Friday, March 14, 2008

Movie of the Week: Frankenstein!

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And we're back on track with this weekly feature... at least so far!

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What can I write about Frankenstein that you guys probably don't already know? I'm sure you knew it was the second official film based on Mary Shelley's novel (the first, of course, being Edison Studios' silent version), and that Bela Lugosi, fresh off the success of Dracula, was considered for the monster, but for whatever reason, he declined the role...

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(Trailer for the movie)



...or how Jack Pierce's makeup came up with the flat head motif because he figured Doctor Frankenstein would use the easiest method of opening up the skull to replace the brain, or that Universal copyrighted the look so that non-Universal Frankenstein features had to come up with their own, lesser (in my opinion) Monster make-ups...

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...or that Karloff wasn't originally credited onscreen as the Monster, that edits were made on the movie almost immediately after its release, that a prologue was filmed and inserted in the beginning explaining what was going to happen (something I understand director James Whale didn't approve of)...

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...or that Karloff would only play the monster twice more, in Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein, before leaving the role forever...

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...let's see, what else can I write about this movie that you already know? How about that it's a true classic, not just a classic horror movie, but a classic, period! Unless I'm seriously misremebering, the AFI named it one of the 100 greatest movies of all time!

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I have way too many Frankenstein images to post in a single entry, but instead of posting them all here, even in multiple entries, let me just give you this link to a Flickr slideshow of all my images directly related to Frankenstein (1931 version)! It'll be stills, posters, lobby cards, and other cool stuff... although I don't think there are any toys!

One of these days, I've got to figure out how to create an embeddable slide show from Flickr...

Next week's movie of the week: We continue the Frankenstein Saga with "Bride of Frankenstein"!

Jon

1 comment:

  1. Jon,
    Re: "he declined the role..."

    The story I read was Lugosi thought he was being asked to portray Dr. Frankenstein. When he found out he was going to be encased in a huge glob of makeup, he turned down the role of the Monster.

    There are some really weird reports of what the film would have been like if Robert Florey, the original director, had stayed with it. Death rays flash from the Monster's eyes?
    Thanks!

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