movie film review | chris tookey


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  Frankenstein Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.90 /10
Colin Clive , Mae Clarke, John Boles
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Directed by: James Whale
Written by: John L. Balderston, Garrett Fort, Francis Edward Faragoh

Released: 1931
Origin: US
Length: 71

PRO Reviews

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“One of the finest picture jobs I ever saw on the screen... As a horrifier it is a tremendous success, but I doubt very much if it will be equally successful as a financial venture... Boris Karloff is horrible in his role as the Monster, which merely is another way of saying that he is perfect - so perfect that I hope I never again will see anything like him...From a purely cinematic standpoint Whale and Fort did a brilliant piece of work. If your tastes run to the morbid you will enjoy Frankenstein. If, however, you have a healthy outloook on life you had better stay away from it.”
(Hollywood Spectator)
“Looks like a Dracula plus, touching a new peak in horror plays and handled in production with supreme craftsmanship.”
“It is naturally a morbid, gruesome affair, but it is something to keep the spectator awake, for during its most spine-chilling periods it exacts attention... No matter what one may say about the melodramatic ideas here, there is no denying that it is far and away the most effective thing of its kind. Beside it Dracula is tame.”
(New York Times)
“A thriller, make no mistake. Women come out trembling, men exhausted.”
(Motion Picture Herald)
“Probably the most famous of all horror films, and one of the best.”
(Pauline Kael, 70s)
“The film’s great imaginative coup is to show the monster 'growing up' in all too human terms. First he is the innocent baby, reaching up to grasp the sunlight that filters through the skylight. Then the joyous child, playing at throwing flowers with a little girl whom he delightedly imagines to be another flower. And finally, as he finds himself progressively misjudged by the society that created him, the savage killer as whom he has been typecast.”
(Tom Milne, Time Out Film Guide, 1998)
“What’s most interesting is that Whale seems to go along with Shelley’s controversial belief that Frankenstein’s sin is not that he defies God by creating life but that once he becomes a creator he both emulates God and competes with him for sovereignty... Frankenstein’s real crimes are against society. He has withdrawn into self-imposed isolation (itself a perversion) and become an elitist, while the Monster seeks love, companionship, and camaraderie with the masses. Even worse is how Frankenstein neglects his fatherly obligations and abandons his “son,” leaving the creature to make its way in a world repulsed by grotesquery. Consequently, the Monster-child ends up murdering everyone who rejects him.”
(Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic, 1986)

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