Welcome to the latest edition of MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES, the column where we look at great quotes from even greater horror movies. Today we look at quotes from one of the greatest horror movies of all time, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), James Whale’s sequel to his iconic original, FRANKENSTEIN (1931).
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN is largely considered by critics to be even better than FRANKENSTEIN. I’ve always preferred FRANKENSTEIN, mostly because it’s scarier and more of a horror movie, but this doesn’t take away my enjoyment and recognition that BRIDE is one heck of a movie.
While Boris Karloff returns as the Monster, and Colin Clive returns as Henry Frankenstein, a new character who largely steals the show in this sequel is the nefarious Dr. Pretorious, played by Ernest Thesiger, who does a tremendous job in a role that was originally offered to Claude Rains. Some of the most memorable quotes in THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN are from scenes involving Dr. Pretorious.
Let’s look now at some memorable quotes from THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, screenplay by William Hurlbut.
In this scene, Dr. Pretorious (Ernest Thesiger) visits Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) for the first time and tries to convince the doctor to join forces with him so together they can once again create life. Henry is not interested, but Pretorious is unceasingly persistent. Let’s listen:
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: What do you want?
PRETORIOUS: We must work together.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: Never. This is outrageous. I’m through with it. I’ll have no more of this hell spawn. As soon as I’m well, I’m to be married. Right away.
PRETORIOUS: I must beg you to reconsider. You know, do you not, that it is you who are responsible for all those murders. There are penalties to pay for murder. With your creature still at large in the countryside—.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: Are you threatening me?
PRETORIOUS: Don’t put it so crudely. I have ventured to hope that you and I together, no longer as master and pupil, but as fellow scientists might probe the mysteries of life and death.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: Never, no further.
PRETORIOUS: To reach a goal, undreamed of by science.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: I can’t make any further experiments. I’ve had a terrible lesson.
PRETORIOUS: That’s sad, very sad. But you and I have gone too far to stop, nor can it be stopped so easily. I also have continued with my experiments. That is why I am here tonight. You must see my creation.
And a bit later:
PRETORIOIUS: Our mad dream is only half realized. Alone, you have created a man. Now, together, we will create his mate.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: You mean—?
- PRETORIOUS: Yes, a woman. That should be really interesting.
Pretorious also shares key scenes with the Monster (Boris Karloff), like in this scene where the two meet in a graveyard sepulcher. Of course, this was a huge change in this sequel, having the Monster learn how to speak:
THE MONSTER: You make man, like me?
PRETORIOUS: No. Woman. Friend, for you.
THE MONSTER: Woman— friend, yes,— I want friend like me!
PRETORIOUS: I think you will be very useful, and you will add a little force to the argument, if necessary. Do you know who Henry Frankenstein is, and who you are?
THE MONSTER: Yes, I know. Made me from dead. I love dead. Hate living.
- PRETORIOUS: You’re wise in your generation. We must have a long talk. Then I have an important call to make.
THE MONSTER: Woman— friend— wife.
Of course, one of the most famous scenes in THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, and certainly the most emotional, is the scene where the Monster is befriended by the Blind Man. It’s the first time we see an adult actually treat the Monster with kindness and respect, without screaming in fear or trying to shoot, burn, or kill him. They become fast friends, and it’s the Blind Man who teaches the Monster how to speak, among other things:
BLIND MAN: And now, for our lesson. Remember, this is bread.
THE MONSTER: Bread. (Takes huge bite from the bread.)
BLIND MAN: And this is wine. (Pours wine into mug). To drink.
THE MONSTER: Drink. (Drinks wine) (Smiles) Good! Good.
BLIND MAN: We are friends, you and I. Friends.
(Blind Man & Monster shake hands.)
THE MONSTER: Friends.
(They both laugh happily.)
THE MONSTER: Good!
BLIND MAN: And now for a smoke. (Lights cigar.)
(Monster growls in fear.)
(Blind Man laughs.)
BLIND MAN: No, no. This is good. Smoke. You try. (Hands cigar to Monster.)
