Frankenstein (1931) - Drama, Horror, Romance

Hohum Score



An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

IMDB: 7.8
Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke
Length: 70 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 48 out of 564 found boring (8.51%)

One-line Reviews (209)

Clives performance is no doubt where the mad scientist trope came from, he is very intense in everything he does, going slightly mad from trying to do something that no man has ever dreamed.

The climax in a windmill is riveting as the chase conclude and angry torch wielding villagers seek justice.

The lighting is immaculate and it sets the mood as dreary throughout the entire film, it is almost one of my favorite aspects of the film.

The thunder resonates in the background, inside the ominous laboratory, an elaborate machinery and confusing electric devices infuse the secret ray of life into a seemingly lifeless body...

What Whale is able to create is a compelling vision of his own that inspired filmmakers for many years to come.

Well worth watching, and it goes without saying that if you are a true horror fan then sooner or later you must see this film.

Being able to see the first film and how it started out is so fascinating.

I also loved how the camera man followed the monster around the woods, it made the scene more thrilling and I was curios to see what would happen next.

And this being an original horror, made this one of the most enjoyable movies I have watched, thus far.

But it is interesting and even thrilling in its bourgeois domestic frame of mind; it begins more chillingly, it goes on rather tamed and blandly conciliatory.

Films should stay at one pace, if you want it to be slow and have action it is fine.

Mary Shelly's book, "Frankenstein" was, IMHO very boring.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

They were important because you get all the information you need to understand what's occurring throughout the film but man they dragged on.

It is hard to believe that it has been over 70 years since this wonderful production was first released, but that not withstanding, it is a hauntingly beautiful, disturbingly tragic work of pure genius which is still just as compelling today as it was when it was made.

The overall movie is enjoyable and is something any classic horror fan will enjoy and appreciate.

Interestingly, the pre-Monster part (the iconic creature only appears after thirty minutes) is intercut with scenes involving Henry's love interest Elizabeth (Mae Clarke) sharing her concerns with her bland (and obviously infatuated) friend Victor (John Boles).

A lot of those '30s horror classics look too dated and are too slow.

There was a sequence in the film that I did find pretty intense and the rest of the monster scenes were just flat out fun to watch.

He did in a way abandon his fiancé and became so immersed in his work that nothing else mattered.

I have seen this on the big screen and highly recommend it if you can catch it at a film festival.

The plot is thin and predictable.

I was expecting something a little more serious, a little more drawn-out, a little longer, and then I remembered that that was not how films were typically made back in the 1930s.

In the film the creature has a big head with boring hair licked touching the forehead, and bolts (or metal plates) strung around his neck.

Boris Karloff serves as a perfect monster; his slow lumbering steps and his tall stature make him seem inhuman as if he were really created in a laboratory.

Five out of ten for being well made, but I wouldn't give it any more simply because it bored me.

The use of imagination was incorporated into the making of this film and gave viewers a suspenseful thriller with good use of human emotion.

The fear, confusion, and longing that the novel describes are evident in the monster's actions, to the point of pushing the audience to root for him.

A horror movie to me is more intense, more off screen gut twisting scenes.

The plot line was boring and very predictable with the exception of the little girl being thrown in the river.

Colin Clive remains compelling as Henry Frankenstein, the intense medical adventurer, although he seems pushed to the brink at times by director James Whale, a smart, imaginative filmmaker who didn't always know when to apply restraint.

but much more of a fascinating picture.

The acting alone makes this film worth watching.

I've heard critiques of this film claiming it to be "boring," "overrated," and "not scary.

To explain further, it's a bit boring, and drones on in certain instances, and doesn't do a satisfying job at being a horror film.

However if you're bored and want to see a classic that paved the way for almost every horror story now made, yes go see it.

Not having any emotional connection to the characters, and therefore no connection to the film's moral questions, this leaves the film rather bland for me.

See Dr F's monster making his way through a gorgeous bushy meadow; see Dr F's monster taking in the views of a breathtaking lake set against a beautiful alpine mountain; and see Dr F's monster interacting with a sweet-faced local child playing with her kitty.

