One of the most popular horror classics of all time and an acclaimed sequel to the original Frankenstein. The legendary Boris Karloff reprises his role as the screen's most understood monster who now longs for a mate of hi... more »s own. Colin Clive is back as the overly ambitious Dr. Frankenstein, who creates the ill-faed bride (Elsa Lanchester). Directed by the original's James Whale (hislast horror film) and featuring a haunting musical score, The Bride of Frankenstein ranks as one of the finest films not only of the genre, but for all time.« less
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 12/24/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am one of the legion of admirers who believe that this film represents the apex of both James Whale's directorial career and Universal Studios' first cycle of monster movies. Cleverly scripted, flawlessly acted, wittily directed, and hauntingly scored, it's a marvel of a movie on many levels; it works as a horror film, a satire, a black comedy, a social commentary -- even as a romantic melodrama -- depending on your individual interpretation. It's a real pity, then, that this rich cinematic treasure has received such a disappointing transfer to the DVD format. After experiencing the sharply focused, pristine prints presented on Universal's DVD releases of "Frankenstein" and "The Mummy", my expectations for "Bride" were enthusiastically high. What a letdown! The film is grainy, with distractingly poor contrast -- the actors appear to have microcrobes running across their faces, like amoeba that you might observe under a microscope. And there were a couple of pops and jumps inherent in the source material that I don't recall having seen on the VHS tape release of this film.The extras are the only features that keep this disc from being a complete fiasco. The poster and still archive is remarkable, and the "making of" featurette is informative and enjoyable. The theatrical trailer is the one used for the film's Realart re-release and not the Universal original. I strongly suspect (and hope) there will some day be a "restored" edition of this movie available. Unless you just can't wait to add this title to your DVD collection, I have to regretfully advise that until such an improved version comes along, you spend your hard-earned pennies on an alternate selection."
Excellent package marred by poor transfer
Povertyrow | San Francisco | 11/06/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As mentioned by many others, the film, commentary, documentary etc are all excellent. No need to repeat. But a major flaw in the film transfer itself is the amount of information removed at the top. The tops of heads are chopped and the glowing crudifix at the climax of the blind hermit scene is cropped so much you cannot tell it is a cross. I have compared the laser and vhs copies of this film to the dvd. The laser and vhs crop information from the bottom, a FAR better choice. I consider the cropping on the dvd so bad as to make the film almost unwatchable. I'll be keeping my laserdisc and videotape."
The Greatest Horror Film Ruined by Bad DVD
William Miller | Florissant, MO | 02/19/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was waiting with great anticipation the release of The Bride of Frankenstein DVD. I ,like many others, consider this movie to be the greatest horror film of all time. I already own the movie on VHS but I couldn't wait to see the sparkling, crystal clear picture that I know the DVD format can deliver. Unfortunately, Universal decided to dig up the worst print they could find to put on DVD.The worst thing about it is the horrible grainy look of the film. There are so many tiny little black dots on the picture that it is almost impossible to concentrate on the actors. It is a terrible looking picture. And somehow or other they have managed to mess up the framing of the picture even though it is a 1.33:1 image. You only get to see about 85% of the picture compared to the VHS. Universal....how could you? The extras on the DVD are quite good but it's the movie that counts! Other titles in the series of classic Universal horror movies are better but none of them so far are what true DVD enthusiasts and real movie fans want to see. I really hope that Universal quickly decides to remaster The Bride of Frankenstein DVD and then allows us poor souls to exchange our current copies for a new one."