THE MONSTER: Smoke. (Smokes cigar.) Good, good! Good. (Hiccups, looks faint for a moment.)
BLIND MAN: Before you came, I was all alone. It is bad to be alone.
THE MONSTER: Alone, bad. Friend, good. Friend, good! (Shakes man’s hand again, and they both laugh happily.)
BLIND MAN: Now, come here. (They rise from the table and walk across cabin. Blind man lifts a piece of wood.) And what is this? (The Monster growls and shakes his head.) This is wood, for the fire.
THE MONSTER: Wood.
(Blind Man leads Monster towards fireplace.)
BLIND MAN: And this is fire.
(The Monster growls and retreats.)
BLIND MAN: No, no. Fire is good!
THE MONSTER: Fire— no good!
BLIND MAN: There is good, and there is bad.
THE MONSTER: Good— bad.
Sadly, this scene ends badly when two men— one of them played by a very young John Carradine— happen upon the cabin in the woods, and seeing the Monster try to kill him. In one of the cruelest lines in the film, one of the men tells the Blind Man who the Monster is, and he says this in front of the Monster.
MAN: He isn’t human! Frankenstein made him out of dead bodies!
The following sequence is one of my favorite scenes in the entire film. Pretorious tries once again to convince Henry Frankenstein to work with him to create a woman, and when Henry again refuses, Pretorious brings in the Monster. It’s the first time Henry has seen the Monster since the two fought in the fiery windmill in the conclusion of FRANKENSTEIN, and the first time Henry hears his creation speak.
When the Monster tells Henry Frankenstein to sit down, and motions for him to do so, it’s an exact mirror scene of the scene in the original when we first see the Monster, and Henry Frankenstein commands him to “sit down.”
It’s a neat scene. Let’s listen in:
PRETORIOUS (to Henry Frankenstein): Everything is ready for you and me to begin our supreme collaboration.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: No, no. Don’t tell me of them. I don’t want to hear. I’ve changed my mind. I won’t do it!
PRETORIOUS: I expected this. I thought we might need another assistant. (Approaches door.) Perhaps he can persuade you.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: Nothing can persuade me!
PRETORIOUS: We shall see. (Opens door, and the Monster enters.)
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: No! Not that!
(Henry can’t even bring himself to say “not him.” He calls his creation that.)
PRETORIOUS: Oh, he’s quite harmless, except when crossed.
MONSTER (enters room): Fran-ken-stein.
(Henry Frankenstein is surprised the Monster can talk.)
PRETORIOUS: Yes, there have been developments since he came to me.
MONSTER: Sit – down!
HENRY FRANKESNTEIN: What do you want?
MONSTER: You – know.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN (To Pretorious): This is your work!
PRETORIOUS (smiles): Yes.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: I’ll have no hand in such a monstrous thing.
MONSTER: Yes, must.
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: Get him out! I won’t even discuss it until he’s gone.
PRETORIOUS: Go, now. Go!
MONSTER: Must do it!
HENRY FRANKENSTEIN: Never! Nothing can make me go on with it.
PRETORIOUS (to Monster as he closes door as Monster leaves): Now.
Which of course is the green light by Pretorious for the Monster to abduct Elizabeth in order to force Henry to conduct the experiment.
The Monster himself has some of the most memorable lines in the movie, like this one when the newly created Bride (Elsa Lanchester) hisses at him and makes her disdain for him clear.
THE MONSTER: She hate me, like others.
Welcome to the world of dating, Frankie!
And of course, the Monster utters the most famous line from the entire movie, as he clutches the lever which will blow up the entire laboratory. After letting Henry and Elizabeth Frankenstein go, he looks at Pretorious and the Bride, and with tears in his eyes, declares,
THE MONSTER: We belong dead.
Unfortunately for the Monster, he cannot die and four years later would be resurrected for the third film in the series, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939).
But that’s a tale for another column.
I hope you enjoyed today’s Memorable Movie Quotes column on THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Join me again next time for another look at memorable quotes from another great movie.
See you then.
Thanks for reading!