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Frankenstein (75th Anniversary Edition) (Universal Legacy Series)
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Returning from prior DVDs: The Frankenstein Files, an in-depth history of both literary and cinematic incarnations of Mary Shelley's monster; a feature commentary with Rudy Behlmer; various archival items; and Boo!, a comedy short with horror clips and spoofy narration. Added for this anniversary edition is a new commentary with Sir Christopher Frayling, who brings a spirited and learned attack to talking about the film. Also new is Universal Horror, a 95-minute documentary by Kevin Brownlow. As good as Brownlow's work generally is, this 1998 doc, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, is choppy, and ranges far afield from Universal's great run of horror movies. It's worth seeing for clips from very rare films and for interviews with the likes of Fay Wray, Gloria Stuart, Ray Bradbury, and Curt Siodmak. (It's also included in the Dracula anniversary set.) And there's "monster Tracks," a pop-up feature that gives onscreen info-bites about the film while you're watching it.
The best of the new features is Karloff: The Gentle Monster, a 38-minute documentary on the subject of the film's iconic star, whose career was made by the success of Frankenstein. It pays fond tribute to Karloff's beloved status as a horror giant, and makes the case that his career had real variety. Frayling and director Joe Dante are among the talking heads paying homage. --Robert Horton
Top Customer Reviews
As for the film itself, the production of FRANKENSTEIN was prompted by the incredible success of the earlier DRACULA--but where DRACULA is a rather problematic and significantly dated film, FRANKENSTEIN was and remains one of the most original horror films to ever emerge from Hollywood. Much of the credit for this goes to director James Whale, who by all accounts was deeply influenced by silent German film and his own traumatic experiences during World War I--and who mixed those elements with occasional flourishes of macabre humor to create a remarkably consistent vision of Mary Shelly's original novel.
Whale was extremely, extremely fortunate in his cast. Colin Clive was a difficult actor, but Whale not only managed to get him through the film but to draw from him his finest screen performance; Mae Clarke is a memorable Elizabeth; and Dwight Frye, so memorable in DRACULA, tops himself as Fritz. But all eyes here are on Boris Karloff as the monster.Read more ›
Classic monster tales don't rate any higher than Frankenstein. It really is the grand-daddy of all subsequent monster movies and Universal's classic is arguably the first real sound horror film. The film kicks off with an historic pre-credit sequence by Edward van Sloan, who warns the cinema audience of the 30's about the terror to come. The script, as adapted by John Balderston, bears little real resemblance to Mary Shelley's book (taken really from Peggy Webling's stage adaptation) and is really responsible for beginning the confusion over the identity of Frankenstein. (As we all now know the creator of the monster was named Frankenstein and not the creature he manufactured.) In putting together the story line, Whale drew on previous European cinematic monster incarnations (Der Golem/Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) for a visual style which became a classic to be imitated for decades.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very cool watching an old version of Frankenstein. It reminded me a lot of Young Frankenstein. Great movie to see if you have never seen it.Published 21 days ago by Mathew Mulligan
Classic. I don't buy many movies anymore with the advent of so many on-demand apps. But this is the one to have if you only buy one horror DVD. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Florida Outdoors Guy
I ordered this for my GD to see the original movie as she sees him in cartoons.Published 1 month ago by Linda R. Belair
My son read the original version of the book, then watched this movie to compare the two for a school assignment. He hated how different this movie is from the original story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by BSK
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Frankenstein Video Transfer||
I agree. I intend to read the DVD review sites to determine what, if anything, is improved/added to this release compared to the last one. Let's face it, I buy DVDs because I like the movie. Consequently the only thing a review site can do for me is guide me to the best video transfer with the... Read More
Aug 10, 2006 by TELZALL | See all 4 posts
|Should I upgrade from the '99 release?||
"Is it enhanced for 16:9 TVs?"
Nearly all movies before the 1960s, including "Frankenstein", were shot in 1.33:1 (4:3). So it wouldn't (or shouldn't) be enhanced for 16:9 TVs. In order to "enhance" it for 16:9 TVs they would have to shave off picture from the top... Read More
Mar 18, 2009 by Pressed Rat | See all 2 posts
|Which Version to Buy?||
Go with the Legacy version, which contains all 6 Universal Frankenstein movies. He can also see the monster in action in the film House of Dracula, which is included on the Dracula Legacy collection. Enjoy!
Jun 20, 2007 by Thomas G. Morrison | See all 4 posts
|Universal's Frankenstien and Marvel's Incredible Hulk -- The Same?||
You are definitely on the right track in your comparisons ... Stan Lee has said in interviews that his Hulk character was a combination of Frankenstein's 'monster' as well as the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story. I consider both Universal's early films and Marvel's 60's creations as Classic!
Oct 16, 2009 by Jose Juan Rodriguez | See all 3 posts
|Director James Whale||
Yes, Universal Home Video really needs to do a boxed-set "James Whale Collection." They need to bring "The Old Dark House" home, and the original version of "Waterloo Bridge" deserves to be seen again. Give Whale the respect he's long overdue Universal, and do it...
Aug 6, 2006 by R. Monteith | See all 2 posts
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