Two scenes that come to mind include a scene set in a town which includes a slow, poignant tracking shot, and the film's infamous ending sequence.

Its elements kind of got a little confusing for me at times to.

The lighting added a lot to the story as well, making the grittier moments more intense and the lighthearted moments brighter.

The make-up remains truly stunning, and the first time Frankenstein's monster steps into frame is still one of the most powerful and haunting images to ever grace a horror film.

I thought Karloff had a really intense looking face and eyes, and his portrayal of a witless beast was spot on.

It is only because of budget sequels and performances of lesser actors than Karloff that the Frankenstein monster has become such a comfortable cliché.

First off, let me say it holds up remarkably well, particularly in Universal's fine DVD version which renders both Arthur Edeson's wondrous visuals and the movie's superlative sound effects in a manner that really duplicates the stunning impact of the movie's first season way back in 1931.

That being said this is a really good movie, I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Unfortunately, the transition from science fiction to predictable romance/weak horror compels me to award it a 7.

The lighting in the movie gave the feeling of fear because it was ominous which made the film a lot more entertaining.

until a hand starts raising slowly, it's slow, but it's alive, much alive.

Watching this film was really fun, I personally enjoyed it.

Oh, and the ending sequence at the tower is excellent, and exciting.

Excellent adaptation of an engrossing gothic novel.

If I had to go for a Frankenstein, it would be the version that Glen Wilder played in Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks, because his interpretation, while humorous, managed to make him intriguing.

Restored sequence of the little girl's accidental drowning is perhaps one of cinema's most visceral moments; watch Karloff's slow panic.

However, it lacks atmosphere and it could definitely use more suspense, to make it more intense and scarier.

Unfortunately, valuable and fascinating elements of the novel are blatantly missing here, such as the Promethean motif, the exploration of scientific theory and the class-divide that exists between Frankenstein and his creation.

Edward Van Sloan (Van Helsing in Dracula) as Dr. Waldman is quite dull.

Although I was never genuinely frightened, the film is very entertaining.

The idea of a creation that the creator had trouble controlling must have been an intriguing idea for Mary Shelley when she began to write the novel.

This was the first time I've seen the original Frankenstein and I was somewhat impressed, but at the same time, bored!

The acting in the movie is extremely entertaining to watch as the cast did a suburb job with their roles.

When it comes to the execution of it in 1931 I cannot find it entertaining.

You won't scream or jump in your seat while watching this because even though it is horror it is more like an intriguing story about a killer monster which has to go in the genre of horror.

There were times I found myself a tad bored.

Suspenseful and frightening musical score by David Broeckman.

Now I know this was the 1930's and they really haven't seen much like this before but once you got past the fact he was raised from the dead wouldn't you think, "Hey this monster moves slower than my grandmother.

The sound is beautifully done with hollow, monotone sounds that echo through the abandon castle.

On a revisit it is still the most gripping scene of the movie.

"Frankenstein" may not be loyal to the book it was a adapted from, but it certainly gave us something very enjoyable.

The effects and the intensity leading up to him just moving his hand showing he was alive was enough to just keep you on the edge of your seat.

it's a masterpiece, and worth watching if only for its historical value.

Instead we get a stumbling, mindless beast who kills without reason, we get a dopey contrived love story thrown into the mix, we get an even more dopey contrived climax (the town suddenly goes wild!

The disjointed nature of Frankenstein cannot go ignored.

The settings and backgrounds and special effects were absolutely gorgeous, ominous and believable, just exactly how much character and mystery they put into each shadow and each light, it's stunning what they could do with black and white, the special effects they were capable of producing and how beautifully they did, that burning revolving windmill at the end is a fascinating scene that white fire burning into the blackest night I've seen in a while is wondrous.

Overall I give this movie a 4 out of 10 because of its lack of detail and its overall quality of being uninteresting and bland.

Henry Frankenstein's intense obsession is portrayed perfectly.

In the 1940's my parents paid 25c to let me view this film, it was at the time, the Horror of Horrors, the monster(Boris Karloff) had me on the edge of my seat.

The things he does, he does them not because he likes to but due to a human error upon his creation which resulted in an unpredictable brain and character.

