The Bride of Frankenstein

A riveting, funny, and suspenseful horror classic.
  • Review Date: May 2, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 1935
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Men play God to satisfy an unsavory whim.

Positive role models

People are protrayed as menacing and cruel, the creature is slow-witted but emotional and the Dr. is just as nefarious as ever. Not much to look up to here.


Frankenstein's gentle when treated kindly, but when provoked the monster maims, even kills. And he's provoked often.

Not applicable
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A blind man gives the monster a taste for drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film has some frightening moments; just the concept of men playing God may frighten some children. A persecuted monster inspires pity. The very young may find the monsters, crypts, and a laboratory crackling with electricity unnerving. Grave robbing, murder, tinkering with nature are the film's main themes. This film might scare grade-school kids out of their jammies, but that's why they'll want to watch it. But it's best for older kids and preteens, who will probably get fewer scares and more laughs out of it than younger kids will. Still, parents may want to remain close by. There's enough suspense, pathos, and intentional humor here to make this great fun for everybody. Seeing Frankenstein and Pretorius at work in the laboratory might spur children to invent something of their own.

What's the story?

Believing the monster he created to be dead at last, believing himself "cursed for delving into the mysteries of life," Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) swears to never again dabble in the reanimation of dead tissue. But fellow mad scientist Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) has other plans, and twists Frankenstein's arm quite forcibly to gain his cooperation in a most unwholesome experiment. The monster (Boris Karloff) is very much alive, as it turns out. Hunted, lonely, fearing for his life, he has taken to the woods to escape humanity, and yet his own human heart yearns for companionship. And therein lies Pretorius's unnatural plan -- to build the monster a mate.

Is it any good?


Stylish direction, a well-paced script, and a story that doesn't take itself too seriously make this classic as enjoyable now as it was in 1935. James Whale directed his last horror movie, with wit, style, and a grand sense of graveyard humor that elevates it high above most of the other Universal monster pictures of the era. Karloff makes the monster a pitiable creature, one children and adults will have no trouble empathizing with.

Yet, the movie's most touching scene, in which a blind hermit befriends him, is almost as funny as Mel Brooks' parody of it in Young Frankenstein. The stormy laboratory scene in which the bride creature (played by Elsa Lanchester) comes to life is thrilling. Even though she lives for but a few brief minutes of screen time, her electrified hairdo, staring eyes, and mechanical jerks won her an honored and well-deserved place in Hollywood's classic monster showcase. For all but the most timid viewers, there's much more to enjoy here than there is to be frightened of.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of "playing God." Where is this happening in real life?

  • What do you think of cloning and other forms of manipulation? What are the ethics of it?

  • What do you think about the way the Monster is treated? How does it make you feel?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 22, 1935
DVD release date:August 28, 2001
Cast:Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Elsa Lanchester
Director:James Whale
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bybubbo April 9, 2008
age 0+

A Classic!

Bride of Frankenstein is one of the best sequels of all time, and one that actually completely out-does the original in terms of entertainment and suspense. This was an extremely entertaining and eccentric horror-comedy with some very memorable moments. As far as content goes, this movie is obviously pretty morbid, and may be disturbing to little kids. There is some violence, but nothing too scary or gross. Good for kids 7+
Kid, 10 years old July 31, 2013
age 8+

the first was better

Bride of Frankenstien is a horror classic with convincing acting, scares, and delightful entertainment but the first was better.
Kid, 9 years old October 10, 2012
age 5+

good movie

i never seen the movie before, but i think kids over 5 should handle it
What other families should know
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