Not surprisingly, the great success of Universal’s monster films warranted sequels. Hands down, the best of these was this 1935 follow-up to Frankenstein (1931).
The film reunited director James Whale with both Boris Karloff as the Monster and Colin Clive as his creator. In an inspired twist, Elsa Lanchester plays both the Monster’s bride and author Mary Shelley, who starts the film by picking up where its predecessor left off.
The Monster was left for dead but has survived and is roaming the countryside. He befriends a blind man (O.P. Heggie) who teaches the Monster to speak before the creature is forced to flee again.
At the same time, Frankenstein’s mentor Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) arrives on the eve of his former pupil’s wedding and states that he would like his help to assist in creating a mate for the Monster.
Frankenstein refuses, but, after meeting with the Monster, Pretorius forces him to cooperate by kidnapping his bride-to-be Elizabeth (Valerie Hobson).
The subsequent creation scene is just as legendary as the one in the first film.
All the actors are wonderful, as is the Franz Waxman score. Although Karloff disliked the idea of the Monster speaking (even though the character does so in the novel), he is at his best in this movie, which is also one of the few sequels to surpass its predecessor in quality.