[[caption-width-right:340: If only she had known better...]]

->'''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, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos2MnVxe-c&feature=related 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'' [[AGodAmI 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, Mae Clarke 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.

Frankenstein's Monster is also one of the 8 Major Universal Monsters.

!!This film is alive with the following:

%%* AdaptationDistillation
* AdaptationNameChange: Victor Frankenstein and Henry Clerval switch first names in the film.
* AnachronismStew: Intended by James Whale, who fostered for this and ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'' 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.
* 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, skipping to her father carrying her dead body. This made the implications of the scene ''much worse''.
* 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.
* 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 cut.
* 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.
%%* DeathByAdaptation: Dr. Waldman.
* 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.
* ExpandedUniverse: As with other major 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.
* 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''.
* InfantImmortality: Famously averted. 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Not only do all of the film's characters speak English, but almost none of them attempt a German accent.
* 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.
* PietaPlagiarism: When the father carries the lifeless body of his drowned daughter through the streets of the village.
* ProtagonistTitle
* 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.)
* 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?
** A case could be made that this trope extends to ''every'' named character in the film.
* 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.