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Trivia: Frankenstein (1931)
  • Banned In Kansas: In its initial release.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Boris Karloff removed his partial bridgework to achieve the monster's creepy sunken-cheeked appearance. In Bride of Frankenstein the monster learned to speak, preventing Karloff from repeating the effect; as a result, the monster looks considerably less weird the second time around.
  • Evolving Credits: Opening credits list all the actors except the one playing the Creature, who is billed only with a question mark. Boris Karloff is only named in the closing credits.
  • Executive Meddling: The reason that Victor Frankenstein's first name was changed to Henry (which was his best friends first name) was because the producers felt that Victor would sound too unfriendly and severe for Great Depression audiences (but maybe because they made Frankenstein's best friend Henry Clerval a bit of a severe character, they decided to change his name to Victor.)
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye also appeared in Dracula (1931).
  • I Am Not Spock: Boris Karloff subverted this by admitting that the Frankenstein movies are the only reason he became a successful actor.
  • Playing Against Type: James Whale chose to direct the film because he wanted to do something else than war films.
  • Prop Recycling:
  • Science Marches On: As mentioned on the Lightning Can Do Anything page, the film extends the historical anecdote of Luigi Galvani, discovering in the 18th century that by shocking frogs' legs he could make them jerk about, to mean REALLY shocking a piece-meal corpse could bring it back to life. Yeah, Neuroscience Does Not Work Like That. The dialogue gives some further explanation, but it falls short of an Author's Saving Throw...its talk of a "ray beyond the ultraviolet" which brings life is more a case of pre-Bomb I Love Nuclear Power than anything else.
  • Star-Making Role: For Boris Karloff.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The "Castle Thunder" effect makes its first appearance here.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Bela Lugosi was originally set to play the Monster. He also created his own monster make-up, which is reported to have resembled the eponymous being from the 1920 film The Golem. 20 minutes of test footage was shot with him, but it is considered to be lost. Lugosi got his chance 12 years later in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.
      • Before this, he was also offered the role of Dr. Frankenstein...which would've made for an especially amusing Casting Gag, as the character's mentor is played by none other than Dr. Van Helsing!
    • The role of the Monster was also offered to John Carradine, but he refused it because he felt that it was beneath him.

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