(full title: Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus
) is a novel by Mary Shelley
, originally published in 1818, with a 1823 reprint without Shelley's involvement and a third edition in 1831, this time with significant edits from the author.
For more about the novel, see Frankenstein
This novel has been adapted into a minor subgenre of movies and sequels:
- Frankenstein (1910 film), a film written and directed by J. Searle Dawley, and the first film adaptation. Largely a showcase of special effects, and it was believed lost for decades. Luckily, a copy was eventually found.
- Life Without Soul (1915), the second film adaptation of Shelley's novel, remains a lost film.
- Frankenstein (1931 film), a film directed by James Whale and the first to star Boris Karloff as the title monster. Rather than the cynical, intelligent monster of the book, the Universal Studios version presents a childlike creature that Does Not Know His Own Strength. This is the best-known adaptation, locked in the creature's physical appearance in pop-culture, and spawned its own series of sequels and parodies:
- Frankenstein 1970, a 1958 film directed by Howard W. Koch.
- Frankenstein Conquers The World, a Toho film where the monster's immortal heart makes it's way to Japan and after exposure to the Hiroshima blast, leads to a new giant-sized Frankenstein, who fights a giant fire-breathing lizard named Baragon. Followed by War Of The Gargantuas, where two creatures grow from scraps left behind in the previous movie.
- Hammer Horror made a series of Frankenstein films during the 1960s and '70s, starring Peter Cushing as the doctor. The first film, The Curse of Frankenstein, also had Christopher Lee as the monster.
- Frankenstein: The True Story, a 1973 British Made-for-TV film directed by Jack Smight and written by Christopher Isherwood.
- Frankenstein (1993 film), a 1993 made for television film directed by David Wickes
- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994 film), directed by Kenneth Branagh and one of the more honest adaptations, although widely derided for its hammy acting and questionable casting.
- A miniseries remake of House of Frankenstein made in 1997 by NBC (can be seen here).
- Frankenstein (US TV miniseries), a 2004 adaptation shown on the Hallmark Channel.
- Frankenstein (2007 film), a 2007 adaption shown on ITV.
- Frankenstein: La Opera Rock (2009 play) a Mexican Rock Opera adaptation of the book, taking references from some of the movies. Written, directed, and composed by José Fores, who also plays the role of the creature.
- Frankenstein (Upcoming) Guillermo del Toro is planning his own adaptation, which will star Doug Jones as the monster.
- Frankenstein's Wedding, a live musical filmed in Leeds, with the audience taking on the role of guests at Victor and Elizabeth's wedding.
- Frankenstein, a 2011 play by Nick Dear and directed by 28 Days Later's Danny Boyle starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating as Frankenstein and the Monster. Scored with dark electronic ambient by the band Underworld too. Interestingly enough, both actors have played Sherlock Holmes in modernized TV reboots - Cumberbatch in Sherlock and Miller in Elementary.
- I, Frankenstein: A movie notable for staying true to the Creature's depiction in the book, but having the story take place in the present day and featuring the Creature (now called Adam Frankenstein) involved in a war between gargoyles and demons. Aaron Eckhart plays Adam, Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto play the respective leaders of the demons and gargoyles and Yvonne Strahovski plays a scientist who falls in love with Adam.
- Frankenstein M.D.: a 2014 Vlog Series from Pemberley Digital, featuring the amateur educational videos of enthusiastic and unorthodox medical student, Victoria Frankenstein.
Frankenstein contains examples of:
- Artificial Human
- Audio Adaptation
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Victor Frankenstein never said "It's ALIVE!" in the original book.
- Blind and the Beast: The creature tries to befriend a blind man, and it works! Except the man's family returns and casts out the creature before he can explain himself.
- Sort of subverted in at least one version, where the blind man treats the creature politely... until his family tells him what the creature actually looks like, at which point he's horrified in spite of how nice the creature's been so far.
- Character Title
- Creating Life: Easily the best example—perhaps not for Frankenstein, but certainly for Shelley
- Creepy Long Fingers
- Dark Is Not Evil: A Deconstruction. The Monster was not inherently evil, but All the Other Reindeer made him so.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Trope Namer
- Grave Robbing: In most adaptations, how the parts to create the monster are obtained.
- Herr Doctor: Possibly the Trope Codifier. More the films than the novel; both because the films' version of Frankenstein is more Germanic, and because in the original novel he never got his doctorate - after the shock of seeing his creation realised, he switched to studying literature, then dropped his studies entirely to deal with the creature's vendetta against him.
- Hubris: One of the themes of the plot.
- I Am Not Shazam: In-Universe:
- Lampshaded in the third Universal film, when the train bearing Frankenstein's family arrives in their hometown.
- Wolf Frankenstein: "Why, nine out of ten people call that misshapen creature of my father's experiments-"
- Guard: "Frankenstein Village."
- Mad Scientist
- Our Zombies Are Different: Type C.
- Then Let Me Be Evil
- Too Dumb to Live: Vic runs away from his successful experiment in creating life because it's ugly. Then he destroys the Bride he was making for it, causing the Creature to go on a rampage. All the Creature wanted was some familial love, and then a female companion. C'mere, Vic... we need to slap some of the stupid out of you. In fairness, he destroyed the mate for fear that, unlike his first creation, it would be a monster in manner as well as looks.
- He's also worried that the two creations together could breed and create a race of monsters. Um... brilliant biologist and anatomist hasn't heard of tying tubes?
- Tubal ligations and vasectomies weren't viable with humans until the late 1800s. Castration would still be on the table...
- When the monster told Victor that he "would be with you on your wedding night" he took that to mean that the monster planned to kill him then, even though its modus operandi up to that point had been to target his loved ones. He prepares to confront the monster alone while leaving his new wife undefended; the monster kills her instead.
- Unbuilt Trope
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Creature.
- Age Lift: The Victor Frankenstein of the movies is an old, gray-haired Mad Scientist; the book's Victor Frankenstein is a 20-year-old college kid!
- Lightning Can Do Anything:
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The film is supposed to be set in some country where German is spoken, but most of the cast hardly make an effort.
- Retcon: Both Frankenstein and his creation are pretty clearly killed at the end of the 1931 film, but preview screenings proved so successful that they changed the ending to allow for Vic—er, Henry's survival, and then implying that the monster also survived the fire under the windmill. James Whale originally refused to direct the sequel, Bride of Frankenstein, but eventually decided to so he could make One More River. Knowing he could never top the original, he decided to make it "a hoot."
- Silly Walk: A must for The Igor.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Many film adaptations.
- Working for a Body Upgrade: Several of the films make this The Igor's motivation for employment.