It's chilling, suspenseful, atmospheric all topped by an amazing performance by Colin Clive.

During the movie, in many spots it would go to fast or to slow.

For being 76 years old this film is pretty good looking and the elaborate laboratory set practically gave rise to the mad scientist cliché.

What I actually found was a suspenseful movie with the monster being somewhat compassionate and confused.

I realize that was the way things were done in the 30s so people wouldn't, in essence, overload on horror, but it can make the film seem a little disjointed.

Frankenstein is very enjoyable and clearly a hugely influential work in the cinematic horror genre.

The story of the German doctor intent on creating life from dead body parts is one that most of us are familiar with but the back-story involving Dr. Frankenstein's father and the doctor's fiancé plays an intricate role in the decisions of the fine doctor and it's thrilling conclusion.

The opening scenes of body-snatching are intriguing and followed by some grating scenes of exposition.

Frankenstein is truly a remarkable horror movie, the first Frankenstein movie, when you watch it, I know because of fancy effects of today's horror movies have taken place in what is true horror, which I believe is how a movie could be so intense.

After weeks I have finally had the time to finish my latest novel, one that was both exhausting and fascinating at the same time.

If you have a home theater and can view it on the big screen, it's just breathtaking.

Last, but certainly not least, Dwight Frye's performance as Fritz was stunning.

The problem for me is that I thought it was boring.

The film's editing style is one that probably felt fast paced for it's time given the faster cuts and quick story progression.

Overall, I enjoyed it.

In the scene now restored, the Monster is shown throwing Maria into the water, and running away in a state of confusion.

The scene at the end where the monster is trapped on top of the tower that they have just set on fire is amazing because you can see the confusion and fright that the monster is feeling because it doesn't know that its even done anything wrong and doesn't understand why it's being hunted down.

Which made it sort of a bore for me.

In my opinion, "Frankenstein" overshadows "Dracula" as the former movie is a much more professionally made one and is a lot more entertaining.

His demented yet tortured stare and physically involved acting style is totally engrossing, grabbing the audience by the collar and not releasing for 70 minutes.

This is another of those flicks that slowness and speed could have been utilised better.

This genre of film is not my favorite, but I found this film to be interesting and somewhat entertaining.

The cinematography is edgy and progressive lending itself to the fast paced horror theme the plot line includes.

Fire symbolizes The Monster's flaws, which is hinted at through the camera's slow fading of a scene until all that is visible is the burning light, before that also disappears.

Many people today still dig these early horror films, and for those people, I would say this version of "Frankenstein" is well worth watching.

of all the Universal horrors, this is the most compelling and timeless.

Stunning moments such as the monster mistakenly throwing the little girl into the water, and the doctor shouting "Now I know what it feels like to BE God!

See in the book the monster was given the ability to learn reason in the movie the monster was a slow learning half wit that couldn't function at all by itself.

Boles is intriguing to me as he kind of snaky to me.

The title "Frankenstein" always generates confusion, making many (including me) think it's about the monster when in reality it is the name of its creator.

So basically the story is very good although it hardly follows the novel at all, even changing the main characters name from Victor to Henry (yet they named a minor character Victor to add to the confusion).

The effects of the film were a bore, and I can't say the black and white helped much to the excitement.

As for the acting, I thought Colin Clive plays a compelling Henry Frankenstein and Boris Karloff plays The Monster to perfection.

Frankenstein is a must-watch not only for its influences on the horror and mad scientist genres, but because of how gripping the atmosphere and pacing is.

His fiancée Elizabeth and friend Victor are worried about his health, he spends far too long in his laboratory.

I have to say, I was thinking that this was the worst movie I had ever seen.

And of course, the messages posted here where such complaints are made are the ones that are full of spelling and grammatical errors (like confusing "its" and "its").

Colin Clive (as Henry Frankenstein) has a rich, musical voice and an intense concentration that makes his performance as alive as Frankenstein's creation.

The sets were absolutely stunning, and they made the film watchable.

Its ending is one of the most intense sequences in early horror, and James Whales darkly witty signature permeates every layer of the film.

Boris Karloff's performance is what really makes this film worth watching, because you just feel sorry for him and makes you want to watch this film again and again.

