Elsa Lanchester in ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ (1935)
Film Synopsis: (allmovie.com)
This greatest of all Frankenstein movies begins during a raging thunderstorm. Warm and cozy inside their palatial villa, Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon), Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton), and Shelley’s wife Mary (Elsa Lanchester) engage in morbidly sparkling conversation. The wicked Byron mockingly chastises Mary for frightening the literary world with her recent novel Frankenstein, but Mary insists that her horror tale preached a valuable moral, that man was not meant to dabble in the works of God. Moreover, Mary adds that her story did not end with the death of Frankenstein’s monster, whereupon she tells the enthralled Byron and Shelley what happened next. Surviving the windmill fire that brought the original 1931 Frankenstein to a close, the Monster (Boris Karloff) quickly revives and goes on another rampage of death and destruction. Meanwhile, his ailing creator Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) discovers that his former mentor, the demented Doctor Praetorius (Ernst Thesiger), plans to create another life-sized monster — this time a woman! After a wild and wooly “creation” sequence, the bandages are unwrapped, and the Bride of the Monster (Elsa Lanchester again) emerges. Alas, the Monster’s tender efforts to connect with his new Mate are rewarded only by her revulsion and hoarse screams. “She hate me,” he growls, “Just like others!” Wonderfully acted and directed, The Bride of Frankenstein is further enhanced by the vivid Franz Waxman musical score; even the film’s occasional lapses in logic and continuity (it was trimmed from 90 to 75 minutes after the first preview) are oddly endearing. Director James Whale was memorably embodied by Ian McKellen in the Oscar-winning 1998 biopic Gods and Monsters.
Short Biography: (wikipedia.org)
Elsa Sullivan Lanchester (28 October 1902 – 26 December 1986) was an English character actress with a long career in theatre, film and television.
Lanchester studied dance as a child and after World War I began performing in theatre and cabaret, where she established her career over the following decade. She met the actor Charles Laughton in 1927, and they were married two years later. She began playing small roles in British films, including the role of Anne of Cleves with Laughton in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). His success in American films resulted in the couple moving to Hollywood, where Lanchester played small film roles.
Her role as the title character in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) brought her recognition. She played supporting roles through the 1940s and 1950s. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Come to the Stable (1949) and Witness for the Prosecution (1957), the last of twelve films in which she appeared with Laughton. Following Laughton’s death in 1962, Lanchester resumed her career with appearances in such Disney films as Mary Poppins (1964), That Darn Cat! (1965) and Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968). The horror film Willard (1971) was highly successful, and one of her last roles was in Murder By Death (1976).