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"Have you never wanted to do anything that was dangerous? Where should we be if no one tried to find out what lies beyond?"
Doctor Frankenstein

Doctor Frankenstein is loosely based on the character of Victor Frankenstein as first seen in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. Nearly every film within the Frankenstein franchise includes some variation of the character, and they are generally portrayed as being an obsessive visionary who creates life by way of galvanism and/or chemical processes. The role of Doctor Frankenstein has been played by such notable actors as Colin Clive, Peter Cushing, Sting, Kenneth Branagh, Alec Newman and many more. The film version(s) of the character has also spawned a family lineage of various descendants, nearly all of whom attempt to recreate their ancestor's work in some way.

Biography Edit

Frankenstein Edit

Henry Frankenstein and the Monster 001

Frankenstein observes his handiwork.

Henry Frankenstein was born of European nobility and grew up in Castle Frankenstein, the son of the reigning Baron. As an adult, he attended Goldstadt Medical College, where he became the protégé of Professor Waldman. Waldman was impressed with Frankenstein's theories and work with galvanism, but grew concerned when Henry began making inroads to unravel the "mysteries of life and death". Henry believed that he had discovered the "great ray" responsible for creating all life on Earth and wanted to harness this power to give life to lifelessness. The college did not support Frankenstein's findings, particularly when he began to request human cadavars as part of his research.

Henry eventually left Goldstadt and continued his experiments on his own. He threw himself entirely into his work and even abandoned his loved ones including his fiancé Elizabeth and his best friend Victor Moritz. Henry hired a hunchbacked assistant named Fritz to aid him. At night, they would sneak into graveyards and steal the bodies of the recently dead. Bodies were easy to come by, but Henry hit a roadblock when it came to finding a suitable brain. He sent Fritz to his old alma mata to steal a suitable brain for him. Fritz broke into the lecture hall of Goldstadt Medical College, but accidentally dropped the glass container housing the brain that Frankenstein coveted. To compensate, he stole the brain of a diseased criminal, but neglected to mention it to his employer.

Henry set himself up in a private laboratory in an old watchtower in Goldstadt. There, he stitched together a human body, culled together from pieces taken from stolen corpses. Waldman, Elizabeth and Victor Moritz came to the tower to talk some sense into Frankenstein, but he refused to abandon his work. He invited them to pay witness to his experiments, to prove to them that he was not crazy and that he could in fact supplant the work of God. Frankenstein met with limited success and did in fact bring his creation to life. He soon learned however that this gigantic creature possessed an inferior brain and had the mental capacity of a small child or animal. Fritz hated the monster and took every opportunity to torment him. Ultimately however, the monster avenged himself by killing Fritz in the cellar of the watchtower.

Henry could not deal with his failure and came to realize that all he accomplished was the creation of a monster. He suffered a mental breakdown and passed out in his laboratory. His family brought him home and he spent the next several days convalescing. Professor Waldman elected to remain behind at the laboratory to watch over the monster. Henry put all thoughts of his work behind him and concentrated on his pending marriage to Elizabeth.

On the day of his wedding, Frankenstein's legacy came back to haunt him. The monster had killed Professor Waldman and escaped from the watchtower. He made his way back to the village and broke into Castle Frankenstein. He terrorized Henry's fiancé, who fainted upon seeing him. Henry soon learned about Waldman's death as well as the drowning of a small girl named Maria, which was likewise attributed to the monster. Henry joined a search party that scoured the nearby mountain regions for the monster. Henry caught up with his creation at the top of a craggy peak. The two fought against one another, but the monster overpowered Frankenstein and brought his unconscious body to the top of an old windmill. Henry revived and tried to escape, but the monster hurled him from the top of the windmill. His body slammed upon one of the turning blades, then fell to the ground. Miraculously, Henry Frankenstein survived his confrontation with the monster. He was taken back to his family estate to recuperate and Elizabeth and he were soon married.

The Bride of Frankenstein Edit


Legacy Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • In the original Mary Shelley novel, Doctor Frankenstein's first name was actually Victor, not Henry.
  • Actor Colin Clive later admitted in an interview that he hated doing horror movies and was not particularly fond of his work in the Frankenstein films.
  • The studios forced James Whale to end Frankenstein on a happy note assuring us that Henry survived his fall and would marry Elizabeth. Originally, the movie ended with the scene of the burning windmill. Later releases show a scene with the Baron happily drinking a toast to the coming wedding once his son recovers. Of course, all of this went to pot after the monster blew up Frankenstein's laboratory in The Bride of Frankenstein.

References Edit

Universal Monsters logo
Universal Monsters Characters
This article relates to characters featured in and pertaining to the Universal Monsters franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Universal Classics characters category.
Frankenstein logo
This article relates to characters featured in and pertaining to the Frankenstein franchise. Some pages may redirect to a disambuguation page, which will provide a list of different versions of each character. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Frankenstein characters category.

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