Recreating the wild success of Frankenstein was never going to be easy and adapting H.G. Well’s bizarre and disturbing novel might have become a fiasco – after all the star Claude Rains couldn’t be seen for most of the movie…
However James Whale produced the box office hit of 1933 which played to packed houses throughout the world. The special effects – all made without CGI technology – were groundbreaking experiments in film making, and even today many of them leave audiences scratching their heads wondering exactly how they were done.
Above all the movie is true to the character of the novel – a man whose scientific brilliance is his own downfall, made mad by his own experiments. H.G.Wells himself – a scathing critic of attempts to film his novels -actually liked the movie, in spite of the fact that Hollywood wrote a love interest – in the form of Gloria Stewart – into the script because..well movies have to have a love interest don’t they…?
Despite the outrageous success of the film and being hailed as the undisputed master of the science-fiction horror, James Whale began to feel a little as though he couldn’t escape the shadow of the genre that he had created.