- Directors: James Whale
- Producers: Carl Laemmle Jr
- Writers: Novel, Mary Shelley, Play, Peggy Webling, Adaptation, John L Balderston, Screenplay, Francis Edward Faragoh, Garrett Fort, Uncredited, Robert Florey, John Russell
- Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
- Actors: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Boris Karloff
Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive), an ardent young scientist, and his devoted assistant Fritz (Dwight Frye), a hunch-back, piece together a human body, the parts of which have been secretly collected from various sources. Frankenstein’s consuming desire is to create human life through various electrical devices which he has perfected.
Elizabeth (Mae Clarke), his fiancГ©e, is worried to distraction over his peculiar actions. She cannot understand why he secludes himself in an abandoned watch tower, which he has equipped as a laboratory, and refuses to see anyone. She and her friend, Victor Moritz (John Boles), go to Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan), his old medical professor, and ask Dr. Waldman’s help in reclaiming the young scientist from his absorbing experiments. Elizabeth, intent on rescuing Frankenstein, arrives just as the eager young medico is making his final tests. They all watch Frankenstein and the hunchback as they raise the dead creature on an operating table, high into the room, toward an opening at the top of the laboratory. Then a terrific crash of thunderвЂ”the crackling of Frankenstein’s electric machinesвЂ”and the hand of Frankenstein’s monster begins to move.
The manufactured monster (Boris Karloff), a strangely hideous, startling, grotesque, gruesome, inhuman form, is held in a dungeon in the watch tower. Through Fritz’s error, a criminal brain was secured for Frankenstein’s experiments which supposedly result in the monster knowing only hate, horror and murder. However, when we are first introduced to the ‘Monster’ it seems that it is not, in fact, a malevolent beast, but a simple, innocent (if scary looking) creation. Frankenstein welcomes it into his laboratory, and asks his creation to sit, which it does. Fritz, however, enters with a flaming torch which frightens the monster. Its fright is mistaken by Frankenstein and Dr. Waldman as an attempt to attack them, and so it is taken to the cellars where it is chained. Thinking that it is not fit for society, and will wreak havoc at any chance, they leave the monster locked up where Fritz antagonizes it with a torch. As Henry and Dr. Waldman consider the fate of the monster they hear an unearthly, terrifying shriek from the dungeon. Frankenstein and Dr. Waldman rush in to find the monster has strangled Fritz. The monster makes a lunge at the two but they escape the dungeon, locking the monster inside. Realizing that the creature must be destroyed Henry prepares an injection of a powerful drug and the two conspire to release the monster and inject it as it attacks. When the door is unlocked the creature emerges and lunges at Dr. Frankenstein as Dr. Waldman injects the drug into the creature’s back. The monster knocks Dr. Waldman to the floor and has nearly killed Henry when the drug takes effect and he falls to the floor unconscious.
Later, back at Frankenstein Castle, Frankenstein’s father, Baron Frankenstein (Frederick Kerr) celebrates the wedding of his recovered son with a toast to a future grandchild.