Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

James Whale filmed Frankenstein at Universal Studios in Hollywood.


Latitude: 34.092809200000
Longitude: -118.328661400000

Timeline of Events Associated with Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

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James Whale, Dir., Frankenstein (1931)

James Whale's adaptation of Frankenstein was one of the first major film adaptations of the story, spurring a culture of sequals and new adaptations. In fact, the portrayal of the creature by Boris Karloff became one of the most infamous and replicated film characters in history. Today, the creature, as shown to the left, is familiar to most Americans, even if they have not seen Whale's film. 

Whale's interpretation highlights important questions that the original story provides. What does it mean to create life? What are the consequences of humans playing a role in creation? What is the relationship between God and mankind? What happens when we let a desire consume us? Whale's film addresses these questions through specific film techniques, including extreme close ups and name changes. In the clip below, Whale focuses on the ideas of both innocence and the process of learning, raising questions of whether the monster is at fault for the murders he commits.

Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster