On Monday, August 24, 1931, actors Colin Clive and Dwight Frye dig up a fresh corpse on the cemetery set. Frankenstein — fated to become the most famous horror film of all time — begins shooting, under the direction of James Whale.
Later on, for the film’s climax, torch-wielding villagers will scour this same studio-bound mountain and Frankenstein will confront his Monster under the same sagging canvas sky. The solemn, artificial landscape lends a dream-like quality to the proceedings.
Boris Karloff is seen here wearing an early test makeup. Notice the clamped “horns” on the forehead, the dark greasepaint down the right cheek and the fleshy lips. In the final, refined film version, makeup man Jack Pierce would smooth out the forehead, adding a single vertical scar over the right eye, and the lips would be painted to appear thinner.