Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.
Release Date: November 21, 1931
Release Time: 71 minutes
Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein
Mae Clarke as Elizabeth Lavenza
John Boles as Victor Moritz
Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster
Edward Van Sloan as Dr. Waldman
Frederick Kerr as Baron Frankenstein
Dwight Frye as Fritz
Lionel Belmore as Herr Vogel, the Burgomaster
Marilyn Harris as Little Maria
Michael Mark as Ludwig, Maria's father
Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the only daughter of writers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, and wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, is the critically acclaimed author of Frankenstein, Valperga, and The Last Man, in addition to many other works. Mary Shelley’s writings reflect and were influenced by a number of literary traditions including Gothic and Romantic ideals, and Frankenstein is widely regarded as the first modern work of science fiction. Today’s scholarship of Mary Shelley’s writings reveal her to be a political radical, as demonstrated though recurring themes of cooperation and sympathy, particularly among women, in her work, which are in direct conflict with the individual Romantic ideals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.