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Frankenstein Review

Image for Frankenstein

Adapted and updated from Mary Shelley's story, Dr Frankenstein assembles an re-animates a creature from dead human tissue, only to reject it after he is successful. Mistreated by(almost) sundry, the 'monster' becomes an angry outcast hunted by the community.

★★★★★

The most important horror movie ever made, with Boris Karloff joining the immortals as the flat-headed, big-booted, sad-eyed monster - whom director James Whale made a resonant figure by dressing him up like one of the scarred WWI veterans then on the skids all over America. Colin Clive's neurotic mad scientist and Dwight Frye's hunchbacked brain-dropper collaborate on the making of a man, but the innocent turns savage when mistreated by all and sundry.

Besides Karloff's still-heartbreaking mime, the film offers wonderful Gothic sets, a cracking laboratory, Whale's slyly camp gallows humour, a torch-bearing peasant mob and many other images that resonate through the years.

Completists note: this digitally remastered print has a thundercrack over the often-censored "Now I know what it feels like to be God" line, but is otherwise fully restored, complete with footage unseen for many years in which the monster accidentally drowns a little girl.

Beautiful photography, a heartbreaking story, and iconic moments from beginnning to end. Absolutely unmissable.