[ classic films ]
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein are Universal Studios’ twin towers of terror. While Bela Lugosi’s Dracula (1931) was little more than a grimacing man in a nice tuxedo, Boris Karloff’s silent (at first) monster was a hulking, pieced-together brute. His every move, from the stomp of his heavy boots to the thrashing of his long arms, meant menace. His sunken cheeks (created when Karloff removed his partial bridgework) somehow portrayed the loneliness of a lost soul and lent poignancy to the misunderstood abomination. Directed by legendary esthete James Whale and wittily scripted in part by Philadelphia’s John Lloyd Balderston, both films feature scenes and scripts risky for the time (Dr. Frankenstein’s line “Now I know what it’s like to be God” was cut from the first movie, along with the drowning of a young girl at the Monster’s hand). Yet where dialogue is concerned, Bride is the sharper of the pair due in part to Ernest Thesiger’s overly florid reading of the wily Doctor Pretorius character and the monster’s own last line. It’s a killer.
Wed., Oct. 24, 7 p.m.; Riverview Plaza, 1400 S. Columbus Blvd.; The Rave, 4012 Walnut St.; King of Prussia 15, 300 Goddard Blvd., King of Prussia; Ritz Center 16, 900 Haddonfield Berlin Rd., Voorhees, N.J.