The Bride of Frankenstein featuring Sinfonia Gulf Coast is Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Cultural Arts Village in Destin. Here are 10 little-known fun facts about the film, widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time.
- The Frankenstein legend is one of the most popular movie subjects. To date more than 100 feature films have been released with “Frankenstein” in the title.
- The Bride of Frankenstein surprises many first-time viewers who are shocked to discover that it treats Boris Karloff’s “creature” with sympathy. This time around the monster learns to talk, and in many scenes is depicted as a Christ-like figure suffering at the hands of cruel mankind.
- Boris Karloff on the Monster: “He was the best friend I ever had.”
- Many have speculated that The Bride of Frankenstein’s curious blend of horror and outlandish humor was the result of director James Whale indulging his “camp” sensibilities.
- The Bride’s towering hairdo was inspired by an ancient bust of the Egyptian princess Nefertiti wearing a similarly-shaped headdress.
- Elsa Lanchester, who plays both author Mary Shelley (in the opening prologue) and the female “monster,” was the wife of actor Charles Laughton. She based her portrayal of the newly animated Bride on the movements of birds.
- Director Whale so wanted actor O.P. Heggie to play the blind hermit who takes in the Monster that he delayed shooting those scenes until the end of production, when Heggie would be finished with another film. Heggie never saw The Bride of Frankenstein...he died only a few months later.
- Colin Clive, the English actor who portrayed Victor Frankenstein in both Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein, died only two years later of tuberculosis and chronic alcoholism. For 40 years his ashes sat unclaimed in the basement of a Los Angeles funeral parlor; in 1978 they were scattered at sea.
- Valerie Hobson, who portrayed Baroness Frankenstein, later played the adult Estella in David Lean’s 1946 ,Great Expectations. In 1954 she married future British Prime Minister John Profumo, whose career ended in scandal in 1963 after he lied to the House of Commons about his affair with call girl Christine Keeler.
- The Bride of Frankenstein received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Recording.
Purchase tickets online at SinfoniaGulfCoast.org.
Source: Kansas City Public Library