In all seriousness, I found the first half of the movie inventive, intriguing, mysterious, foreboding, suspenseful, and provocative.

From my perspective, being biased against "Frankenstein", this is a fantastic, hugely entertaining film and a big improvement over Universal's previous effort "Dracula".

The movie was split into two different parts; The first was eerie and the second half was intense.

I really enjoyed it, the story was fantastic, it really showed me another side of Frankenstein that I hadn't really seen before.

) in black and white will cause some people to miss this most entertaining movie.

In addition, Frankenstein himself goes from engrossing to lifeless without logic.

After throwing his last daisy, the Monster looks at his empty hands, holds his hands out and...

When the drowned girl's father later carries her limp and battered body down the street, the mourning and furious emptiness in his eyes is one of the film's most compelling images, as it perhaps most completely essays the outrageous evil of Dr. Frankenstein's horrific work.

The visuals are also stunning.

Whale also is responsible for one of the most intense and memorable scenes in all of American Cinema.

But as originally filmed, the action continues to show the monster grabbing Maria, hurling her into the lake, then departing in confusion when Maria fails to float as the flowers did.

Karloff brilliantly plays the monster with a confusing and tragic sense of humanity.

Later we hear it roaming through the empty castle in the background while a dialogue scene plays out.

However, I have now seen this version of "Frankenstein" three times, and although I have never found it very scary, I have still found a lot of it, well, intense, which is good enough for me.

But I think that this movie was really good for the 1930's and I enjoyed it.

Everything was predictable, I always found myself guessing what would happen next, and was always correct.

The plot turn also directs attention away from The Monster and toward the now boring doctor.

i believe that it was very suspenseful for the time period and the technology that was at the fingertips of these producers.

This comes across well in Whale's film adaptation, and by the time the stunning climax appears on screen; we are left with no doubt that Dr Frankenstein was wrong to push the limits of science.

It is thrilling, emotional, and meaningful, and its final moments will leave you speechless.

), is an important movie and should be compulsory viewing for any SF/horror fan, but it isn't a dull movie to be studied, it is a wonderfully entertaining movie to be ENJOYED.

I found the story to be a bit boring and the development Dr. Frankenstein to be flawed, which made it hard for me to really get into the film and its story.

The visuals are stunning and the performances are first rate for such an early talkie.

Both movies a success, timeless masterpiece, intriguing and thought provoking.

These two worlds can, of course, exist side by side; but I don't like the way Whale simply flits between them as strikes his fancy, confusing us for no good reason.

I thought that it was slow, almost so much that it made it difficult for me to follow along with the story.

As the unborn corpse rises to the sky and stays at the top for a few seconds then slowly comes down just kept me on the edge of my seat.

Instead of a thrilling score to sway audience members toward each emotion, the sound throughout every scene lacks depth.

Even though this film varies drastically from its source material (Frankenstein (Book, 1818)) it still manages to be both frightening and entertaining.

Most intriguing of all is the cast of Frankenstein.

Good build-up of tension, and some incredibly iconic scenes make for an entertaining and thrilling journey.

For one, unlike films like Contact where science is seen as engaging in wasteful endeavors which only benefit, directly or indirectly, capitalists, this film highlights the danger of science and the danger of creation.

When I saw the film a second time, I enjoyed it.

Frankenstein 1931 boring .

It's dark and compelling to watch down to the very last frame.

From the opulent sets filled with all manners of electronic gadgets and plenty of fanciful equipment which really bring out the grand nature of the location and the spectacle of the lightning crashing and bringing the hand to stir to life which is still one of the most visually-arresting and chilling scenes in the genre, this whole sequence scores and becomes utterly enjoyable.

The sky was gray and black and made look like a dark dreary day.

Exciting editing rhythm combined with beautifully lit cinematography create a memorable image of Frankenstein that still remains influential to this day.

It's just so classic, so creepy, so entertaining, that it's impossible not to enjoy.

The background music and the noises through out the film were suspenseful.

The most enjoyable part of "Frankenstein" was when The Monster killed Edward Van Sloan's character.

If someone were to remake this film using the same script and actors, I would probably complain that it was too slow, lacked sufficient character development, was overly-melodramatic, and veered too far from the source material.

