Directed by Jack Smight
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).
Television Premiere: November 30th, 1973
DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English (HoH), None|
Studio: Universal Home Video
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
• Sneak Peeks
The DVD image is rather lackluster - a bit dirty and hazy in spots - I suspect though it is close to how it appeared on TV in its premiere. It is progressive and certainly watchable. Audio was consistent if unremarkable. No extras but the optional subtitles are appreciated.
This television film (shown over two nights) is far from standard fare TV - it has a healthy following - and rightly deserved. I recall watching it and remembering much from over 30 years ago. I was quite young but it was still and impacting adventure with strong performances and a unique twist (to all previous incarnations of Shelly's novel).
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