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Frankenstein Sourcebook

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Frankenstein (1931)

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In 1818 Mary Shelley?s novel Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus was published and became a classic. It was dramatised as a play in the same year. In 1910 Thomas Edison's production company filmed a 15-minute version of the book, but it was not until 1931 that the time, the man and the hour met.

In 1931 Universal Pictures released James Whales? film version of Frankenstein and it, too, became a classic.

This page features The Thunder Child's articles on Frankenstein.

  • Frankenstein: From Book to Blockbuster Film (1931)
  • 75th anniversary of Frankenstein (1931)

  • The Jack Pierce Makeup

    Jack Pierce wrote about his creation of the Frankenstein make-up for Boris Karloff, which Elaine Scott shared in a book for teens, Movie Magic: Behind the Scenes with Special Effects: I discovered there are six ways a surgeon can cut the skull, and I figured Dr. Frankenstein, who was not a practicing surgeon, would take the easiest. That is, he would cut the top of the skull straight across like a pot lid, hinge it, pop the brain in, and clamp it tight. That's the reason I decided to make the monster's head square and flat like a box."

    This makeup was so unique that the studio copyrighted it - which is why future film encarnations of Frankenstein cannot resemble it.

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