Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Bride of Frankenstein

"Frankenstein" (1931) is a classic like a great steak, a baked potato and Weller's whiskey.
That makes the sequel of "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) a classic dessert like Miss Maven's grandmother made~~Her Black-Bottom Pie was exquisite in its richness and complexity . . . and took forever and half the kitchen to make!!
Miss Maven considers the casting of Elsa Lancaster to be a stroke of genius as she is not only Mary Shelley in a prologue but also cast as the Monster's Mate.
Which raises the question that Miss Maven has had for years:
Just WHO is referred to as "The BRIDE of Frankenstein" since Boris Karloff's character was frequently called "Frankenstein" at the time?!?!
Another thing is that Dr. Frankenstein and Elizabeth hadn't married yet at the end of "Frankenstein." They still don't seem to be married at the beginning of the sequel when Elizabeth is running around in his bedroom with a negligee on. They seem to have been married when Pretorious shows up with the Monster.
One thing different about "The Bride of Frankenstein" from the original is that it gives the audience a visual texture that you'd swear that it was in technicolor. The sets were also larger and more detailed.
This detail carried over into the story with the added antics of Una O'Connor (she of "The Invisible Man" fame) who was Elizabeth's maid. She shrieks the line "He's alive!" at the beginning of the movie and makes it as memorable as Dr. Frankenstein's "It's alive!" in the original.
Dr. Pretorious is Ernest Theisger from "The Old Dark House" (also with Boris Karloff) and the audience could well imagine that his "mad scientist" could well produce a race of little people! Not to mention having a picnic in a catacomb later in the movie.
Colin Clive reprises his Frankenstein, only more angst-ridden. Miss Maven wanted to shock HIM with some of the electrodes from his own lab. He HAD to have money, a castle and a title to get any woman interested in him!
This is as much a gottahave as "Frankenstein," a companion work, if you will!
[Spoiler]
There is also a big blooper at the end if you pay attention. Elizabeth shows up at the lab and Frankenstein lets her in. The Monster tells them to leave and then pulls the lever that will blow them to atoms.
We see the Frankensteins leave and then he pops up in two different shots as the Monster blows up the laboratory!
If Universal Studios knew how to clone people in 1932, why didn't they patent it?!?!
The story is great and flows from start to finish and includes another Laboratory scene that matches the original and arguably surpasses it only because of longer length.
So enjoy it like a deliciously decadent desert!
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May Miss Maven also suggest a "dummy noir" film at
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Miss Maven can be reached at

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