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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Top customer reviews
Anyway, Frankenstein movies are great in this movie pack of the legacy collection, the original, and so on. I too can remember spooky saturday nights(1970's and 1980's) when a good ole classic was put on television when I was growing up, and all the older movies were a delight to watch. The extras with the movies are a must have to watch too, and I can't rightly figure out how they can improve these movie sets except the usual recent treatments of movies into blue ray, but these regular dvds get upconverted anyway to near hd standards in my blue ray player panasonic bd605 refurbished, that I bought through amazon last month as refurbished(basically last years model renamed and new). Played on my 720P 32 inch lcd screen, and the blue ray, resolution is way way way better than any old saturday night movie I ever seen as a kid, thats for sure.
Well, anyway, there you have it, its my opinion that these collections have been out there so long it is a risk not getting them if you were on the fence about buying them or some other new goody, might be best to get these while they are still released.
"BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN," while an amazing film in its own right, tends to get oversold, in my opinion. James Whale, frustrated that the movie-going public had taken his first film on such a surface level, attempted to re-emphasize the points he made the first time around, externalizing Dr. Frankenstein's conflict by introducing a second mad scientist to embody his obsession, exaggerating the monster's personality and innocence by giving him speech and allowing him to state these sentiments directly, and by providing blatant verbal ruminations about the issues raised in this film - issues of life and death, gods and monsters, loneliness and friendship, and even rage and thoughts of suicide. All of this wonderfully potent content was there in the first film, but Whale yells louder in "Bride," hoping someone will actually hear him this time. Even the highly memorable scene with the blind man in the hut is really just an echo of the dramatic ramifications of the monster's encounter with the young girl by the river in the first film. Brief moments of pleasure and happiness are inevitably destroyed by cruel fate. While "Bride" is still a superb film, especially with stronger, more brilliantly expressive shots than the first one and richer, more terrifying production value (especially towards the end, when the Bride is finally brought to life), I think it's a mistake to call this film superior to the original. When you look closely, it does little to actually raise the stakes or take the franchise to a new level.
"SON OF FRANKENSTEIN" was clearly the recipient of a surprising amount of effort on the part of the studio, but that effort didn't get it very far. In addition to the legendary Boris Karloff, Universal brought screen legend Basal Rathbone and Universal's own legend, Bela Lugosi (Dracula) to the project. Additionally, the director seemed to have a clear artistic vision for the film, utilizing a mixture of Modernism and Expressionism in his sets, lighting, and over-all shot composition, apparently attempting to depict the three disconnected worlds of the new Baron Frankenstein (modern, scientific, detached), the villagers (medieval, worn, cramped), and the old Laboratory (chaotic, asymmetrical, unnatural). Unfortunately, the script fails to deliver, giving us characters with fantastically intriguing potential, but ultimately no internal conflict nor character development. Nothing is ever truly at stake in this film beyond the lives of a few villagers and the freedom of Dr. Frankenstein. Whereas the first two Frankenstein films were intense character studies (one could even argue that, like the Incredible Hulk, Dr. Frankenstein and the monster represented conflicting aspects of the same person), there is absolutely no depth of character to be found in this film. Even Karloff, who gets thrown a bone with two short, emotional scenes that are almost entirely irrelevant to the plot, does not get to act until almost an hour into the film, and spends most of the remaining time as a thoughtless henchman serving another villain. Karloff, in his final appearance as the Frankenstein monster, is relegated to supporting cast in a franchise that should have been centered entirely upon his character. This is a decent film for a lazy Sunday viewing, but I would hesitate to call it memorable or even a worthwhile inclusion in this franchise. Side note: Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" is based almost entirely upon this installment in the Frankenstein series.
"GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN" is, undoubtedly, the weakest installment in the Frankenstein series. By this point, the premise has completely lost its way, borrowing heavily from the previous film and practically ignoring the heavy themes, astonishing artistic value and, above all else, humanity contained in the first two films. In this uninspired tale, the Frankenstein monster, still befriended by Ygor (from the last film) has become far more casual about killing and terrorizing than in previous installments. Whereas the creature once sought understanding and only met violence with violence, he now kills whenever someone puts a hand on his shoulder or happens to be in his way. Perhaps this is a logical progression after so many disastrous encounters with people over the years, but director Eric Kenton fails to lend any sense of tragedy to this fact, treating the monster as a cold, viscous killer whose only redemptive quality is that he befriends children. Gone is any sense of the overwhelmingly earthy protagonist from the first two films. He truly has become little more than a monster. Perhaps I could have forgiven the film if that had been all the damage it dealt to such a beloved character, but it goes much further. By the end of the film (no spoilers here), the Frankenstein monster has been utterly ruined beyond salvation, surgically changed into a far more generic, dramatically void antagonist that was never going to earn another sequel. An otherwise brilliant franchise was stopped dead by one truly tasteless installment.
"HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN," the final film in this collection, is a surprisingly excellent installment. Boris Karloff is brilliant as the mad scientist, J Carrol Naish plays a stunningly sympathetic hunchback, and the writing and directing are both truly memorable. The problem is that this isn't a Frankenstein film. It's not even the team-up film it claims to be. A terribly executed Dracula appears in the first 30 minutes of the film (which are entirely irrelevant to the rest of the story), and the Frankenstein monster is literally animated in the last ninety seconds of the film. Beyond that, this is clearly a Wolf Man movie, continuing directly from the "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" film featured in the Wolfman Legacy Collection. It spends most of the film focused on Larry Talbot (The Wolfman) and does a tremendous amount to build upon and enrich his story in amazing ways, but it does not do the same for Dracula or the monster, both of whom seem tacked on without any artistic considerations, included merely for advertising purposes. It's saddening to consider how Karloff must have felt watching his legacy tarnish before his very eyes. That consideration aside, this is a very solid Wolfman film, but I absolutely wouldn't even bother with it unless you're a fan of Larry Talbot and have already seen "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman."
It's hard to deny that this is one heck of a collection, if only because it contains both the original "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein" in one inexpensive volume, but I'd hesitate to view the addition of the other films as much of a bonus. Granted, there are those of us who recall these films with fond childhood nostalgia, but, if you're not already familiar with the three remaining films, then I wouldn't expect to be too impressed with them. Buy this collection in order to own two of the greatest horror stories ever shown on the big screen. Save the rest for an evening when you're feeling bored and morbidly curious.
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FRANKENSTIEN & BRIDE OF FRANKENSTIEN have now reissued on Blu-ray in new HD...Read more
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