Frankenstein: The True Story

  • Film
  • Horror films
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Scripted by Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, this is not exactly a faithful rendering of Mary Shelley's novel, although it deserves full marks for using the magnificent Arctic ending so long ignored by the cinema. Difficult to assess properly, since the feature is a boil-down from the 200-minute version shown on American TV, although a misogynistic reading is clearly intended (with the two brides, Frankenstein's and the monster's, emerging as more treacherously villainous than either of their mates). For a while it comes on like bad Hammer, until the arrival of the monster - a handsome lad, but the process is reverting - perks things up considerably. Particularly memorable is a scene where the monster's demurely virginal Bride sings 'I Love Little Pussy, Her Coat Is So Warm', before gleefully attempting to strangle a sleepy persian and lasciviously licking a drop of mauve blood from her scratched arm; and a glorious moment of delirium when the monster disrupts a society ball to collect his bride, ripping off her pearl choker to reveal the stitched neck, then annexing her head as his property. Whiting is a weak Frankenstein, but more than made up for by Sarrazin (the monster), Seymour (his bride), Richardson (the hermit) and Mason (first cousin to Fu Manchu as Polidori).

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jack Smight
Screenwriter: Christopher Isherwood, Don Bachardy
Cast: James Mason
Leonard Whiting
David McCallum
Jane Seymour
Nicola Paget
Michael Sarrazin
Michael Wilding
Agnes Moorehead
Margaret Leighton
Ralph Richardson
John Gielgud
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