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The working title of this film was The Return of Frankenstein. Although Elsa Lanchester was credited onscreen for the role of "Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley," only a question mark appeared opposite the character name of "The Monster's Mate." Universal records indicate that writer Tom Reed authored an early treatment and three screenplay revisions for the film. Variety notes that the preview was 90 minutes, 15 minutes longer than the final release; it is unclear which scenes were cut. Modern sources indicate that a prologue and various other scenes including a coroner's investigation, a speech by Pretorius, and several murders perpetrated by the Monster were among the scenes deleted, and note that Henry Frankenstein can actually be seen in the burning laboratory sequence due to the fact that the story, as originally filmed, had Henry returning to save Elizabeth, who would perish in the fire. Expenses were too high to justify reshooting the scene.
Modern sources also add the following information: The film was made for just under $400,000. Claude Rains was originally slated for the role of Pretorius, but was reassigned by Universal to star in their 1935 release Mystery of Edwin Drood . Brigitte Helm, the star of the 1926 classic German film Metropolis and Phyllis Brooks, a New York model, were both seriously considered for the role of the Monster's mate. Because director James Whale refused to do a sequel to Frankenstein in 1933, Carl Laemmle, Jr. assigned Kurt Neumann to the task, with Boris Karloff as the monster and Bela Lugosi as the scientist. This project was dropped in favor of The Black Cat (see entry above), however, and reestablished in late 1934, when James Whale consented to direct the sequel.
Modern sources add the following names to the crew credits: Special Photography Effects David Horsley and Elec eff Kenneth Strickfaden. Modern sources add to the cast: Peter Shaw (Little Devil/Villager), John George, D'Arcy Corrigan, Grace Cunard and Maurice Black (Villagers), Murdock MacQuarrie (Sympathetic villager), Elspeth Dudgeon (Old gypsy woman), Helen Gibson, Harry Northrup and Joseph North. Modern sources also note that Franz Waxman's score, called "The Creation of the Female Monster," earned him a contract with Universal, and portions of the same score were also used in later Universal films. The image of Lanchester as the "Bride of Frankenstein" with wavy, streaked hair, has been used in innumerable film and print ads and humorous sketches since 1935. The shot of Lancaster screaming when she sees the Monster is frequently shown in documentaries on horror films. Sound director Gilbert Kurland received an Academy Award nomination in the Sound Recording category.
Bride of Frankenstein was the second Universal film to feature the Frankenstein Monster. It was followed in 1939 by Son of Frankenstein, directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone. For more information on films featuring the Frankenstein Monster, please consult the Series Index and see the 1931 entry for Frankenstein (see below). In 1985, Columbia pictures released The Bride, directed by Franc Roddam and starring Sting and Jennifer Beals, which contained a storyline similar to Bride of Frankenstein. The 1998 film Gods and Monsters, directed by Bill Condon, featured Ian McKellen in a fictionalized account of the life of director James Whale and included numerous scenes recreating the making of Bride of Frankenstein.