too (true story, there should have been an exclamation mark in that sentence. But exclamation marks actually make me angry. They bring me out in hives). Bride Of Frankenstein, despite being old and black and white, is one of the greatest horror movies ever made and also the greatest movie with a Bride Of... in the title.

Close, Star Trek, but no cigar.

Following their apparent burning-by-villagers-with-flaming-torches, it emerges that Doctor Frankenstein (Clive) and his Monster (Karloff) still live. Understandably jaded by his horrific experiences, Frankenstein plans to quit the scientisting business. But the mad Doctor Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) has other ideas, and kidnaps Frankenstein's wife, hoping to encourage him to build The Monster a mate. That's a mate in the biblical sense, by the way. Although The Monster could probably use some friends too, poor soul.

What you have there is a plot description that completely fails to describe the genius of Bride Of Frankenstein. A classic in every sense of the word, Bride Of Frankenstein is all at once touching, disturbing, funny and beautifully strange. That's not just me gushing because I want to sound clever by liking olde movies, I really do love Bride Of Frankenstein. There's a reason some movies become classics, and Bride's credentials are evident in every scene. Of particular enjoyment is a scene in which an uncharacteristically vocal Monster enjoys a cigar with a new friend, and another - truly bizarre bit - in which Doc Pretorius unveils a collection of miniature people (or "homunculi" as he calls them. The word homunculi doesn't get nearly enough usage these days). Then you've got tragic moments, such as The Monster being bullied by idiot villagers and a sense of loneliness conveyed to perfection by Boris Karloff.

Yes, I love Bride Of Frankenstein, and not just because I want to seem cool. It's a true masterpiece, and probably the greatest Frankenstein movie ever made.

Sorry, Ken.

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