It's alive! The Unenthusiastic Critic's 2019 Halloween Movie Marathon gets underway with a classic creature double-feature: Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
First, we're talking about the classic Universal horror movies of the early 20th century, how they defined the popular image of our most iconic monsters, and how everyone knows their stories even if—like Nakea—they haven't actually seen any of the movies.
Then, we're watching two of director James Whale's quintessential entries in that canon: his 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley's horror masterpiece, and his 1935 sequel that is bigger, better, and even stranger than the original. And we're discussing how Whale—an openly gay man in a homophobic age—turned the Monster's story into a clever, subversive, and haunting tale of intolerance, compassion, and the search for love.
Light the torches: We've created a monster.
0:00: Prologue: from Young Frankenstein (1974)
0:59: Preliminary Conversation: The Great Monsters
16:17: Interlude: Scene from Frankenstein
16:39: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
22:34: Interlude: Original Trailer for Frankenstein
23:22: The Verdict 1: Post-Viewing Discussion of Frankenstein
45:33: Interlude: Scene from Bride of Frankenstein
46:10: The Verdict 2: Post-Viewing Discussion of Bride of Frankenstein
1:17:00: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Movies Reviewed: Frankenstein (dir. James Whale, Universal, 1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (dir. James Whale, Universal, 1935).
—Prologue from Young Frankenstein (dir. Mel Brooks, 20th Century Fox, 1974).
—Links and Resources: "Sexual Subversion: The Bride of Frankenstein," Gary Morris, Bright Lights Film Journal; "A guide to the Universal Studios monster movies, 1923-1955," Noel Murray and Keith Phipps, AV Club; "Frankenstein: James Whale’s Macabre Take on One of the Most Sympathetic Characters Ever Created in the World of English Letters," Koraljka Suton, Cinephilia & Beyond.
—Film Referenced: Frankenstein (dir. J. Searle Dawley, Edison Manufacturing Co, 1910).
—Find additional episodes, leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at unaffiliatedcritic.com.
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—Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0.