Blog Archives

FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY

FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY-United States-185 Mins. 1973

diabolique-frankenstein-the-true-story-dvd-cover

James Mason as Dr. John Polidori in Frankenstein: The True Story

James Mason as Dr. John Polidori in Frankenstein: The True Story

Leonard Whiting as Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein: The True Story

Leonard Whiting as Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein: The True Story

David McCallum as Dr. Henry Clerval in Frankenstein: The True Story

David McCallum as Dr. Henry Clerval in Frankenstein: The True Story

Jane Seymour as Agatha Prima in Frankenstein: The True Story

Jane Seymour as Agatha Prima in Frankenstein: The True Story

Michael Sarrazin as The Creature in Frankenstein: The True Story

Michael Sarrazin as The Creature in Frankenstein: The True Story

Directed by Jack Smight

Teleplay by Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy

Based on the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

I don’t know where to begin with my review of Frankenstein: The True Story. I saw this as a two-night mini-series when it first premiered in 1973; which would have made me 11 years old at the time. Little did I know at such a young age? I thought Frankenstein was all about a scientist who plays God by creating a man out of the body parts of other men. I mean, that was the original plot of Mary Shelley’s novel, right? Yeah, right. After Frankenstein: The True Story I’m more inclined to think that Dr. Frank-N-Furter was the real author of the classic novel. Let me put it to you this way and I do not in any way, shape or form intend to offend anyone (seriously, after nearly 800 posts you should know by now that I am capable of saying just about anything); but there is only one word to describe Frankenstein: The True Story and that is G-A-Y.

Let me break it down for you. Dr. Frankenstein creates the Creature, which we have established. One of the first things he says to the Creature is ‘beautiful’. That’s not so unusual except for the fact that he says this to the Creature a lot. Then, what else does the good doctor do? He shows the Creature off around town like he was his fiancé instead of his science project. Our good doctor is as giddy as a virgin on prom night when it comes to his patchwork man. What’s that? You’re asking what about when the Creature begins to turn bad? What about it? All that means is that the Creature is struggling and unsure of his feelings for Doctor Frankenstein. Is there another question? Yes, from the guy in the third row wearing the Elton John t-shirt; what is your question? Oh, you’re saying what about the female creature the doctor created for the Creature? As I recall, the Creature rips her head clean off of her shoulders. He also electrocutes Dr. Polidori by hoisting him up the mainsail during a ferocious lightning storm at sea. Let’s face it: there is nothing that is going to stand in the way of the Creature and his Vicky (that’s the Creature’s pet name for Victor).

Okay, before I go any further let me explain once again that I mean no offense to anyone of same-sex preference. It’s just that I’m used to the story of Frankenstein being all about Boris Karloff wearing bolts in his neck and asphalt boots and hanging midgets*  by their neck from the ceiling. I’m used to Christopher Lee looking all pizza-faced and pathetic. I’m used to Colin Clive and Peter Cushing playing God and going the devil’s route. I’m not used to a Dr. Frankenstein who calls his creation a ‘dandy’ and shows him off at the opera. If it seems like I have nothing but disdain for Frankenstein: The True Story let me make it very clear that I in fact do not. I found the acting to be more than adequate for a television production. Leonard Whiting makes for a capable Dr. Frankenstein and Michael Sarrazin portrays with a raw emotion a Creature who starts out ‘beautiful’ and evolves to unspeakable ugliness. Another plus is make-up and special effects which hold up well for a production that is over 40 years old.

Frankenstein: The True Story was initially released in 1973 and the Rocky Horror Picture Show would come out two years later in 1975. Looking back at this film it makes me wonder if Victor Frankenstein’s relationship with his Creature was inspiration for Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Rocky. Yes? No?

*I mean no offense to midgets with that sentence.

I don’t know where to begin with my review of Frankenstein: The True Story. I saw this as a two-night mini-series when it first premiered in 1973; which would have made me 11 years old at the time. Little did I know at such a young age? I thought Frankenstein was all about a scientist who plays God by creating a man out of the body parts of other men. I mean, that was the original plot of Mary Shelley’s novel, right? Yeah, right. After Frankenstein: The True Story I’m more inclined to think that Dr. Frank-N-Furter was the real author of the classic novel. Let me put it to you this way and I do not in any way, shape or form intend to offend anyone (seriously, after nearly 800 posts you should know by now that I am capable of saying just about anything); but there is only one word to describe Frankenstein: The True Story and that is G-A-Y.

