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Frankenstein (75th Anniversary Edition) (Universal Legacy Series)

4.6 out of 5 stars 408 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Boris Karloff is the screen's most tragic and memorable monster in the Frankenstein 75th Anniversary Edition. Tampering with life and death, Dr. Frankenstein pieces together salvaged body parts to create a human monster. Director James Whale's 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley's masterpiece novel remains a timeless classic, and this 2-disc 75th Anniversary Edition offers an all-new digitally remastered picture of the greatest horror movie of all time. Frankenstein: It's alive!

Additional Features

A 75th Anniversary Edition of Frankenstein is a fine gesture toward a film classic, although fans who have already bought Universal's previous Frankenstein DVDs might want to weigh how much they need to upgrade an already acceptable package. The picture quality of Frankenstein in the "Classic Monsters Collection" and "Legacy Collection" was already pretty good (unlike Dracula, which was significantly improved for its 75th-anniversary issue). A few new features are added here, joining a roster of previously available extras.

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


Special Features

  • Karloff: The Gentle Monster
  • Monster Tracks
  • Feature Commentary with Rudy Behlmer
  • Feature Commentary with Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
  • Universal Horror
  • The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster
  • Frankenstein Archives
  • Boo! A Short Film
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, John Boles, Mae Clarke, Edward Van Sloan
    • Directors: James Whale
    • Writers: Garrett Fort, Francis Edwards Faragoh
    • Producers: Jr. Carl Laemmle
    • Format: Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
    • Run Time: 71 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (408 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000GPIPT2
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,837 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Frankenstein (75th Anniversary Edition) (Universal Legacy Series)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By J. A. Stankunas on October 1, 2006
    Format: DVD
    After disappointingly releasing James Whale's 1931 classic Frankenstein in two previous DVD editions, I had my doubts as to whether or not this edition would be any better. Would Universal give this classic horror film the treatment it deserved? To be honest, the previous DVD's special features were always great, like documentaries, audio commentary, ect.; but the one real issue that bothered me about the other editions was picture and audio quality. I can honestly say that, even after going as far as making a side by side comparison between the first release and this new edition, this new anniversary edition is the one to own. Much has been improved over the old versions, and I could not see any blemishes that exist here that did not exist before. The film now looks sharper, with significantly less dirt and dust, and the contrast of the expressionist photography has also been improved, with truer blacks and more subtle grays giving the film's cinematography the dark starkness it was intended to have, I dare say the film probably hasn't looked this good in years. And as a plus, they let the end credits fade to black like they were intended to, unlike in previous DVD editions when they strangely paused the end credits. As far as audio is concerned, it is good and loud, somewhat hissy, but not distractingly so. Extra special features also worth while. This new edition finally fives this classic the digital treatment it deserves and proves that even after 75 years, Frankenstein is still a fascinating landmark in early American horror cinema.
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    Format: DVD
    Although I have seen better prints of the film, this DVD issue of Universal Studio's famous FRANKENSTEIN is a magnificient package that is sure to delight any fan of classic horror. The film itself has been restored for content, and the Skal-hosted documentary--which traces the story from Mary Shelly's famous novel through its numerous film incarnations--is a delight, including numerous interviews with various historians, critics, and Karloff's daughter. The bonus audio track by Rudy Behlmer is also quite interesting, as are the various biographies and notes, and although the short film BOO is a spurious mix of footage from NOSFERATU, DRACULA, THE CAT AND THE CANARY, and FRANKENSTEIN, it is an enjoyable little throw-away. All in all, it doesn't get much better than this.
    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.
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    By A Customer on September 26, 1999
    Format: DVD
    At last! Isn't this what we all investment into DVD for? (or at least it is for me) Digging deep into their vaults (sic) Universal Studios have packaged the first in a promised series of Classic Monster flicks with suitable aplomb and style. This is the real classic of silver screen horror films and spawned a series of sequels which still reverberates today. Not only do we get the best possible print of the movie, uncut - yes the complete print including the full lakeside scene - but it is crowned with a host of extras which make full use of DVD. Not only is there an excellent audio commentary, but we are also given a tremendous behind the scenes look at the treatment of Mary Shelley's monster by Universal (crammed full of tantalising trailer snips from all the Universal canon). If you have a DVD player with Region 1 capabilities then you owe it to yourself to invest in this beauty.
    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.
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