Excellent direction by James Whale and stunning production design still stands the test of time with scores of sequels, remakes and rip-offs for generations to come.

If you're used to contemporary horror films, filled with action and special effects, 1931's "Frankenstein" could bore you to tears if you're expecting the same from it.

Fast-paced and engaging.

The thematics of the story pulse with brilliance, the advent of berserker science, the alienation and confusion flow of the creature grips and stings the heart equally.

Horror today is completely different than the way it was perceived and I believe it was more suspense and thrilling to watch than a horror movie.

The first popular adaptation to Marry Shelleys book, Frankenstein is a thrilling movie.

While this wasn't really bad, it was a bit boring and there was lots of stuff that didn't make sense.

If I was from that era I probably would've enjoyed it more.

This was a waste of my time and I would tell anyone to never watch this film unless you want to see a comedy, and how not to make a horror film.

This was an enjoyable and suspenseful movie.

very intense movie dealing with life and death .

While some scenes were slow, it was pieced together fairly, and since it did invoke quite a couple of emotions out of me, I'd say it did it's job.

From there we go to the emotionally gripping scene of the father carrying his dead daughter through the street.

And the fact that it was a classic, and my knowledge about the history of cinema, helped ease the boredom just by so much.

All in all, Frankenstein is a well made movie, and is worth watching.

The movie is not the book, thankfully, but is a jarring introduction to cinematic story-telling that is still powerful and evocative, while the book remains an excellent work hampered by the literary conventions of its time.

A bland movie that can't live up to expectations.

The first half concentrates on Henry Frankenstein played superbly by Colin Clive and gives a compelling performance as a man driven to break the very boundaries of human taboos by bringing the dead back to life .

A timeless classic with themes that are still relevant today and some of the earliest stunning acting and directing in horror film history that could still be watched and learned from today.

Definitely worth a watch for avid horror fans but besides that this movie is dated, dull, and dark.

In a voiceless role (aside from a few growls) he managed to portray a huge range of emotions: confusion, anger, fear, rage, playfulness, excitement, panic-stricken terror just to name a few.

In addition to being a true classic in every technical sense of the word, Frankenstein is also surprisingly entertaining for a film made about 8 decades ago.

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.

But by any modern standards, this movie is simply unbearable!

I see what the film was trying to do and with all the technology used, but it was a little slow and cheesy for y personal taste.

John Boles and Mae Clarke (as Henry Frankenstein's friend and fiancée respectively) are dull and stiff.

Whale's work here keeps the film consistently exciting and at times quite eerie.

The classic interpretation of Mary Shelley's Gothic chiller about a demented scientist named Frankenstein who's playing God creates a monster with an unexpected violent streak and dire circumstance.

The work put into this film was clearly intensive and because of that it is still a classic 7 decades later.

Maybe it was because I've already been surrounded by the culture of Frankenstein and was bored by it?

The story is compelling thanks to the incredible novel on which the film is based.

From the beginning with the dark and dreary set to the end with melodramatic music there was no enjoyment while being forced to watch this movie.

The windmill set is particularly intriguing and the fiery climax on that very location has become one of the most influential climaxes in horror cinema.

Frankenstein was probably the most thrilling of the three movies as well.

There is something too trivial and mundane for a 'horror' movie in these "where has he gone?

It's a film classic but probably a bit boring for today's audience.

You could tell the way the movie was put together, that highlights every scene to be thought provoking and intriguing; all a labor of love.

Colin Clive's intense performance is great.

But that emotion is replaced by one of confusion mixed with anger when he accidentally kills the girl.

it's just purely shocking and entertaining.

The way he uses his voice and his face is still stunning.

Frankenstein is an intriguing character.

Enjoyable .

Henry Frankenstein played by Colin Clive is wonderfully fascinating and grabs the audiences attention at all times.

It is a splendid film with gripping effect and designs.

Overall the film was enjoyable.

Classic only insofar it is ancient;yet not only of a historical interest--quite domestic and becoming,in its second part,bland .

Overall an enjoyable film considering the time period and a film that paved the way for future monster flicks.