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Dr. Frankenstein and his monster

Who is Frankenstein? Frankenstein's monster is a fictional character that first appeared in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. In the novel, it has no name but is referred to as "the creature," "the fiend," or "the devil." If was after the novel was adapted to film, the monster became best known in popular culture as Frankenstein. However this was actually incorrect, according to Shelley’s novel — Frankenstein was the name of the creature's creator, and not the monster itself.


History of Frankenstein In the novel, Frankenstein - the scientist, discovers the secret of animating life. All he needs to do is assemble the appropriate parts, and voilà – a living, breathing, functioning being. However, he soon freaks out after witnessing what he has done and flees. The poor creation is left abandoned, frightened, and completely unaware of who or what he is. Soon the monster wanders through the wilderness searching for someone who would understand and shelter him. Unfortunately, when his first attempts at communicating with the world are met with fear and hostility, he turns against humanity. Throughout the novel both Frankenstein and his monster are searching for each other - only to destroy one another for mounting reasons.


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein We usually think of Frankenstein, umm...well as a dumb monster. However, author Shelley actually depicted him as a sensitive, emotional creature whose only aim is to share his life with another feeling- being like himself. The novel portrays him as intelligent and literate, even having read Milton's Paradise Lost.


Depictions of Frankenstein have varied widely, from a dumb killing machine (as in many of the Hammer films) to the depiction of him as a kind of tragic hero (closest to the Shelley version in behavior) in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Throughout the Universal series, he evolves from the latter to the former.

 The Bride of Frankenstein

These lesser-known sweet qualities of Frankie sometimes appeared in the Frankenstein films, just very subtlety. The Bride of Frankenstein of 1935 revealed this more emotional, loving creature. However, the "monster" of the Universal movie franchise is more often typically portrayed as a menacing, lumbering mute with little comprehension of the world around him.




Frankenstein Movies  The most famous adaptation of the story, 1931's Frankenstein, was produced by Universal Pictures starring Boris Karloff as the monster. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Its sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of any genre. Son of Frankenstein followed in 1939 and its sequel The Ghost of Frankenstein in 1942. The latter film marked the series' descent into B-movie territory; later efforts by Universal combined two or more monsters, culminating in the comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.


Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

The following is a compendium of Universal films in which Frankenstein appears (and the actors who played him) are:


Frankenstein (1931 - Boris Karloff)

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935 - Boris Karloff)

Son of Frankenstein (1939 - Boris Karloff)

The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942 - Lon Chaney Jr.)

Abbott and Costello Meet FrankensteinFrankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943 - Bela Lugosi)

House of Frankenstein (1944 - Glenn Strange)

House of Dracula (1945 - Glen Strange)

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948 - Glen Strange).



Lou Costello & the Monster


England’s Hammer Films produced a slew of Frankenstein pictures as well. And to this day, movies are still being made about or loosely based on Frankenstein.



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