This film is currently unavailable

Frankenstein PG rating

The gothic horror that ushered in a wave of cinematic terror, starring Boris Karloff as the reconstructed monster with a human soul.

Horror 1931 70 mins

Director: James Whale



Boris Karloff’s iconic performance as the shambling yet sensitive monster, cobbled together from dead bodies by deranged scientist Henry Frankenstein, is one of cinema’s most influential performances, in the gothic horror film that inspired the first big wave of cinematic horror.

But the first feature-length adaptation of Mary Shelley’s isn’t just historically significant, it remains an intelligent and affecting film about the limits of science, blind prejudice and what it means to be human. Mary Shelley’s original novel set the template for both Gothic fiction and science fiction (professors playing god), emphasising the story’s significance to the development of two genres that BFI has recently celebrated with major seasons.