Frankenstein: The True Story - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frankenstein: The True Story Reviews

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April 5, 2015
I had occasion to re-watch this gem recently. It has held up well with some marvelous shocks and some very creepy moments. I'm not sure why this was dubbed "The True Story" since it doesn't follow the Shelley book very well, but the performances are very intense and effective the cast is studded with great stars. There was an alternate ending published in the screenplay paperback of this (which I still have) that I would truly have loved to see included in the tv movie.
June 26, 2013
Doesn't really match up to the book like the title makes you think, but instead aims are a realistic version. In that case, however, the film is really long and dull. The still manages to hold classic scenes and moments, and some cheap tv effects, but it does get to the point where most of it seems pointless. Drags on for too long, with dull dialog and useless characters. It works in some ways, but not enough for it's 3-hour run time.
April 7, 2013
I first saw this on TV as a kid. I own the DVD. It's the best Frankenstein movie in my opinion.
½ April 23, 2011
I love that the blurb for this movie praises it for staying true to Mary Shelley's original novel - nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the fact that we have Victor Frankenstein, his creation, and a lot of misery on hand, this bears little resemblance to the original story. It's not bad, though, it's just a different interpretation of a classic story.

Though dated, the acting and plot choices add a very interesting spin on the old tale of mad scientist playing around with forces of nature - the "science vs. religion" argument, almost. However, for some reason John Polidori was thrown into the mix (the man who was best known as Lord Byron's physician and also the author of The Vampyre, a short story left unfinished by Byron) as the grand mastermind behind the science. Victor is painted more of an eager student turned victim rather than an egotistical madman, and the creature becomes a demonic Neanderthal.

However, it is 3+ hours long, so unless you absolutely adore Shelley's book, or love classic horror, I'll give you a break if you decide to pass.
October 13, 2010
A just-barely-decent variation on Mary Shelley's novel. It has a great cast, but it's needlessly overlong (a side effect of its TV miniseries origin) and, despite its good intentions, it really does nothing all that interesting with the Frankenstein story.
June 3, 2009
This is an excellent adaptation of Mary Shelly's classic - that is on DVD. The special effects are at time hit-or-miss. I'm not sure if this was originally a BBC production for Masterpiece Theatre but it has that kind of pedigree and production values. Instead of the "Creature" being a monster he starts out being the physically ideal man. Only later when not being able to sustain life in the body of that was a cadaver and begins the process of decay does he turn into a monster. More psychological then any other Frankenstein - it delves into the questions of is this creature soulless, is it a human being and who are responsible for his actions him or his creator Victor Frankenstein. Great performances throughout, but especially from Michael Sarrazin as the creature and Leonard Whiting as his creator, Victor. Victor is torn between his initial rapture and love for his creation, but when the creation begins to reverse he is reviled and disgusted by it. Although, he has the opportunity to destroy the creature - he is torn by the fact that he cannot destroy his creation. The creature in turn is baffled by Victor's initial friendship and treatment as his child and later Victor's utter disgust and hatred of him leading them to an epic journey to the North where each man faces his destiny.
½ March 23, 2009
Excellent movie. The story as Mary Shelly actually wrote it instead of Hollywood. three hours but worth the effort.
RCCLBC
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2009
Keeping in mind that this is a 1973 'Universal Television' version of the story, this was an exceptional (and more realistic) telling of it.

If you are able to look past the chessy special effects and (mostly) bad make-up, what you get is a very cerebral (no pun intended) and complex look at a story that is usually told in a very superficial and shallow manner.

I was pleasantly surprised.
DrLappos
Super Reviewer
½ October 14, 2008
Lovely retelling of how it came about....I think I quoted parts of this in my A level exam.....good movie.
September 16, 2008
Best Frankenstein film ever.
June 10, 2008
Quite an interesting take on Shelley's original story. I'm sure you're supposed to sympathize with the creature (Michael Sarrazin), but I found myself thinking like Dr. Frankenstein. A mother giving birth is life from life. Why not life from death? Why the hell not? If God gives us the power to bring death to life, why can we not bring life to death? OH....and Leonard Whiting was a total hottie. Especially with the beard.
½ May 20, 2008
I saw this on TV when I was a little kid and have been looking for it ever since. This takes the original Mary Shelley and lengthens and elaborates on it. I read that one person here thought that it reinterprets the material a different way and shows the monster as the true victim and Dr. Dr. Frankenstein as the real monster. First, when I read the novel, I always thought that the monster was sympathetic and found the characters of Dr. Frankenstein to be cruel and egotistical and pretty much a melodramatic drama queen. I believe in James Whale's 1931 movie, the monster is shown as sympathetic as well. In this version, while I don't think Dr. Frankenstein is shown to be an admirable character, I do think he's shown as more redeemable than James Mason's character of Dr. Poldori. It's interesting that his name is Dr. Polidori as the actual Dr. Polidori was present with Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron when Mary Shelley first was inspired to write the story. He was reported to plagarize Lord Byron's work and later died in disgrace. I suppose that was the reason for showing a character named Polidori as a villain. All in all, I found that this version starts suddenly and also runs on a little too long for my liking, but I still find it a good reinterpretation of some excellent source material.
May 15, 2008
the best version of all the frankenstein movie well it wasn't a movie at first it was more a tv series that i had the chance to see again in fantasia three years ago
April 9, 2008
I can't believe my mom and dad let me watch this when I was 10 years old! It is violent, and sexy, with nudity. Back in '74 I had a crush on Michael Sarazin. Now, he just looks ugly. Leonard Whiting is a cutie to me now.
½ April 9, 2008
I saw this years ago when it was on TV in Germany. Finally found it on DVD. I fell in love with Michael Sarazzin who played the monster (weird, huh?) And it made me want to read Mary Shelley's original book. Because this movie takes a totally different approach to the "monster", who is really a victim in all of this. The true "monster" is Dr. Frankenstein who wants to play master over the dead. Far from Halloween Frankenstein Monster!
February 14, 2008
It seems no one saw it, don't worry you didn't miss much.
½ February 10, 2008
Really bad with a capital R. i got a hold of this version by accident. it's so slow that i wanted the monster to kill me too. Seymour was beautiful as usual.
"The process is Re-" *dies while realizing the process was reversing itself*
½ January 27, 2008
I just remember Jane Seymour in it.
½ January 23, 2008
Saw this on tv when first released (it is a tv movie). Quite blood/violent I thought at the time. Not an accurate adaptation of the movie (as the title leads you to believe).
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