Day 3: If Steve Harvey surveyed 100 people to name a monster, Frankenstein would make it on the board. The name has become synonymous with the monster, despite the monster not actually having a name and Frankenstein being the name of his creator, Dr. Victor. Originally published in 1818, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus tells the story of a young scientist who pieces together a person/creature and gives it life, only to abandon his creation, and be subsequently terrorized by it. The novel is rich with themes of alienation, knowledge, creation, and the purpose of life.
In 1931, Universal releases Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff with iconic make-up by Jack Pierce. This is the image most people associate with Frankenstein, even 90 years later; Flat head, green skin, bolts in the neck. Despite the film’s story having little to do with the book, it was a box office hit and was well received. Frankenstein is a great movie and still my first thought when I hear Frankenstein. Karloff created a great character with mere body language. Followed by 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, a sequel equally as good as the original film.
I think the best book adaptation was 1994’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. With Robert De Niro giving the monster an honest, emotional portrayal, I really felt sorry for the character, making him much more human than monster. I can’t end without mentioning Young Frankenstein, the hilarious spoof directed by Mel Brooks.
Did you know: Legends Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Bela Lugosi, and Christopher Lee have all played the role of Frankenstein’s monster. The films are (respectively): Frankenstein (1931), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) and The Curse of Frankenstein (1957).