Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

In James Whale's superior sequel to his 1931 classic that was a frightening, but campy, classic horror film from Universal:

  • in the film's prologue set in Lord Byron's (Gavin Gordon) estate on a stormy dark night, original Frankenstein novel-author Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), a 19 year-old bride who was due to marry poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton), defended her novel. She argued that it was more than a story about a mad scientist and a monster
  • during a flashback, the Monster (Boris Karloff) made his first appearance chest-deep in water when he emerged from the dark shadows under the burnt-down windmill - he did not perish in the fiery castle at the end of the first film Frankenstein (1931), but had miraculously survived; as the creature revived, he went on to murder two peasants - Hans (Reginald Barlow), the peasant father of the little girl the Monster accidentally drowned, and his wife (Mary Gordon)
  • the seriously-wounded Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) was restored to health and cared for by his fiancee-bride Elizabeth (Valerie Hobson)
  • the delightfully evil, eccentric, emaciated, but weird and mad alchemist-scientist Dr. Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), formally one of Henry's teachers, arrived at Frankenstein's castle, where Henry was recuperating. When they traveled to Pretorius' laboratory, he unveiled for Henry the results of his experiments with creating life - several miniature homunculi - six small figures (that he had grown from seeds) in glass jars or bottles ("There is a pleasing variety about my exhibits") - the specimens were a Queen, a King, an Archbishop, the Devil, a Ballerina who only danced to Mendelssohn's "Spring Song", and a Mermaid
  • Pretorius was able to ultimately compel and convince Henry to artificially make a female companion/mate (Elsa Lanchester) to placate the lonely Monster
  • during the Monster's countryside rampage as he was pursued by townspeople through surrealistic woods and settings, he peacefully encountered a beautiful young shepherdess (Ann Darling) and saved her from drowning, but then was captured by the villagers, and briefly chained in a dungeon; after his escape, the Monster appeared when hungry to a family of gypsies roasting meat on a campfire spit (and burned his hands in the hot fire)
  • the Monster was also attracted to a blind Hermit's (O. P. Heggie) refuge when he heard the hermit playing a violin; the hermit taught the Monster lessons in how to eat, drink, smoke, and play music ("We are friends, you and I"); there was tremendous pathos in the characterization of the Monster (with facial expressions, gutteral responses, and actually words of dialogue)
  • the Monster met with grave robber Pretorius in a crypt/mausoleum, when the crazed doctor promised to make a life-sized "friend" for the Monster, who exclaimed with a smile: "Woman. Friend! Yes, I want Friend like me!"; the Monster expressed his self-knowledge about his creation by Henry: "I know. Made me from dead. I love dead. Hate living"; as he handled a skull, the Monster repeated Pretorius' promise: "Woman. Friend. Wife"
  • in a classic scene, the Bride (Elsa Lanchester) was created and then reanimated or "born" with cracks of lightning bolts (Frankenstein: "She's alive, alive!"), and there was a revealing moment when her eyes opened - seen in a slit in her bandaging; after the unveiling of her face with the unwinding of bandages, she was shown with a wild electrified hairdo and jerky twitching movements
  • in a great movie moment, the Monster met his Bride when she let go with a piercing shriek of rejection and revulsion -- and the Monster despaired: ("She hate me, like others")
The Monster's Bride
  • in a climactic scene, the Monster decided to spare Henry Frankenstein (and Elizabeth) by permitting them to rush to safety outside, but planned on killing himself, the Bride, and Dr. Pretorius by pulling a level to set off an explosive: ("Yes, go! You live! Go! (To Pretorius) You stay! We belong dead!")
  • in the finale, explosions rocked the stone-tower and rubble and buried everyone inside alive, while on a hillside closeby, Elizabeth and Henry happily embraced as he offered comforting words to her: "Darling. Darling"
Explosions Destroyed Laboratory and Stone-Tower: Elizabeth and Henry Watched and Embraced

Mad Scientist Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) With Bell-Jars

The Six Homunculi Specimens

Hungry Monster Appearing to Gypsies

The Monster Smoking with the Blind Hermet

Monster to Pretorius: "Yes, I want Friend Like Me"

The Bride's Unwrapping


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