The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Movie Poster

Trivia for The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

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  • There was an epilogue to this movie featuring Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley, but it was cut from the final film.
  • Elsa Lanchester was not the only person to have a dual role in this film. In addition to her role as Minnie, Una O'Connor also appeared in the prologue, as Shelley's maid who is holding the leash as the dogs go off screen.
  • Marilyn Harris, who played Maria, the girl The Monster accidentally kills in the original Frankenstein (1931), appears uncredited as another young girl. She is the leader of the group of young schoolgirls who encounter the Monster as he runs away from the blind man's burning house. Director James Whale deliberately gave her a one-word line ("Look!"), so she would be paid more by the studio as an actor with a speaking role, instead of as an extra.
  • Boris Karloff protested against the decision to make The Monster speak, but was overruled. Since he was required to speak in this film, Karloff was not able to remove his partial bridgework as he had done to help give the Monster his sunken cheek appearance in the first Frankenstein (1931). That's why The Monster appears fuller of face in the sequel.
  • Elsa Lanchester's shock hairdo was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.
  • In the opening and closing credits the cast list says "The Monster's Mate" followed by a question mark.
  • The dual role of Mrs. Shelley and the Monster's Mate was originally offered to Brigitte Helm but she had recently married and refused to leave Germany. Louise Brooks was another actress considered by James Whale for the role.
  • Not long before filming began, Colin Clive broke a leg in a horse riding accident. Consequently, most of Henry Frankenstein's scenes were shot with him sitting.
  • Director James Whale originally did not want to do a sequel to Frankenstein (1931). For a time, Universal considered producing a sequel without Whale's involvement. One possible story included an educated monster continuing Henry's research, while another chronicled Henry's creation of a death ray on the eve of a world war. However, after 4 years of badgering by Universal, Whale agreed to do the film.
  • When filming the scene where the monster emerges from the burnt windmill, Boris Karloff slipped and fell into the water-filled well. Upon being helped out, it was discovered that he had dislocated a hip in the fall. The hip was strapped into place and Karloff soldiered on. He continued to receive massage and heat treatments for the hip for the rest of the shooting of the film.
  • During the "bottle" sequence in Dr. Pretorius' apartment, the Doctor, while showing Henry Frankenstein the miniature "devil" character, makes a wry comment that he sees a "certain resemblance" between him and his tiny creation. In fact, the miniature devil in the bottle was played by Peter Shaw, who was actually actor Ernest Thesiger's stand-in/film double in the picture.
  • Valerie Hobson, who plays Dr. Frankenstein's fiancé/bride in the film, was only 17 years old when she appeared in the film (Colin Clive, who portrayed Henry Frankenstein, was 35.)
  • Elsa Lanchester said that her spitting, hissing performance was inspired by the swans in Regent's Park, London. "They're really very nasty creatures," she said.
  • Shot in 46 days at a cost of approximately $400,000.
  • 2007: The movie's line "We belong dead" was voted as the #63 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere magazine.
  • Production of this sequel to the original Frankenstein (1931) was publicized as early as 1933 by both Universal Studio press releases and the trade paper "Daily Variety", but director James Whale did not begin work on it until late 1934. With a budget under $300,000, it was originally entitled "The Return of Frankenstein".
  • As a result of audience reactions from the film's preview screenings during the first week of April 1935, the film was extensively re-edited. Many scenes were deleted and trimmed, and at least one, the scene where the Monster stumbles into the Gypsy Camp, was added in. As a result of the editing, the original uncut film was approx. 15 minutes longer than its official release length of 75 minutes.
  • Doctor Pretorious' full name is "Septimus Pretorious"; this is actually Latin and means "royal seven", a reference to the seven deadly sins - as well as an indicator of his true nature.
  • Boris Karloff sweated off 20 pounds laboring in the hot costume and makeup.
  • The musical soundtrack for this film proved so popular, it was used again in the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials starring Buster Crabbe.
  • The tiny mermaid in Dr. Pretorius' bottle was Josephine McKim, a member of the 1924 and 1928 U.S. Women's Olympic Swim Teams and one of the four members of that team to win the 1928 gold medal in the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay. McKim was also Maureen O'Sullivan's body double in the wonderful nude swimming scene of the previous year's Tarzan and His Mate (1934).
