Homosexual Undertones in the Movie, Bride of Frankenstein

Homosexual Undertones in the Movie, Bride of Frankenstein

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Homosexual Undertones in the Movie, Bride of Frankenstein

James Whale recreates the original horror of Frankenstein with his sequel Bride of Frankenstein, in which Henry Frankenstein once again tries to play God with the addition of an Eve to his already thriving Adam. "Henry Frankenstein...may attempt to reverse the Original Sin and re-enter the community by acquiescing to the horror cliché that 'there are things we are not meant to know'--except that his initial hubristic motive was not just to figure out eternity but to create life without the help of any Eve (he wants to 'be as God' in a double sense), and when in the sequel he manages to get married it is a sure bet that some Dr. Praetorius will 'force' him into an all-male effort to create a bride for the monster" (Kawin 683). Unfortunately, the creation of Eve does not necessarily mean that her heart will belong to Adam. When the female monster first lays eyes on Monster, she lets out a blood-curdling scream. Thus, showing that love cannot be created, just like a person should not be created out of the dead.

The only successful loving relationship of the film is between Monster and the blind hermit, which is viewed as a satire against heterosexual family values by critics. It is a satire because the heterosexual relationships in the film fail. For example, the relationship between Henry Frankenstein and his bride is doomed because of the kidnapping and blackmailing, which is destined to ruin even the most solid relationship. Also, the relationship between the male and female monsters is not meant to be because the female monster will not stop screaming, thus making Monster set fire to the laboratory causing their deaths. Thus, the only relationship that thrives is between the two loners. The relationship only thrives until society discovers them and deems their friendship unnerving, which parallels the way in which society viewed, and in some ways still views,

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The relationships that are portrayed in the film show an immense genius of the director’s part because James Whales successfully escapes the critics with his homosexual undertones and innuendos. Bride of Frankenstein was years beyond its time with the open attitudes and portrayals of the homosexual.


Kawin, Bruce. “The Mummy’s Pool.” Film Theory and Criticism. Ed. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University, 1999. 679.

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