Let me break it down for you. Dr. Frankenstein creates the Creature, which we have established. One of the first things he says to the Creature is ‘beautiful’. That’s not so unusual except for the fact that he says this to the Creature a lot. Then, what else does the good doctor do? He shows the Creature off around town like he was his fiancé instead of his science project. Our good doctor is as giddy as a virgin on prom night when it comes to his patchwork man. What’s that? You’re asking what about when the Creature begins to turn bad? What about it? All that means is that the Creature is struggling and unsure of his feelings for Doctor Frankenstein. Is there another question? Yes, from the guy in the third row wearing the Elton John t-shirt; what is your question? Oh, you’re saying what about the female creature the doctor created for the Creature? As I recall, the Creature rips her head clean off of her shoulders. He also electrocutes Dr. Polidori by hoisting him up the mainsail during a ferocious lightning storm at sea. Let’s face it: there is nothing that is going to stand in the way of the Creature and his Vicky (that’s the Creature’s pet name for Victor).

Okay, before I go any further let me explain once again that I mean no offense to anyone of same-sex preference. It’s just that I’m used to the story of Frankenstein being all about Boris Karloff wearing bolts in his neck and asphalt boots and hanging midgets*  by their neck from the ceiling. I’m used to Christopher Lee looking all pizza-faced and pathetic. I’m used to Colin Clive and Peter Cushing playing God and going the devil’s route. I’m not used to a Dr. Frankenstein who calls his creation a ‘dandy’ and shows him off at the opera. If it seems like I have nothing but disdain for Frankenstein: The True Story let me make it very clear that I in fact do not. I found the acting to be more than adequate for a television production. Leonard Whiting makes for a capable Dr. Frankenstein and Michael Sarrazin portrays with a raw emotion a Creature who starts out ‘beautiful’ and evolves to unspeakable ugliness. Another plus is make-up and special effects which hold up well for a production that is over 40 years old.

Frankenstein: The True Story was initially released in 1973 and the Rocky Horror Picture Show would come out two years later in 1975. Looking back at this film it makes me wonder if Victor Frankenstein’s relationship with his Creature was inspiration for Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Rocky. Yes? No?

*I mean no offense to midgets with that sentence.

TRIVIA

The last film of Michael Wilding.

The footage of the ‘Figaro’ opera singer receiving applause is actually a shot of Susannah Foster’s curtain call from the 1943 version of The Phantom of the Opera.

Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy published their original version of the screenplay for this film because they were so unhappy with the way it had turned out. The published script differs from the final film in a number of ways. They were also unhappy with casting – they had requested that Jon Voight be offered the part of Victor Frankenstein – and their hope that John Boorman would be hired as director was also dashed.

bloodbloodblood

James Mason also appears in North by Northwest and Lolita.

Leonard Whiting also appears in Romeo and Juliet and War is Hell.

David McCallum also appears in Night Ambush and A Night to Remember.

Jane Seymour also appears in Live and Let Die and Somewhere in Time.

Michael Sarrazin also appears in The Flim-Flam Man and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

 

 

About these ads

HEY KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR BLOGGER’S TAG!!

Once again my friend Mike at Mike’sFilmTalk has decided to pick me for blogger’s tag. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time that he’s picked me for this and that leads to one final and startling conclusion: he can’t stand me. Why don’t you like me, Mike? What can I do to change your heart? Is it too late?

I jest. Mike is a great guy and he has a great blog and I strongly urge each and every one of you to check it out. As for blogger’s tag, it’s a little game we play whose rules go a little something like this. Someone tags you, you answer 11 questions that they’ve prepared for you and then you make up 11 questions for the 11 people you tag to answer. Let’s break it down:

I, along with 10 other people, got tagged by Mike aka Darth Blogger.

Mike provided us with 11 questions to answer:

1. Have you ever been made redundant from your job and how did you feel about it?

I’m a security guard; I feel redundant all the time.

2. If you were interviewing someone for a writing job, what 3 qualities would you look for and why?

Grammar, talent and respect for the genre in which they ply their literary trade. 

3. What is your favorite board game and why?

Monopoly and seeing as how I lose every time I have no idea why I even play the game.

4. When you look at the stars, what do you see?

I see one of the many splendors of God‘s creation.

5. When you look at the ocean, what does it remind you of?

That Godzilla is lurking out there somewhere in its depths.

6. How do you overcome writer’s block?

By veering off the intended course and allowing myself to entertain other possibilities for approaching what I have to say. 

7. If you could say 3 encouraging things to another person, what would they be?

I love you just the way you are, love the one you’re with and don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.

8. Do you prefer to write your stories/books/poetry/prose/articles on paper first, then type them up and edit them, or do you like to type them straight into your computer to edit?

What is editing? You can do that? Seriously, you can do that?

