Wow. What a week it’s been. With my new job [is this news to you? catch up over here!] being a full time thing now, I’ve been extremely busy; and as a result – tired. But in between working and catching up on movies I’ve either missed out on, or haven’t watched until late into the evening, I’ve managed to squeeze in the time to watch a film I bought a few weeks ago, but never got around to watching until this past Saturday – August 29th. That film was none other than my favorite Universal Monster film; Frankenstein. I had seen most of the film before, but not the entirety of it from start to finish, and after buying it and Bride Of Frankenstein, I figured I’d take one evening and watch the classic black and white film.
and man am I glad I did! the atmosphere of the film is unlike anything I’ve seen in recent years, making it feel dark, gloomy, and all around creepy! The sets that we’re exposed to are what seem to be a pure spin off of German Expressionism. Best of all, Doctor Frankenstein‘s “castle” is all twisted and distorted, making it feel like something from another world! It’s not a long film by any means – clocking in at only 70 minutes – but it’s a staple in it’s genre, and deserves to be praised. Believe it or not, Frankenstein was technically not even a “horror” movie when it was first released back in 1931, since the term “horror” as a film genre wasn’t used officially until 1934!
but did you know?
In the film, just after bringing the monster to life, Dr. Frankenstein utters the [now] famous line, “Now I know what it’s like to be God!” Originally, the movie was released with this line, but when it was re-released in the late ’30s, film censors demanded it be removed: stating that it was blasphemy. Instead, a loud clap of thunder was used to switch out the line on the film’s soundtrack. This “censored dialog” was partially returned to the soundtrack in the initial “restored version” releases, and now, further restoration has now completely brought back this line of missing dialog. A clean recording of the missing dialog was supposedly found on a Vitaphone disc. [which looks similar to a large phonograph record] With modern audio technology available to us now, the dialog has been put back into the film without any detectable change in the audio quality, and good thing too: I feel this line gives us an insight to just how maniacal Dr. Frankenstein truly is!
Speaking of cuts from the film, there’s one specific scene where The Monster walks through a forest and comes upon a little girl, Maria, who is seen throwing flowers into a nearby pond. The Monster joins her and does the same, but being as there is now two of them doing it – they run out of flowers. Noticing he no longer has something to throw into the water, The Monster looks at Maria and moves toward her. In all North American prints of the movie, this is where the scene ends. However, the original cut of the film shows the action continue, as we see The Monster actually grab Maria, tossing her into the pond, then leaving the area [confused] when he notices that Maria doesn’t float like the flowers did. As expected, this little bit extra was removed because the censors complained about the violent end of the little girl. In the re issue of the film on DVD/Blu, the scene is restored [and is marvelous to watch!]
Lastly, according to The People’s Almanac, there’s one point where the movie was suppose to include a line of dialogue giving The Monster the name: Adam. [presumably like the Biblical Adam?] The Almanac claims that there was an early print of this film that may have been released with such a scene, but that it was quickly cut out when audiences began referring to The Monster by the name Frankenstein..
Although there were many more cuts and edits to the film, Frankenstein remains a classic Monster movie to last the ages. Without the likes of it, [along with the other Universal Monster films] horror wouldn’t be the way it is now – and I love it to pieces for that reason. It’s atmospheric, it’s a landmark in cinema, and it’s still shocks audiences today! I’m glad I got the chance to write this FRIDAY FUN FACT, because up next is Bride Of Frankenstein, which I’ve yet to watch! With the long weekend coming up these next three days, I’m caught working but be sure to join me for my next post – whatever the topic may be!
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THANKS FOR READING.