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 06/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rarely is a sequel, particularly a horror sequel, better than its predecessor, but Bride of Frankenstein (1935) easily replaced the 1931 original classic as the definitive Universal Frankenstein movie. Director James Whale did not want to do another Frankenstein movie for the most admirable of reasons, and largely because of his feelings on the matter he brought to a life a sequel that sought perfection in every discernible way and provided a much deeper and more poignant look at the monster of Frankenstein's creation - the comedic exploitation of the monster did not begin on his watch. The addition of a full-scale musical score added depth and its own emotional layers to the drama, Karloff brought amazing pathos and humanity to the creature, and Elsa Lanchester, in a few short minutes, gave the world one of the truly eternal horror images and icons in the form of the Bride of Frankenstein's Monster (which is what the film should have been called).Most of the principal cast members of the original Frankenstein movie reprise their roles here, including Colin Clive as Frankenstein and the inimitable Boris Karloff as the monster. Mae Clarke, however, was unavailable for health reasons, and a seventeen-year-old Valerie Hobson took on the role of Elizabeth, Frankenstein's fiancée. This is a noticeable change, as Hobson played Elizabeth in a strikingly different manner. As you may have guessed, Frankenstein's monster did not actually die in the big fire that ended the first motion picture. The windmill was built over a cistern (more like a great big underground pond, if you ask me), and the monster escapes the conflagration, not before killing a couple of people and scaring Minnie, this film's version of interminable comic relief, half to death. Dr. Frankenstein, for his part, also survives (although we already knew this thanks to the last-minute concluding scene of the first movie). He regrets his foolish attempts to play God, even though he still speaks with a mad zeal about the dreams he pursued so dangerously. Enter Dr. Praetorius (Ernest Thesiger), a former professor of Frankenstein's and the kind of evil genius our reformed young doctor should have become. Praetorius has been doing his own God-like experiments and now seeks to join his knowledge with that of Frankenstein to make not a man, but a woman. In the film's only borderline ridiculous moments, we see the products of Praetorius' work - the film work and special effects are brilliantly done, but the whole idea is just laughably silly. Still, you can't help liking old Praetorius because he is everything a mad scientist should be. Frankenstein has now become - well, (...) a cowardly man who seems incapable of acting on his own accord. Luckily, Dr. Praetorius knows how to deal with a man such as Frankenstein, and he eventually succeeds in getting the good doctor back in the lab for one final experiment.As for Frankenstein's monster, we finally get to see the humanity of the character emerge. Seeking friendship, he is met only with fear, screams, and malice. He does manage to find a friend in the countryside, however - the sound of violin music takes him to the home of a blind hermit. In one of the most touching scenes in cinema history, the blind man takes the monster in, thanks God for finally sending him a friend to assuage his loneliness, and shines the full light of humanity, all too briefly, on the lonely creature. Naturally, this time of happiness does not last long, but the monster does develop the ability to speak before he is separated forever from his friend. He ends up crossing paths with Dr. Praetorius, who quickly sells him on the idea of a mate, setting the stage for another pyrotechnic creation scene that gives us the unforgettable Bride of Frankenstein.The cinematography, musical score, and basically everything else are well-nigh perfect in this film; despite the ridiculous editing demands of the censors, Bride of Frankenstein achieves the pinnacle of monster movie success. Still, it bothers me that these films have defined Frankenstein's monster as a creature much different than the literary monster of Mary Shelley's creation. The first film completely stood Shelley's story on its head, missing the point entirely. How ironic it is for Bride of Frankenstein to feature a prologue featuring the character of Mary Shelley herself, in company with her companion Percy Bysse Shelley and the flamboyant Lord Byron, explaining the meaning of her work and then introducing yet another bastardization of the real Mary Shelley's literary masterpiece. The original monster, as envisioned by Shelley, was not the creature at all; it was Dr. Frankenstein, not so much because he played God but because he abandoned his monstrous creation and left him alone to fend for himself. Bride of Frankenstein rights some of this wrong by showing the depth of humanity in the monster, but it cannot undo the wrongs already done the character. In the context of the cinema, he will forever be a "monster," a shadow of his true literary self, forced to suffer at the hands of man while the true villain of the story fails to even attempt to redeem himself or to suffer the harsh yet noble fate that he so rightfully earned in Shelley's original story."
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN: Which Is The Better DVD Version?
One-Shot Scot | Berkeley, CA | 09/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"_Frankenstein -- The Legacy Collection_ currently has the better DVD version of _Bride of Frankenstein_. The original _Bride of Frankenstein_ is out of print, but it has been replaced with a much better version.
Using two DVD players, I loaded up both the original _Bride of Frankenstein_ and the new version from the Legacy Collection and then switched between them. Unlike the original version, the Legacy _Bride of Frankenstein_ image is centered, and in most scenes, contains approximately 20% more picture information than the original, because the edges of the picture are no longer cut off. The original version is missing a lot picture information due to its being off center and magnified.
The original _Bride of Frankenstein_ picture is virtually unacceptable due to its poor video quality. Although the picture quality of the original version is sharper than the new one, this sharpness is accompanied by excess video noise, snow and other distracting artifacts. Now, after being run through a video sanitizer, the Legacy version of _Bride of Frankenstein_ has a highly-polished, "Citizen Kane" look. The new image is now virtually free of distracting artifacts, but at the expense of some picture sharpness. Black level, on the other hand, is excellent.
The audio level of the Legacy _Bride of Frankenstein_ is much lower than that of the original version. This doesn't seem to present a problem, but it will be necessary to turn up the volume quite a bit more on the new DVD. The sound quality of the two versions seems to be about the same, once the volume is equalized.
The main attraction of the Legacy _Bride of Frankenstein_ is its grab bag price. While the original _Bride of Frankenstein_ listed for $29.98, The Legacy Collection contains Frankenstein / Bride of / Son of / Ghost of / House of -- plus all of the original supplementary material. This 5-movie collection is a real bargain at only $26.98.
Bottom line: The Legacy _Bride of Frankenstein_ -- while not as good as it could be -- is vastly superior to the original version. If the video sanitation had been turned down a notch and the volume had been turned up a notch, the Legacy version would have been nearly perfect. Maybe Universal will get it right when the 75th anniversary edition comes out in 2010. "