Movie adaptations


Frankenstein (1931)

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein has been adapted for film many times. The most famous one is the 1931 adaptation which stars Colin Clive as Frankenstein and Boris Karloff as the creature. It was produced by Universal Pictures and directed by James Whale. 

The 1931 movie was a commercial success and it is the source of much of the imagery and ideas now associated with Frankenstein. For example, the film introduces Frankenstein’s now-stereotypical hunchbacked assistant. This is also when we see a bandaged monster coming to life via the electrical power from a thunderstorm – and the scientist finally shouting, “It’s alive!”. 

The film differs from the novel in several key ways. For example, the frame story about Walton is not featured. Moreover, whereas in the novel Frankenstein immediately rejects the creature and runs from it, in the film he tries to communicate with the creature, who seems childlike. Whereas the creature in the novel is articulate and intelli...

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