Couch Potato Pickings – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

On Five US tonight at 9pm
Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel. However, this well-known portrayal of the creature, with his matted hair, ill-fitting suit, heavy boots and stiff-legged walk derives from Boris Karloff’s portrayal in the 1931 movie Frankenstein and was compounded further by Bela Lugosi’s performance in the 1943 movie Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.

In her novel, Shelley describes the monster as being about eight feet tall, with translucent skin, watery eyes, flowing black hair, black lips, and white teeth. Besides the height, there’s little similarity to the laughable stereotype. Shelley’s monster is a pitiful creature – monstrous to look at, but unnervingly human beneath the hideous façade.

Thankfully, tonight’s 1994 adaptation of the gothic tale is more faithful to the novel because Robert De Niro’s smaller, less hulking portrayal of the monster allows him to appear more human. Click here to read more about this film.

And, finally, I can’t talk about this film without having little a rant about that particular bugbear of mine: people referring to the monster as Frankenstein. I have included this before in a previous post, but here it is again –  Alan Partridge explaining the Frankenstein mistake in one of my favourite clips of all time .

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