Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection (Frankenstein / The Bride of Frankenstein / Son of Frankenstein / The Ghost of Frankenstein / House of Frankenstein)
DVD | Box Set
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For the first time ever, the original Frankenstein film comes to DVD in this extraordinary Legacy Collection. Included in the collection is the original classic, starring the renowned Boris Karloff, and four timeless sequels, featuring such legendary actors as Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. These are the landmark films that inspired an entire genre of movies and continue to be major influences on motion pictures to this day.
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What is not great are the double-sided DVDs which - for some unknown reason - Universal keeps putting its classic collections on. They can last, but you have to be both careful with them and lucky that they work OK to begin with. What is also not great is that this set lacks the wonderful 90 minute documentary "Universal Horror" that is in the 75th anniversary edition of Frankenstein.
The extras in this set are as follows:
Van Helsing director Stephen Sommers hosts an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how these original Frankenstein films inspired his film.
"The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster," an original documentary.
"She's Alive!": Creating the bride of Frankenstein, an original documentary.
Film historians provide insightful commentary to Frankenstein (Rudy Behlmer) and Bride of Frankenstein (Scott MacQueen) on an alternate audio track.
Original theatrical trailers, plus the 1931, 1938, and 1951 reissue trailers for Frankenstein.
Boo!: A short film made from what is left of 1930's "The Cat Creeps", which was a sound version of the classic 1927 silent horror film "The Cat and the Canary".
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein original poster and photo galleries.
Newly remastered audio track.
Classic horror fans agree that Karloff's superb face, intended emotions and acting skills were visible through the pounds of makeup. The fact that Karloff could clearly convey his expressions like no other under these conditions is a tribute to his skills. Numerous other actors have tried and fallen short of his performance. My small personal circle of learned classic horror movie fans actually have a saying which is "Karloff's face was half of the makeup".
I will just state that the DVD transfer was excellent and note that I loved the film on my large format TV. Sadly, I don't have the memory of seeing this film on an actual full scale theater screen to compare it to, although I have come close when watching an excellent 16 mm copy in a privately owned theater. It was an amazing experience.
Memories of the grand opening of this film in New York were described by my mother (who most definitely was not a fan) who noted that nothing had ever been seen like Universal's Frankenstein on the screen before. A nurse was on call for each showing because of the numerous patrons who passed out and an ambulance and hearse were located outside the theater to add to the mood and to promote effective publicity.
I must say that the nay-sayers who gave such poor reviews to these wonderful collections based upon their own individual playback issues caused more than a little concern for me. Perhaps they should try their disks in more than one type of DVD player. Not all DVD players like all disks.
I sincerely recommend these collections for what they are; good quality in both audio and video. Certainly as good or better than when they were shown on TV in the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Perhaps for those un-pleasable few who complain that their quality isn't up to modern standards; take a look at when they were made. There was no such thing as high definition or 5.1 surround sound in the 30's, 40's or 50's. Give it a rest!