Frankenstein - The True Story
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Experience all the horror and suspense of the timeless Frankenstein story, now available on DVD for the first time ever in this unedited 3-hour version! With an incredible cast, including Jane Seymour, Agnes Moorehead, Michael Sarrazin, James Mason and Leonard Whiting, this film faithfully retells Mary Shelley's unforgettable story. Victor Frankenstein's medical experimentations result with the shocking discovery that he can revive the dead. But when his creature becomes a killer, is anyone safe? Find out in this gruesome, heart-pounding thriller created by legendary talents such as screenwriter Christopher Isherwood and makeup artists Roy Ashton. Experience the tragedy and terror of Frankenstein like never before!
Hints of sublime horror lurk in a big pile of camp lunacy in Frankenstein: The True Story. While a subtitle like The True Story might make you think this 1970s TV production hews close to Mary Shelley's classic novel, it's safe to say that Shelley's opus did not include crawling disembodied arms, sinister Chinese coolies, solar power, or the flabbergasting paisley dressing gown that Dr. Frankenstein wears for one brief but startling scene. In fact, The True Story deviates from Shelley's story in almost every detail. In this version, the young and handsome Dr. Frankenstein (Leonard Whiting, star of Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet) is lured into reviving the dead by the obsessive Dr. Clerval (David McCallum, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), who gruffly tosses off lines like "Fail? That is a word I shall teach you to forget!" and "This was specially prepared with chemicals--I'll explain what they are later." Clerval's untimely death doesn't stop Frankenstein from bringing his Creature to life in the form of the jaw-droppingly handsome Michael Sarrazin (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?). Alas, tissue degeneration soon sets in--but the oily, sinister Dr. Polidori (James Mason, Lolita) arrives to make things even worse with his plan for a female Creature in the form of the even more jaw-droppingly dewy and luscious Jane Seymour (later to becomeDr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). Most of Frankenstein: The True Story rattles along as enjoyable badness, but every so often an image flares up that's genuinely creepy--when Frankenstein's fiancee Elizabeth is menaced by an undead butterfly, the scene is laughable and eerie at the same time--and though Whiting is stiff, Mason and a parade of cameo stars (including John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, and Agnes Moorehead) inject the movie with the sort of sinister relish that animated the classic horror of the black and white era. --Bret Fetzer
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But the movie's story isn't pretty. It isn't scary in a way like an action movie is, or even in the way that we expect Frankenstein movies to be, for it's about hubris, and its consequences. The writer of the script was a man of letters. The action here is in the heads of the actors, all of whom, with the exception of Elizabeth's parents and Dr. Frankenstein's landlady, are either possessed of hubris or seduced by it.
The only thing that isn't likeable, though, is that women here are portrayed as being in the way of male bonding. The closest, most intimate relationships are between Henry Clerval and Dr. Frankenstein, and then between Frankenstein and his monster, who die together, it appears, at the end. But the monster can't die. He's tried to kill himself several times. The movie ends with a mass of snow and ice cascading on them, so you wonder, does the monster dig himself out? What does that say about us? Is Henry Clerval the Id and Dr. Frankenstein the Super Ego? Does the monster represent the degeneration of the Id? There's many ways to spin this story.
Evidently there is a bad batch of DVD's out there.
A bad substrate will cause your player to hang and skip and quite often lock up when the disc itself has no dirt or scratches or any damage at all.
I was never able to finish watching the movie.
I have purchased 3 copies and not only do all fail, but they all fail in the same place.
Read that again...ALL FAIL IN THE SAME PLACE (between scene 6 and 7) virtually on the same frame.
This means.... it is a source problem.
A 3 hour movie on DVD requires a dual layer disc.
Of all the discs out there, the dual layer DVD is the one with the most troubles.
It is not your player or a dirty disc, this is a huge batch of badly produced DVD's.
NOTE: I tested all 3 discs on more than one player and more than one computer. (all tests failed... all 3 dvd's are defective)
I have seen this before, it is rare but happens in batches.
So the last time I bought this DVD it froze in the middle of watching it. It will jump forward a few chapters and then freeze again.
I sent it back to Amazon and ordered a replacement.
The disk that arrived today does the EXACT SAME THING.
There's nothing wrong with my region free Blu Ray player. It plays every other disc I own perfectly.
Does anyone else own this on DVD and have a similar problem with it?
UPDATE...My Blu-Ray player finally gave up and couldn't finish playing the disc. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTED!