January 26, 2009

Reclining Frankenstein

Boris Karloff in burn makeup and distressed costume, and Colin Clive in dapper tweeds take five on the set of Bride of Frankenstein (1935). This and other backstage shots show the two British-born actors kicking back, quietly sharing a smoke, as opposed to the violent, often bruising opposition of their onscreen personae. Among other bumps and bruises, Karloff reportedly injured his back lugging Clive around in the 1931 Frankenstein.

Here, we get another good look at the Frankenstein chair (also used on Son of Frankenstein), with upholstered seat and arm rests, allowing an exhausted Monster to stretch out between takes.

Dr. Frankenstein: Colin Clive


zencat said...

Does anyone know what happened to Karloff's "monster chair"? Was it used by the other actors who played the monster?

Pierre Fournier said...

I've only seen Karloff using this. There are pictures of the other Frankensteins, and actors in full body makeup like The Mummy, sitting in ordinary chairs. Perhaps this was for Karloff only. Bad back, bandy legs?

I can't tell if the same Monster Chair was used in Bride ('35) and Son ('39). Any studio carpenter could build this in a few minutes, which is simpler than storing the chair in case you make a sequel four years later.