In the previous Frankenstein film’s finale the monster was burned in a huge fire. Here it’s started off with the same fire scene, except that in a few moments he is revealed to have bored through the earth to a subterranean stream, which saved him from death. From there on, of course, it’s a romp [from a story by William Hurlnut and John Balderston, ‘suggested’ by Mary Shelley’s novel].
Perhaps a bit too much time is taken up by the monster and too little by the woman created to be his bride. Frankenstein, the monster’s creator, is this time sorry and tries to crawl out but Dr Pretorious forces him to go into more life manufacturing, having conceived the idea of a woman to act as the monster’s playmate. The woman is finally evolved, but she’s just as horrified at him as everyone else.
Karloff manages to invest the character with some subtleties of emotion that are surprisingly real and touching. Especially is this true in the scene where he meets a blind man who, not knowing that he’s talking to a monster, makes a friend of him.
Runner-up position from an acting standpoint goes to Ernest Thesiger as Dr Pretorious, a diabolic characterization if ever there was one. Elsa Lanchester handles two assignments, being first in a preamble as author Mary Shelley and then the created woman. In latter assignment she impresses quite highly, although in both spots she has very little to do.
1935: Nomination: Best Sound