Bride Of Frankenstein

Bride Of Frankenstein

Director: James Whale Cast: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

DVD (Black & White / Mono)

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The best horror movie in the entire history of Universal Pictures just got better. The Bride of Frankenstein remains one of the finest horror films (and also one of the best horror-comedies) ever made, and it has received a glorious new digital video transfer here. The sharpness of the picture and the crispness of the audio are all essential -- and alone would make this a perfect representation of the movie -- but the real value in this disc lies in its bonus materials. The disc features a 40-minute documentary about The Bride of Frankenstein and director James Whale, hosted by director Joe Dante and including the contributions of a half-dozen scholars and historians (and the progeny of Boris Karloff and Dwight Frye), which gives a surprising level of insight into Whale. There are a few annoying flaws -- one wishes they hadn't included the clip from Bride of Chucky to illustrate the influence of Elsa Lanchester's monster on popular culture, and also that the documentary didn't hook itself quite so often around Gods and Monsters, the fictionalized film account of Whale's career and later life. It is nicely put together overall, however, and also is highly informative when it avoids these lapses. The other major highlight of the bonus elements is the audio essay by Scott McQueen that accompanies the movie on one of the alternate soundtracks; McQueen regales viewers with information about earlier scripts for a proposed sequel, the backgrounds of various actors, cuts made in the script and in shots, elements of studio politics, and other material connected to the image on the screen. But he sometimes does it at the expense of what viewers are seeing; his narration slides right over the shot reintroducing Karloff's monster in this movie, and McQueen can talk a little too long and fast for the good of the movie. On the other hand, his depth of knowledge is astonishing -- including the names of the actors who portray Dr. Pretorius' miniature human creations in those tiny glass containers -- and one will come away from screening the narrated film completely immersed in the day-to-day history of the movie, and Universal Pictures, and Hollywood circa 1934-35. Good as the whole narration is, one must take issue with some elements of its structure; McQueen is silent for long stretches later in the movie, as though he runs out of steam, and one wishes that the audio accompaniment had been better structured, so viewers aren't quite so overwhelmed in the first part of the movie and served so intermittently in the second. The Bride of Frankenstein Archive shows stills, lobby cards, and other visuals associated with the movie to the accompaniment of Franz Waxman's score, and there are detailed onscreen production histories and cast biographies. There's enough on The Bride of Frankenstein here to keep even the casual viewer having fun for a week. The menu is easy to utilize, though one wishes that the DVD went to it first and not automatically to the movie.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/19/1999
UPC: 0025192063220
Original Release: 1935
Rating: NR
Source: Universal Studios
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [monaural]
Time: 1:15:00
Sales rank: 21,409

Special Features

"She's Alive: Creating the Bride of Frankenstein" original documentary; Feature commentary with film historian Scott MacQueen; The Bride of Frankenstein Archive; Production notes; Cast and filmmakers; Theatrical trailer; Universal web links

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Boris Karloff The Monster
Colin Clive Henry Frankenstein
Valerie Hobson Elizabeth Frankenstein
Elsa Lanchester Mary Shelley/The Bride
Ernst Thesiger Dr. Septimus Pretorius
Dwight Frye Karl
O.P. Heggie The Hermit
E.E. Clive Burgomaster
Una O'Connor Minnie
Peter Shaw Devil
Lucien Prival Otto
Lucio Villegas Priest
Douglas Walton Percy Bysshe Shelley
Tempe Piggott Auntie Glutz
Helen Parrish Girl
Josephine McKim Mermaid
Edwin Mordant Coroner
Monte Montague King
Joan Woodbury Queen
Ted Billings Ludwig
Walter Brennan Neighbor
John Carradine Huntsman
Norman Ainsley Archbishop
Billy Barty Baby
Reginald Barlow Hans
Mary Gordon Hans's Wife
Helen Gibson Woman
Neil Fitzgerald Rudy
Gavin Gordon Lord Byron
Grace Cunard Woman
Anne Darling Shepherdess
Kansas de Forest Ballerina
Gunnis Davis Uncle Glutz

Technical Credits
James Whale Director
John L. Balderston Screenwriter
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Charles Hall Art Director
William Hurlbut Screenwriter
Ted Kent Editor
Carl Laemmle Producer
John Mescall Cinematographer
Jack P. Pierce Makeup
Franz Waxman Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter List
1. Main Titles. [1:31]
2. Lord Byron. [3:52]
3. The Story Resumes. [2:27]
4. Blackened Bones? [4:48]
5. Henry Recovers. [4:46]
6. Private Business. [3:40]
7. The Experiments. [4:28]
8. In The Woods. [5:12]
9. Captured? [3:57]
10. The Blind Man. [9:54]
11. In The Cemetery. [6:27]
12. Unwelcome Visit. [4:57]
13. Unlawful Work. [4:04]
14. Where's Elizabeth. [3:08]
15. Waiting For Life. [5:54]
16. She's Alive! [1:48]
17. Rebuffed. [3:06]
18. End Titles. [:32]

Customer Reviews

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Bride Of Frankenstein 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is no other movie like this in Hollywood history. Thinking of the Wizard of Oz in black and white with a few killings along the way is my imaginary comparison.
LaylaCD More than 1 year ago
As a collector of classic horror, this belongs on my shelf, but despite the praise (albeit well deserved) I can't take to this film like I did to Frankenstein. Whale was a wonderful director, and crafted 2 great films here....his work has truly stood the test of time. What was really good about this bluray were the extras...Frank Pierce who created the iconic makeup for these films, died jobless & penniless, discarded by the studio. Kudos to the modern makeup craftsmen that recognize their debt to the hard work Pierce did and Karloff went along with. One of the best things about watching this film is realizing what a wonderful actor Karloff was. And James Whale was a VERY funny man....the wit is in this film is wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago