->'''Henry Frankenstein''': Look! It's moving. It's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, ''it's alive, IT'S ALIVE!''\\
'''Victor Moritz''': Henry, in the name of God!\\
'''Henry Frankenstein''': Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to ''be'' God!

''Frankenstein'' is a 1931 horror film directed by [[Film/GodsAndMonsters James Whale]], based very loosely on [[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} Mary Shelley's classic novel of the same name.]] One of the most iconic Franchise/UniversalHorror productions, it also immortalized Creator/BorisKarloff as ''the'' FrankensteinsMonster.

Along with Karloff, it stars Colin Clive as Dr. Henry Frankenstein, Creator/MaeClarke as his fiancée Elizabeth, Creator/DwightFrye as Fritz and Edward Van Sloan as Dr. Waldman.

Here's a quick summary:

Obsessed with {{creating life}}, Dr. Frankenstein robs bodies with the help of his hunchbacked assistant Fritz and sews the best pieces together. After the legendary creation scene, he finds out from his old college professor, Dr. Waldman that the brain he used on the creature is in fact a criminal brain and is convinced that it should be destroyed. However, it escapes and starts wreaking havoc in the countryside, prompting the local townsfolk to grab {{torches and pitchforks}} and chase it down.

''Frankenstein'' was followed by a series of sequels, most notably ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'' in 1935 and ''Film/SonOfFrankenstein'' in 1939.

It is one of many films included in the Franchise/UniversalHorror canon and arguably the single most famous.

!!This film is alive with the following:

* AdaptationalHeroism: While Frankenstein wasn't evil by any means in the original book, he wasn't quite as friendly or responsible as his film's portrayal. He made the monster mainly for his own glory and threw it out into the cold just because is was ugly. And rather than telling his family and friends about the situation when it starts to get out of hand, he keeps quiet and tries to handle it on his own, which results in the death of each of his loved ones one by one as well as his own. In the movie, he does it more for the benefit of science and knows better than to judge his creation by his appearance alone. And when the monster starts attacking, he does tell his loved ones which is largely why not nearly as many people ending up dying in the film.
* AdaptationalWimp: The creature goes from being intelligent enough to learn how to read and speak on his own, as well as [[spoiler:framing someone for murder]] in the book, to almost completely mindless brute. [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Bad]] as this arguably makes him a much more sympathetic (not to mention believable) character.
* AdaptationDistillation: Only about 15% of the novel at best is used in the film. Several characters, most notably Fritz, aren't in the original at all (Fritz was added to a later stage adaptation).
* AdaptationNameChange: Victor Frankenstein and Henry Clerval switch first names in the film.
* AnachronismStew: Intended by James Whale, who fostered for this and ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'' to be a sort of AlternateUniverse which mixed deliberately and freely the aesthetics of the early 1800s (the time that Mary Shelley wrote the original novel) and the '30s. As a result, in this film you see electric lights, X-ray images, women attending medical school and modern dress mixed in with clearly 19th century aesthetics. (Whale's intent was somewhat contradicted by the studio that promoted the film as wholly taking place in the modern day, and was totally contradicted by the nearly-exclusive 19th century setting of the sequel.)
* AndCallHimGeorge: The childlike monster, while innocently playing with a little girl, gets too enthusiastic and throws her in the river, where she drowns. This was considered so disturbing in the 1930s that the scene was cut right as the Creature is reaching for the girl and after a few intervening scenes elsewhere we then see her father carrying her dead body. This made the implications of the scene ''much worse''.
* ArtisticLicenseMedicine: Frankenstein and Fritz retrieve a dead body hanging from a gallows. Upon cutting it down, he discovers the neck is broken (suggesting he expected the condemned man to have strangled to death), rendering the brain useless. A broken neck would not necessarily damage a brain, and even if this were the case, Frankenstein has no issues sending Fritz to steal a brain that may have been resting in a jar of preservative solution for years, its cause of death unknown.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Frankenstein claims that his big scientific breakthrough came when he discovered a form of radiation higher in the spectrum than "the ultraviolet ray", thus proving that ultraviolet was not "the highest color in the spectrum". "Ultraviolet" is neither a color nor a specific type of ray--it's an umbrella term for all forms of radiation that are of too high a frequency to be visible (i.e. "higher than violet", since violet is the highest visible frequency of light). A form of radiation "higher than ultraviolet" is a contradiction in terms.
* AscendedExtra: Dr. Waldman. In the novel, he only appeared in one chapter, his primary purpose to spark Frankenstein's interest in science. The film, he becomes sort of a mentor to the doctor, and tries [[spoiler: in vain]]) to help stop the monster.
* AssholeVictim:
** Fritz, who keeps tormenting the Monster for his own amusement by whipping him and sticking a torch at his face. The Monster eventually has enough of it and hangs him.
** Also, Dr. Waldman. Though he promised Henry he'd kill the Monster "painlessly", it's shown he's actually just keeping the Monster sedated so he can ''vivisect'' him. The Monster promptly wakes up and strangles Waldman.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: None of the evil and satanic imagery shown in the opening credits has anything to do with what happens within the film.
* BerserkButton:
** Henry is well on his way to convincing Elizabeth, Victor and Waldman to leave him alone to his experiments until one of them implies that he's crazy.
** Fire + Fritz + Monster = nightmare scenario.
* BlasphemousBoast: Henry's "Now I know what it feels like to be God!", which drew so much ire in its time from Christians that it had to be covered over with sound effects; the original version wasn't heard for decades.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Henry shows blood form the mouth when fighting the Monster in the mountains.
* BrainTransplant: The monster received the brain of a violent criminal.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Edward Van Sloan's "[[ContentWarnings friendly warning]]" prior to the opening credits.
-->"We are about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even... horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now's your chance to, uh... well, we warned you."
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: The reason for the existence of Victor in the film as, in the original cut, Henry had been killed.
* ClimbingClimax: At the film's climax, the Monster carries Dr. Frankenstein up the mountain side and on top of the mill where he ends up being trapped by the onrushing mob.
%%* CreatingLifeIsBad
* CurbStompBattle: The one-sided fight between the Monster and Henry on the hill.
* DeadUnicornTrope: Frankenstein's hunchbacked assistant in the movie is named Fritz, not Igor. And he ''had'' no assistant, hunchbacked or otherwise, in the book (though the character was added to later stage adaptations, and the film was partially based upon one of those).
* DeathByAdaptation:
** Dr. Waldman is murdered by the monster while he tries to disect it.
** [[invoked]] Averted by Henry, who - after a little ExecutiveMeddling - not only survives the film, but returns for its sequel.
* DeathOfAChild: Little Maria is thrown into the water by the Monster and drowns. Followed by a memorable scene of her father carrying the lifeless body of his daughter through the town. Originally, the studio demanded that the sequence of Maria being thrown in be cut, resulting in an even more disturbing implication as to what happened to her; all we see is the Monster smiling at her and reaching towards her. For decades audiences never saw the monster actually reacting in horror to her death after throwing her in the water.
* DramaticThunder: During the "experiment" sequence. A major contender for TropeCodifier, for "mad scientist" films.
* EveryoneChasingYou: The Monster is being chased by an enraged mob of townspeople.
* EvolvingCredits: Opening credits list all the actors ''[[NotNamedInOpeningCredits except]]'' the one playing the Creature, who is billed only with a question mark. Creator/BorisKarloff is only named in the closing credits.
* ExpandedUniverse: As with other major Franchise/UniversalHorror films, a few tie-in novels have been written, such as ''Literature/FrankensteinTheShadowOfFrankenstein'' from 2006 (which takes place between ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'' and ''Film/SonOfFrankenstein'').
* FaceRevealingTurn: As Henry celebrates his experiment's success while discussing its ethics with Dr. Waldman, they suddenly hear loud footsteps coming to the door. The Monster, still getting used to its new life, enters through the door backwards and slowly turns around, which is then followed with a StaggeredZoom to its face.
* FakeShemp: [[spoiler:The screenplay originally called for Henry Frankenstein to die from his fall from the burning mill. When Universal decided for a happy ending, Colin Clive was in England, so his stand-in was used for the far shot of him recuperating in his bed, with Elizabeth at his side]].
* FingerTwitchingRevival: After receiving the rejuvenating lightning, the Monster is lowered back to the floor, and it starts to come to life by moving its fingers.
* FirstTimeInTheSun: The Creature is absolutely enraptured by a sunbeam let inside by Frankenstein, trying to reach it.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: Heard in the opening graveyard segment.
* FrankensteinsMonster: The TropeCodifier.
* AGodAmI: The famous "It's ALIVE!" rant has Dr. Frankenstein proclaiming "Now I know what it feels like to BE God!!!"
* GraveRobbing: The film opens on Henry and Fritz hiding next to a burial, and stealing the corpse once the grave digger leaves. Henry later claims that it was just one of the many.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The Monster hangs Fritz with his own whip.
* TheIgor: The TropeMaker is Fritz, while the TropeNamer is Ygor from ''Son of Frankenstein''.
* InNameOnly: Has almost nothing to do with Mary Shelley's novel aside from the main characters, some basic sequences, like the creature attacking Elizabeth on the night of their wedding (but he does not kill her), and the basic idea of a man made of corpses being brought to life. This is in part due to the fact the film is based upon a later stage play adaptation.
* InstantSedation: An early example, where the (very large and very angry) Creature is brought down with a single (likewise very large) injection in the back. It takes a couple of seconds though (and it doesn't last as long as expected).
* ItsGoingDown: This trope probably started with the windmill that the mob sets on fire.
* KillItWithFire: The movie ends with the Monster trapped in a burning windmill.
* KubrickStare: Dr. Frankenstein shoots one while responding to being accused of craziness to his face.
* LetsSplitUpGang: Henry doesn't stay with the rest of the search party but ventures out by himself. Naturally, he faces the monster shortly after.
* LightningCanDoAnything: Key component of bringing the monster to life is raising its operating table to the roof, where it receives lightning strikes. However, unlike some other versions, this happens offscreen.
* MadScientist: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] and [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] early on regarding Dr. Frankenstein. He doesn't take kindly to the trope being applied to him....
* MadScientistLaboratory: Frankenstein's well-equipped lab where the monster is StrappedToAnOperatingTable.
* MixAndMatchMan: The Monster is made up of various spare parts from stolen corpses.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Frankenstein begins to have this reaction after he realizes how out of control his experiment has gotten. The Monster himself has one after accidentally killing little Maria.
* NatureVersusNurture: One of the most major ways the film departs from novel. In Shelley's book, ''nurture'' is why the monster became evil. He only wanted friends, and the world treated him horribly for his appearance.. In the film, ''nature'' is why he's evil. He has the brain of a notorious criminal.
* NoNameGiven: The Monster is never referred to by any actual name (some adaptations do assign a name to him). This didn't stop the general public from outright referring to the creature by the name Frankenstein, even though this is incorrect. A later Universal film, ''Film/AbbottAndCostelloMeetFrankenstein'', cemented this thanks to its title (no one else by the name Frankenstein appears in the film). And the 2004 film ''Film/VanHelsing'' (a very partial remake of this film) refers to the creature directly by this name and the creature answers to it.
* NonMaliciousMonster: The monster means no harm.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Not only do all of the film's characters speak English, but almost none of them attempt a German accent. Most notably, Colin Clive speaks with a British accent throughout, while the actor playing his father speaks with an American one.
* NotNamedInOpeningCredits: The opening credits don't mention Boris Karloff and list The Monster as being played by "?". The closing credits then [[EvolvingCredits do have his name]] alongside the character.
* OhCrap: The look on Henry's face after Dr. Waldman tells him he used a criminal's brain in his experiment.
** Also the look on the Monster's face when he finds that he killed Maria.
* PietaPlagiarism: When the father carries the lifeless body of his drowned daughter through the streets of the village.
* RepeatCut: When the monster enters Elizabeth's room through the window and she turns around to see him, her {{Gasp}} gesture is repeated.
* ShoutOut: Henry Frankenstein isn't quite an {{Expy}}, but his theatrics definitely bring to mind UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla's LargeHam tendencies.
%%* SillyWalk
* SocietyMarchesOn: Now a days, if you told your fiancee "My work must come first, even before you", she would likely dump you immediately (which Elizabeth actually almost does in [[Film/MaryShelleysFrankenstein much more book faithful 1994 adaptation]]).
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Elizabeth and Victor in the final cut. [[spoiler: And the monster [[NotQuiteDead as it turns out]].]] Also Henry Clerval (or Victor as he's called in this film.)
* StockSoundEffects: The "Castle Thunder" effect makes its first appearance here.
* TheyCalledMeMad:
** If not the TropeMaker, than this is certainly the TropeCodifier.
** Also, Henry's famous line [[LargeHam "It's ALIIIVEEE!!"]] was originally cut short, because he then goes on to say [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos2MnVxe-c "Now I know what it feels like to BE GOD!!!"]] (The censors said it was blasphemous (it is). The line was cut off by a thunderbolt; the full line wasn't restored until ''1999'')
* TooDumbToLive:
** Oh Fritz, stealing the brain of a notorious criminal because you ruined the good brain that was originally planned to use? [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong What could possible go wrong?]] And then haplessly [[BullyingADragon bullying the monster]], who is much stronger and more powerful than you? Did someone take your brain too?
* TorchesAndPitchforks: Once Monster attacks Elizabeth and his previous victim is brought into the town, a search party carrying torches is organized to hunt him down.
* {{Uberwald}}: The film is set around Germanic countryside.
* WhipItGood: Fritz torments the Monster with a whip at one point, [[KarmicDeath with fatal consequences]].
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: The Monster's fear of fire is established here. He however ignores it when he comes face to face with his creator near the climax.
* YoureInsane:
-->'''Victor Moritz''': You're crazy!\\
'''Henry Frankenstein''': Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.
** Henry's later "success" elicits an example of TheyCalledMeMad.