9. Do you like writing in one genre or more?

I like scary stories; so when I finally do write something it will probably be in the horror genre.

10. As a writer, do you think actions speak louder than words?

Shooting someone with a real gun is way more effective than saying ‘he shot him.’ Action speaks volumes.

11. What is your favorite quote and why?

God’s Grace is giving us what we don’t deserve; God’s Mercy is not giving us what we do deserve.-I like this because I have to remind myself of it every day.

Okay, now here are my 11 questions for my 11 victims:

1. Aliens have landed on Earth and have asked that we give them our least intelligent person. Who would that be?

2. You’ve been voted the Sexiest Man/Woman Alive by People magazine. What are the first five words of your acceptance speech?

3. You’re on a deserted island with Kim Kardashian, Honey Boo Boo and Jason Voorhees. You want to engage in an intelligent conversation. Which of the three would you talk to?

4. Your spouse, whom you have loved and cherished for years, has just become a flesh-devouring zombie. Do you shoot them yourself or try to get them a spot on The Walking Dead?

5. What would happen if we were given the right to kill one person of our choosing without fear of punishment or retaliation?

6. What was the first Album, 8-track, cassette, CD or digital recording you ever purchased?

7. Elvis has come back from the dead. What fate lies in store for all those impersonators?

8. What are the worst book, movie and song you have ever read, seen or heard?

9. Horror movies have been banned and to be caught with one is punishable by death. What do you do?

10. If you could live in any TV or movie universe which one would you choose and why?

11. You have one hour to teach the Frankenstein monster one thing. What would you teach it? By the way, a song and dance to ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz‘ has been done and is therefore not an acceptable answer.

Yay. That was fun. Now let’s see who my victims will be.

Cool Berman

Head In A Vice

The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Erotixx

filmhipster

I know; I’m missing six victims. If you feel like participating then consider yourself tagged. Oh, and pass it on, okay?

TAXI DRIVER: An appreciation for God’s Lonely Man

TAXI DRIVER: An appreciation for God‘s LonelyMan

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle

 

Jodie Foster as Iris

 

Albert Brooks as Tom

 

Harvey Keitel (l) as Sport

 

Leonard Harris as Charles Palantine

 

Peter Boyle (c) as Wizard

 

Cybill Shepherd as Betsy

 
 
Directed by Martin Scorsese
 
Written by Paul Schrader
 

This is a question for my blogger friends. Why do you write a blog? What is that drives you to put words onto the brightness of your computer screen? I know why I do it. I do it because I want to feel as if I am a part of something that is bigger than me. I admit that I get a little rush when I read a favorable comment or when someone likes a review I’ve written. I feel good when I check my page view count for the day and I’ve had a few hundred visitors. That means that all the times that I have sat alone in a dark room watching movie after movie has not been in vain. When I sit at my computer racking my brain for the right words to say I know that someone, somewhere will read what I have written and will appreciate it in some way or another. I am alone as I sit and type, but I am not lonely.

In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle is always alone. Even in scenes where he is surrounded by other people, he is ultimately and painfully alone. In the scene in the diner with his co-workers he is off to one side of the table, slightly separate from the rest. Again, in the diner, this time with Iris, the young prostitute that he feels a need to save, he is still alone. Why? Because his ideas, his way of thinking is so out of tune with hers that they are two people on separate sides of a desert island; always knowing that the other exists, but never making that connection.

The saddest and most heart wrenching scene in the film comes when Travis, after taking Betsy to a pornographic movie on their first date together, is on the phone in a lonely hallway pleading with her to give him another chance. As we listen the camera pans away from him. We don’t know whether to console him or put him down like a dog to ease his misery. Travis is so far out of touch with the rest of the world. He is never alone, yet he is lonely; and he is alone and he is lonely. By its own design, the job of a taxi driver is one of the loneliest jobs on the planet. A cabbie is continually in a situation where he is with people and yet they are all rank strangers to him. For the brief time that they are in his cab, they are a part of Travis’ world, but at no point in time is he ever a part of theirs. Travis Bickle truly is God’s Lonely Man.

Again, I will ask you; why do you do what you do?

TRIVIA

Various studios considered producing this film; one suggested Neil Diamond for the lead role.
 
Robert De Niro worked twelve hour days for a month driving cabs as preparation for this role. He also studied mental illness.
 
Director Martin Scorsese claims that the most important shot in the movie is when Bickle is on the phone trying to get another date with Betsy. The camera moves to the side slowly and pans down the long, empty hallway next to Bickle, as if to suggest that the phone conversation is too painful and pathetic to bear.
 
 
 
 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,048 other followers

%d bloggers like this: