Logline: Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster demands that his creator make him a mate.
Review: James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein is a great sequel to his 1931 original. The sequel is more outrageous and larger than life than the first. Boris Karloff is back as the Monster and Colin Clive as his creator. Now able to speak, Karloff’s Monster continues to be a sympathetic character yearning for companionship.
One of the film’s strengths is the way in which it blends horror, humor, and emotional poignancy. The film’s most touching moments are between the Monster and the blind hermit, two misunderstood outcasts shunned by society. Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorious and Unna O’Connor as Minnie provide great comic relief. Thesiger is particularly memorable and steals nearly ever scene in which he appears.
Like the first film, Bride’s visual style is unforgettable. Whale, an often overlooked filmmaker, displays his masterful direction. The film’s climax does not disappoint with Elsa Lanchester appearing as the Monster’s Mate. With her towering hair and white gown, the Monster’s Mate has become nearly as famous as the Monster himself.
The film has many religious images that can be considered sacrilegious but slipped past the censors of the day. The film also includes an unforgettable score by Franz Waxman. Even though I prefer the original, Bride is a great sequel and remains a horror classic.
Rating (out of four stars): ***1/2