Leading off my 2nd annual Classic Horror Films tradition is the amazing film The Bride of Frankenstein. While it is hard for any sequel to surpass it's predecessor, Bride does it big time. A grand horror thriller with a dose of humor. Director James Whale brings back Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein and Boris Karloff as his creation. But the real delight here is the addition of Elsa Lanchester as The Bride. Her appearance is this film has to be one of cinema's great introductions. Standing on covered stilts with that unforgettable shock hairstyle, she is quite the image. The Bride of Frankenstein is not only one of the greatest horror films ever made, but it is also one of the best films ever made, period! And might I add, it is the proud recipient of a Montie for Best Film of 1935. I just don't give those out to everyone. Well maybe to Cary Grant and Carole Lombard, but that's another story.
Facts and Trivia:
Not long before filming began, Colin Clive broke a leg in a horse riding accident. Consequently, most of Dr. Frankenstein's scenes were shot with him sitting.
The musical soundtrack for this film proved so popular, it was used again in the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials starring Buster Crabbe.
The "body count" in the original cut was 21. This was trimmed to 10 after pressure from the censors.
Elsa Lanchester was only 5'4" but for the role was placed on stilts that made her 7' tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio and fed through a straw.
Boris Karloff protested against the decision to make The Monster speak, but was overruled. Since he was required to speak in this film, Karloff was not able to remove his partial bridgework as he had done to help give the Monster his sunken cheek appearance in the first film. That's why The Monster appears fuller of face in the sequel.
"The Bride", the most obscure of Universal Studios' Classic Monsters, is on screen for less than five minutes and is the only "Classic Monster" never to have killed anyone.
When filming the scene where the monster emerges from the burnt windmill, Boris Karloff slipped and fell into the water-filled well. Upon being helped out, he realized he had broken a leg in the fall. The metal struts used to stiffen his legs (for the famous "monster lurch") helped keep the bones in place until they could be properly set.