2017 Blind Spots: Frankenstein (1931)

To celebrate Halloween, my blind spot for the month is the James Whale Universal horror classic, Frankenstein.

via bluescreens.net



Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is mad with one singular purpose: to create a man with his own hands, to play God essentially. He has built a man with assorted dead body parts and the brain of a murderer. On a dark and stormy night, Frankenstein’s monster comes to life, through electricity. But the doctor does not anticipate the kind of horror his monster will unleash.

via bluescreens

Although Frankenstein wasn’t included in my list of films for this series, it’s been a blind spot for a very long time. This film is iconic, the foremost in the monster movie genre. It’s been parodied and referenced endless times. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but a beautiful, even soulful film was not what I anticipated. This is classified as a horror movie, and rightly so. Its stunning black and white photography, eerie graveyard images, and a monster assembled from corpses and a killer’s brain definitely carries plenty of horror. But as I said, it’s a soulful, moving film.


The monster, brilliantly portrayed by the inimitable Boris Karloff, is a victim of circumstance and his creator’s madness. Karloff was completely transformed by that famous makeup, which involved a very long and arduous process. He brings a lot of sensitivity to the role. I was on the verge of tears during one tender scene that quickly turned tragic. But the monster, though he’s misunderstood, is nonetheless a frightening creature. Any tall, hulking half man roaming a countryside or appearing unexpectedly in a young woman’s bedroom is scary.


Colin Clive was also deeply impressive as Henry Frankenstein. I’m not sure if his vivid and intense performance is credited for helping to solidify the film’s iconic status, but it definitely should be. I found Frankenstein to be totally compelling, just like the monster.

The film is remarkable too for its pacing. It runs over just an hour long but isn’t too short. The story and characters are engrossing throughout, and it’s perfect viewing for a dark stormy night.

This is my October entry for the Blind Spot series. Click the banner below for more.



3 thoughts on “2017 Blind Spots: Frankenstein (1931)

  1. Dear Simoa,

    I found this article to be very interesting. You concept of the “Blindspots” series is very unique. I appreciate the fact that you discussed Dr. Frankenstein, instead of just his monster. Isn’t it strange that Boris Karloff’s character is known as Frankenstein, when the other fellow is really Frankenstein? I haven’t seen this film, since I don’t like the horror genre very much. However, I found “The Black Cat” from 1934 to be very interesting, so maybe I will watch this movie some time.

    I just posted the final roster of my “Great Breening Blogathon:” https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/the-great-breening-blogathon-the-complete-roster/. I thought you might like to read some of the articles. At the bottom of the article, we announced our next blogathon, “The Singing Sweethearts Blogathon.” This blogathon, which will be hosted around Valentine’s Day, is celebrating the careers of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy; it will be my sister Rebekah’s first major contribution to PEPS. We would like to invite you to join. The rules are at the bottom of the final roster.

    Speaking of the Breening blogathon, I thought you had a very fine idea for a topic. It’s a shame that you didn’t get to write about it because you were too busy in October. I am starting a new series for PEPS in 2018, called “What Does the Code Mean to You?” Every month, I am going to ask one blogger to write an article about what the Code means to him on any level. I got the idea from your topic of what the Code means to you as a Catholic movie lover. Each article on this series can be about one’s feelings regarding the Code’s relation to Hollywood on one film, in a particular genre, or basically anything that would fit in the third category of my breening blogathon. When an author agrees to be the monthly participant, he can write and publish his article any time during the month. All he has to do is link to my website and include a little banner for the series which I will make. In turn, I will write an article about his article and link to it. I would like to invite you to be the first blogger in the series by writing an article about what the Code means to you as a Catholic movie lover in January. It would be great advertising for both of us, and I think it would also be a lot of fun. If you anticipate being too busy in January, you could do it in some later month.

    I hope that you will be able to participate in “The Singing Sweethearts Blogathon” and the “What Does the Code Mean to You?” series. We could really use your talent!

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan


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