  • Purists often consider it inaccurate (going by the Mary Shelley source novel) to refer to the Monster by the name "Frankenstein" rather than "Frankenstein's Monster," however in the prologue, the character representing Lord Byron actually does attach the name Frankenstein to the monster. He says: "Can you believe that bland and lovely brow conceived of Frankenstein, a monster created from cadavers out of rifled graves? Isn't it astonishing?" Since Mrs. Shelley does not contradict him, we can infer that in this set of films, the Monster IS named Frankenstein, in one of many divergences from the book.
  • The original trailer promises "a lifetime of entertainment in two hours". The final edit ran 75 minutes.
  • Director James Whale was once derided by a disgusted audience member for laughing during a screening.
  • Though virtually all of Billy Barty's scenes (as the little baby in the bottle) were deleted, he can still be briefly glimpsed in a wide shot of all the bottles on Dr. Pretorius's table (as well as in still photographs).
  • One of James Whale's criteria for taking up the director's reins on the film was that he would have complete artistic freedom. This was easily achieved, as Universal's studio head Carl Laemmle Jr. was vacationing in Europe at the time.
  • Elsa Lanchester was only 5'4" but for the role was placed on stilts that made her 7' tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio and fed through a straw.
  • Claude Rains was offered the role of Dr. Pretorius but he was unavailable due to filming Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935).
  • One of the cast cut from the film after the preview was Helen Parrish, who played a "Communion Girl."
  • Part of the SON OF SHOCK package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original SHOCK THEATER release of 52 features one year earlier.
  • Elsa Lanchester never receives on screen credit as "The Bride". The character is listed as being played by "?".
  • The scene in which the monster encounters the Gypsy camp was filmed shortly before the scheduled release date as a substitute for a scene that had been edited out after sneak previews because of censorship concerns. Since the scene was filmed long after the completion of principal filming - and after the film's musical score had been completed - the Gypsy camp scene is the only segment of the movie that has no musical score.
  • Due to his overwhelming fame as a "thriller" actor, Boris Karloff was billed simply as "Karloff" - no first name needed.
  • The name of Little Maria's father has been changed from "Ludwig" in the original Frankenstein (1931) to "Hans" in this film.
  • As part of the original VHS release, an extended "trailer" for Psycho (1960) was included where Alfred Hitchcock guides the audience around various sets used in the film.
  • Jack P. Pierce altered the make-up of Frankenstein's monster from this film's predecessor to reflect that he had survived the mill fire at the end of Frankenstein (1931) with some flesh burns and with much of his hair singed off.
  • Film Daily-New York City, Tuesday, May 7, 1935: Differences between the Roxy and the Rialto theaters as to which house to get "The Bride of Frankenstein" were settled yesterday when the management involved agreed upon a compromise under which the Arthur Mayer (the Rialto) operation will play another Universal Pictute, Werewolf of London (1935), while the Roxy gets "The Bride of Frankenstein." The settlement cancels an injunction which Mayer asked in the Federal Court, New York. Under the booking deal participated in by both theaters, the Rialto is play action pictures while the Roxy gets films described as family pictures. Mayer contended that "The Bride of Frankenstein" came within his classification and started proceedings against Howard S. Cullman, operator of the Roxy, and the Big U exchange.
  • David Niven screen tested for the role of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in the introductory sequence but was passed over.
  • The title "Bride of Frankenstein" is an ambiguous title which could refer to either the Valerie Hobson or Elsa Lanchester characters, as both the Colin Clive and Boris Karloff characters are given the name "Frankenstein" within the movie.
  • Censors caused Pretorious' derogatory line about "fairy tales" to be changed to "Bible stories," but once they saw the sneering contempt which Ernest Thesiger loaded into his delivery of these two words, they wished they had left the original script unchanged.
  • Elizabeth's line at the beginning of the film, "I was told to beware my wedding night." is a direct mirrored reference to the original novel, in which the Monster warns Dr. Frankenstein to beware his wedding night.
  • The novella by Michael Egremont, published at the time of the film's 1935 release, included several scenes not in the film, expanding on characters and situations -and reveals the surname of "Little Maria" as Kramer.
  • Bela Lugosi was considered for the role of Doctor Pretorius.
  • Colin Clive's alcoholism had worsened since the first film, but James Whale did not recast the role because his "hysterical quality" was necessary for the film.
  • James Whale and the studio psychiatrist selected 44 simple words for the Monster's vocabulary by looking at test papers of ten-year olds working at the studio.
  • Elizabeth was played by brunette Valerie Hobson who replaced blonde Mae Clarke from the original Frankenstein (1931) due to Clarke's illness at the time. This change of hair color is a bit jarring since Bride of Frankenstein (1935) picks up right where the original leaves off.
  • Boris Karloff's distant cousin Quentin Crisp appeared in the remake The Bride (1985).
  • In the scene near the beginning of the film where Dr. Henry Frankenstein is carried into the hall of his castle, you can see a shadow shaped like the Monster looming over him on the back wall.
  • The film was shot entirely in the studio.
  • Arletta Duncan, who played Elizabeth's bridesmaid in Frankenstein (1931), was considered to play the Bride.
  • The Monster's cheeks appear less hollow here because, in order to speak more clearly, Boris Karloff kept in the dental plate he removed in the first film.
  • Boris Karloff was paid $2,500 per week, for a total of $12,500, a large sum in the mid-30s but perhaps not enough to compensate the 48-year-old for playing the role in the elaborate make-up and heavy costume, exacerbating his already severe arthritis.
  • Boris Karloff lost 20 pounds during filming and had to lie down and rest between takes.
  • Elsa Lanchester had to spend days trussed up tightly in bandages. She needed to be fed by her dresser since even her fingers were wrapped. According to one story, one of her stand-ins had a screaming attack of claustrophobia.
  • According to Elsa Lanchester, her Bride make-up took three hours for her face alone, and Boris Karloff's took five.
  • According to editor Ted J. Kent, the Bride's look was James Whale's conception, but Elsa Lanchester said Jack P. Pierce behaved as though he really had created these characters, like a god who made human beings. She said whenever she went in to be made up, he would meet her in full doctor's lab coat and with a cold, superior attitude.
  • According to Ted J. Kent, the back pages of James Whale's script were filled with sketches of ideas for the art director or costumer. "In this area, I would say, at least in the pictures I worked on, he had complete control from beginning to end," Kent said. "I don't believe he could have worked any other way."
  • Elsa Lanchester thoroughly enjoyed working with James Whale and "admired both his method of directing and the pleasant atmosphere he created around him."
  • Principal photography took 46 days to complete. The picture eventually ran $100,000 over budget, coming in at $400,000.
  • Cinematographer John Mescall presented a problem with his drinking, so serious the studio had to provide a car to get him safely to and from the set. Nevertheless, he was very good at his job, even when drunk, and James Whale liked that he worked fast and rarely wasted time fussing with incidental camera and lighting hardware.
  • James Whale chose Franz Waxman as composer after hearing his score for Liliom (1934).
  • Special effects experts John P. Fulton and David S. Horsley spent two days shooting Dr. Pretorius' miniature beings. The actors were placed in full-sized bell jars set against black velvet. These shots were meticulously lined up to match them with shots of Ernest Thesiger, Colin Clive and the interior set.
  • Several scenes were cut after censor's objections. References to the scandalous sexual arrangements of Mary, Shelley, and Byron were eliminated, particularly the line of dialogue: "We are all three infidels, scoffers at all marriage ties, believing only in living freely and fully." Breen's office also objected to shots they considered too revealing of Elsa Lanchester's cleavage in the prologue.
  • James Whale was so set on having O.P. Heggie play the blind hermit that he shut down production from February 19 to March 2, 1935 while waiting for Heggie to finish a production at RKO.
  • Three of the film's stars had or would have close family connections to senior British diplomats or politicians: (1) Boris Karloff's elder brother Sir John Thomas Pratt was an expert on Britain's relations with China and Japan and held diplomatic posts in both countries, Ernest Thesiger's first cousin Sir Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford held numerous senior diplomatic positions, most notably serving as the Viceroy of India from 1916 to 1921 and (3) Valerie Hobson was later married to the controversial Conservative Secretary of State for War John Profumo from 1954 until her death in 1998.
  • Both Boris Karloff and James Whale earned $2500 per week for their work on the film. Thesiger made $1000, the same as Bela Lugosi's then current salary for Universal.
