Frankenstein + Karloff: The Gentle Monster [In Color / Colorized Version] (1931) DVD


Frankenstein + Karloff: The Gentle Monster [In Color / Colorized Version] (1931) DVD

01. Frankenstein

Frankenstein is a 1931 American pre-Code science fiction horror film directed by James Whale, produced by Carl Laemmle Jr., and adapted from a 1927 play by Peggy Webling, which in turn was based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The Webling play was adapted by John L. Balderston and the screenplay written by Francis Edward Faragoh and Garrett Fort, with uncredited contributions from Robert Florey and John Russell.

Frankenstein stars Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein, an obsessed scientist who digs up corpses with his assistant in order to assemble a living being from body parts. The resulting creature, often known as Frankenstein’s monster, is portrayed by Boris Karloff. The make-up for the monster was provided by Jack Pierce. Alongside Clive and Karloff, the film’s cast also includes Mae Clarke, John Boles, Dwight Frye, and Edward Van Sloan.

Produced and distributed by Universal Pictures, the film was a commercial success upon release, and was generally well received by both critics and audiences. It spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs, and has had a significant impact on popular culture: The imagery of a maniacal “mad” scientist with a subservient hunchbacked assistant and the film’s depiction of Frankenstein’s monster have since become iconic. In 1991, the United States Library of Congress selected Frankenstein for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein
Mae Clarke as Elizabeth Lavenza
John Boles as Victor Moritz
Boris Karloff as The Monster
Edward Van Sloan as Dr. Waldman
Frederick Kerr as Baron Frankenstein
Dwight Frye as Fritz
Lionel Belmore as Herr Vogel, the Burgomaster
Marilyn Harris as Little Maria
Michael Mark as Ludwig, Maria’s father

02. Karloff: The Gentle Monster

After his performance in the classic Frankenstein, he became synonymous with terror. But behind his gaunt glare and distinctive lisp was the soul and manner of a cultured English gentleman. Born in London in 1887, William Henry Pratt abandoned his studies and used a modest inheritance to begin his acting career in Canada, breaking with his past by changing his name to Boris Karloff. He toured in stock companies for years before getting his big break at age 41, landing the role of the monster in Frankenstein. BIOGRAPHY chronicles his life through extensive film clips, behind-the-scenes footage and personal interviews with family and costars, including his daughter. See how he became a Broadway, TV and radio star when Hollywood tired of horror, and how he risked his livelihood and freedom as one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild. Karloff’s legacy is a combination of awe for the monster he created and deep love for his professional versatility, kindly humor, and humanitarian nature.