Frankenstein Big Screen

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About one quarter way through the movie, where Dr. Pretorius reveals his jarred homunculi my girlfriend poked me in the ribs and whispered “Barry… This is really weird.” The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is weird. It’s wonderful and it defies description. There really isn’t a movie quite like it anywhere and it is even better on the big screen. DOP John Mescall’s closeup, shallow depth of field cinematography reveals Jack Pierce’s masterful makeup, and for the first time in my life I got a good look at the monster.

This past Wednesday I was fortunate to watch TCM/Fathom Event’s double bill big screen showing of Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). I went with 4 friends who had never seen either films. They loved Pretorius (“…he was awesome…”) and the cigar chomping wine-drinking monster. There’s so much to see in these movies.

In Frankenstein, I had never noticed the flat metal plate on the monster’s left forearm. You see in full detail the monster crying (“we belong dead”) and Thesiger’s angular nose and pruney reticulated face. I wonder if he would’ve received a best supporting actor academy award if the category existed in 1935? One year later Walter Brennen would receive the first Oscar for the category.

I’ve been fortunate to see films like The Wizard of Oz, King Kong, Casablanca and Forbidden Planet on the big screen. These are special memories. Good job TCM on the Franky double bill!

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