  • Originally budgeted at $293,750 for a 36 day shooting schedule, its final cost ballooned to $397,023.79.
  • Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
  • Colin Clive and Boris Karloff are the only actors to play they same characters they played in the original Frankenstein (1931).
  • Jack P. Pierce did the make-up for both Boris Karloff as the Monster and Elsa Lanchester as the Bride. Since Karloff's make-up took four hours and Lanchester's took between three and four hours, this left only limited time when the two were able to work together, so the two rarely appear in the same shot.
  • The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
  • Although the Bride of Frankenstein is one of most iconic Universal monsters, she only had 3 minutes of screen time in the entire film.
  • The bottle of wine that Pretorius has in the tomb, around 0:48:48, has the year 1912 on its label.
  • Every Halloween you can remember Boris Karloff as Frankenstein with the classic song "The Monster Mash".
  • Contrary to popular belief, Henry Frankenstein was not a doctor. He left medical school because he felt they couldn't teach him what he needed to know. In neither Frankenstein nor Bride of Frankenstein is Henry referred to a doctor. Only Herr, or Baron. The only Frankenstein that was a Doctor was Wolfgang Frankenstein in The Son of Frankenstein, as played by Basil Rathbone.
  • Many argue that Frankenstein ought to be called "the monster" and not "Frankenstein", however this second film's title, Bride of Frankenstein (1935) settles this debate once and for all: the monster is nicknamed by his creator's last name, and is simply known as "Frankenstein", since "the bride" was created for him, and not for his doctor creator.
  • John Carradine is one of the two hunters that appear at the hermits cabin proclaiming the hermits guest is in fact the monster .
  • Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
  • Ernest Thesiger was the nephew of Frederick Thesiger who commanded the force that was annihilated at Isandlwana in the Zulu wars (the battle that immediately preceded the Battle of Rorke's Drift, depicted in Zulu (1964)). He was also a cousin to the Explorer and author Wilfred Thesiger.
  • Boris Karloff and former intimate partner, James Whale, were no longer on speaking terms during film, due to a personal dispute on the set of The Old Dark House (1932), where they ended up speaking via other actors serving as their messengers. This was so monumental, Whale refused to ever work with Karloff again, and Claude Rains was instead hired for Whale's next venture, The Invisible Man (1933). Karloff had been announced in the title role. However, the studio system forced them to work this one last time, and the rest is history.
  • If you look closely you can see Walter Brennan, 33.41 minutes into the movie, when they discover the Neumanns. He to the viewers right as a onlooker.
  • The tune played on violin by the blind hermit which enthralls the monster is "Ave Maria."
  • In the original film, Frankenstein screams, "It's alive!" when the monster first moves on his own. Here, he says, "She's alive!" when the bride moves.

Spoilers

  • "The Bride", the most obscure of Universal Studios' Classic Monsters, is on screen for less than five minutes and is the only "Classic Monster" never to have killed anyone. Although it could be argued her rejection drove the Monster to Suicide.
  • The "body count" in the original cut was 21. This was trimmed to 10 after pressure from the censors.
  • When the castle is self-destructing, the Doctor can be seen against the far wall. Yet he is next seen outside in the arms of his beloved, watching the explosions. There were two endings originally: the first had Baron Frankenstein dying within the castle and this was filmed. But the producers judged this a bit harsh and wanted a happy ending, so they shot the extra footage (too expensive to re-film the explosions).
  • Editing after previews resulted in the loss of a subplot in which Karl imitates the Monster's murderous modus operandi to eliminate his miserly aunt and uncle and direct the blame away from himself.
  • One of the film's deleted sequences included the Monster murdering the Burgomaster.
  • The blind hermit is a character taken directly from the Mary Shelley Frankenstein novel. Dr. Pretorious, a new creation, closely resembles the Monster's personality in the book, where he becomes a cold-blooded murderer. The film decided to have the Monster remain an "innocent" character who only kills in self-defense or by accident (until the final scenes), and so created the evil Pretorius to fill the villainous role from the book.
  • Actors who appeared in both Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein include; Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Dwight Frye and Marilyn Harris. Marilyn, who died in the original, played another part in The Bride of Frankenstein.
  • The casket Dr. Pretorious directs the body snatchers to is inscribed as "died 1899". Mary Shelly died in 1851. If she is telling the story the date could not have been as it said.
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