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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Bride of Frankenstein - part of the Universal Classics Monsters Boxset [Blu-ray]

 

(James Whale, 1935)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal

Video: Universal

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:14:44.521

Disc Size: 28,969,489,224 bytes

Feature Size: 22,143,842,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34,66 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 2nd, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1774 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1774 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Scott MacQueen

She's Alive: Creating The Bride of Frankenstein (38:54)

• The Bride of Frankenstein Archive (13:11)

• Trailer Gallery

• 100 Years of Universal

My Scenes

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection showcases 8 of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature From the Black Lagoon. Starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these original films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects. Featuring over 12 hours of revealing bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate classic monster experience.

 

 

The Film:

This greatest of all Frankenstein movies begins during a raging thunderstorm. Warm and cozy inside their palatial villa, Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon), Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton), and Shelley's wife Mary (Elsa Lanchester) engage in morbidly sparkling conversation. The wicked Byron mockingly chastises Mary for frightening the literary world with her recent novel Frankenstein, but Mary insists that her horror tale preached a valuable moral, that man was not meant to dabble in the works of God. Moreover, Mary adds that her story did not end with the death of Frankenstein's monster, whereupon she tells the enthralled Byron and Shelley what happened next. Surviving the windmill fire that brought the original 1931 Frankenstein to a close, the Monster (Boris Karloff) quickly revives and goes on another rampage of death and destruction. Meanwhile, his ailing creator Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) discovers that his former mentor, the demented Doctor Praetorius (Ernst Thesiger), plans to create another life-sized monster -- this time a woman! After a wild and wooly "creation" sequence, the bandages are unwrapped, and the Bride of the Monster (Elsa Lanchester again) emerges. Alas, the Monster's tender efforts to connect with his new Mate are rewarded only by her revulsion and hoarse screams. "She hate me," he growls, "Just like others!" Wonderfully acted and directed, The Bride of Frankenstein is further enhanced by the vivid Franz Waxman musical score; even the film's occasional lapses in logic and continuity (it was trimmed from 90 to 75 minutes after the first preview) are oddly endearing. Director James Whale was memorably embodied by Ian McKellen in the Oscar-winning 1998 biopic Gods and Monsters.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Tremendous sequel to Whale's own original, with a clever prologue between Byron and Mary Shelley setting the scene for the revival of both Frankenstein and his monster. Thereafter Thesiger's loony Dr Praetorius arrives on the scene, complete with miniaturised humans, and tries to persuade the good doctor to have another go at creating life, this time in the form of a female companion for Karloff. What distinguishes the film is less its horror content, which is admittedly low, than the macabre humour and sense of parody. Strong on atmosphere, Gothic sets and expressionist camerawork, it is - along with The Old Dark House, Whale's most perfectly realised movie, a delight from start to finish.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Wow - does Bride of Frankenstein ever look amazing on Blu-ray from Universal.  The image quality shows some grit and grain but contrast supports the endless atmospheric shadows brilliantly. John J. Mescall's cinematography dramatically benefits from the grayscale and contrast layering. Like the other in the Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection this is only dual-layered with a strong bitrate. There is no noise and detail in close-ups is highly impressive. This Blu-ray will make fans of the film and genre extremely pleased. I can't find a flaw in it.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio comes in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1774 kbps. Franz Waxman provides an excellent score that sounds perfect in lossless with an infusion of depth at the appropriate moments and seething violins under the surface. Intense and flawless. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Included is the previous commentary by Scott MacQueen. She's Alive! Creating the Bride of Frankenstein is from 1999 - another excellent David J. Skal documentary - running almost 40-minutes. It's hosted by Joe Dante and is well worth re-watching. We also get The Bride of Frankenstein Archive (13:11), a trailer gallery, another 100 Years of Universal video piece and the Blu-ray disc is My Scenes-capable.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Brilliant. The greatest film of the Universal Classic Monsters Collection and it looks the best on Blu-ray of the ones I have seen so far. Bride of Frankenstein is essential in the 'Essential' package. It really doesn't get much better. Our highest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

September 27th, 2012

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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