The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

bride of frankenstein poster 1935 movie
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Classic Universal Horror film


Movie Info

Movie Name: The Bride of Frankenstein

Studio: Universal Studios

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): April 22, 1935

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

bride of frankenstein blind man monster boris karloff

You’re no Gene Hackman

Frankenstein (Colin Clive) has survived his Monster’s attack at the windmill, but unfortunately, the Monster (Boris Karloff) has survived also. Now Frankenstein’s mentor Doctor Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) and the Monster have contacted Frankenstein and the Monster is demanding a mate. Frankenstein’s only solution is to create another monster…a Bride for the Monster (Elsa Lanchester).

Directed by James Whales, The Bride of Frankenstein is a sequel to the 1931 film Frankenstein.  The movie was released to critical acclaim and often is considered greater than the original by critics.  It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1998.

The Bride of Frankenstein is a classic.  As a kid you grow up with images of the Bride plastered all over Halloween because of her iconic hair and ties to the Monster.  Despite being a part of the Universal Monster lexicon, the Bride is a bit unusual because she only appears in a short portion of the film…but it is the path to the Bride’s creation and the stylish directing that make The Bride of Frankenstein one of Universal’s best horror films of the classic period.

bride of frankenstein experiment pretorius ernest thesiger colin clive

It’s alive! It’s alive….(again)

The movie often is noted as being a “director’s movie”.  James Whales was openly gay in a period of time where that wasn’t common, and he had a lot of creative control over the product.  As a result, the movie is often studied by LBGT scholars especially since the film is combined with a lot of Christian imagery at the same time.  The movie’s ending is almost the cruelest of jokes with the Bride being made for the Monster and even finding the Monster too hideous for her.  It is a fun twist that you don’t even really see coming.

The movie also is strong because it brings back the cast of the original Frankenstein.  Colin Clive continues to eat up his scenes as the “mad” scientist who unleashed the Monster while Boris Karloff is given more range as the Monster with some minimal speaking and more ties to the original story including the sequence with the blind beggar.  Elsa Lanchester not only gets to play the title character, but she also appears at the start of the film as Mary Shelley who is telling her story of Frankenstein in a loose recreation of how she originally came up with the story.

bride of frankenstein monster elsa lanchester boris karloff

Wait til you see what I have planned for the wedding night, baby

Visually, the movie looks bigger than the original.  Frankenstein was one of the best looking Universal Monster movies, and Whales improves on it here.  The look of the Bride herself is worth watching the movie and she only appears for five minutes or so.

The Bride of Frankenstein is a great film and fans of the genre must see it if they never had made the time. Comedy fans of Mel Brooks will also like it because you can see the basis for Young Frankenstein (a great film on its own, but much enriched by viewing this film). The Bride of Frankenstein is a great example of classic horror and can be enjoyed by young and old.  The Bride of Frankenstein was followed by Son of Frankenstein in 1939 (Whales did not return for this outing).

Related Links:

Frankenstein (1931)

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

House of Frankenstein (1944)

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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