Frankenstein (1931) Script

How do you do?

Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning.

We are about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science, who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God.

It is one of the strangest tales ever told.

It deals with the two great mysteries of creation, life and death.

I think it will thrill you.

It may shock you.

It might even horrify you.

So, if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to...

Well, we've warned you.


Down! Down, you fool!


Come on.

Hurry, hurry.

The moon's rising. We've no time to lose.

Oh, careful!

There we go.

Here he comes!

He's just resting, waiting for a new life to come.

Here we are.

Look. it's still here.

Climb up and cut the rope.


Go on. it can't hurt you.

Here's the knife.

Look out!

Here's the knife.

Here I come.

Is it all right?

The neck's broken.

The brain is useless.

We must find another brain.

That will do, gentlemen.

And in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, here we have one of the most perfect specimens of the human brain that has ever come to my attention at the university.

And here, the abnormal brain of the typical criminal.

Observe, ladies and gentlemen, the scarcity of convolutions on the frontal lobe, as compared to that of the normal brain, and the distinct degeneration of the middle frontal lobe.

All of these degenerate characteristics check amazingly with the case history of the dead man before us, whose life was one of brutality, of violence and murder.

Both of these jars will remain here for your further inspection.

Thank you, gentlemen. The class is dismissed.

Herr Victor Moritz.


I'm so glad you've come.

What is it, Elizabeth?

Oh, you've heard from Henry.

Yes. The first word in four months.

It just came.

Victor, you must help me.

Why, of course I'll help you.

I'm afraid.

I've read this over and over again, but they're just words that I can't understand.


"You must have faith in me, Elizabeth. Wait.

"My work must come first, even before you.

"At night, the winds howl in the mountains.

"There is no one here.

"Prying eyes can't peer into my secret."

What can he mean?

What does he say then?

"I am living in an abandoned, old watchtower, "close to the town of Goldstadt.

"Only my assistant is here to help me with my experiments."

Oh, his experiments.

Yes, that's what frightens me.

The very day we announced our engagement, he told me of his experiments.

He said he was on the verge of a discovery so terrific that he doubted his own sanity.

There was a strange look in his eyes, some mystery.

His words carried me right away.

Of course, I've never doubted him, but still I worry.

I can't help it.

And now this letter.

All this uncertainty can't go on. I must know.

Victor, have you seen him?

Yes. About three weeks ago.

I met him walking alone in the woods.

He spoke to me of his work, too.

I asked him if I might visit his laboratory.

He just glared at me and said he would let no one go there.

His manner was very strange.

Oh, what can we do?

Oh, if he should be ill...

Now, don't worry.

I'll go to Dr. Waldman, Henry's old professor in medical school.

Perhaps he can tell me more about all this.

Oh, Victor, you're a dear.

You know I'd go to the ends of the Earth for you.

I shouldn't like that. I'm far too fond of you.

I wish you were.


I'm sorry.

Good night, Victor, and thank you. Thank you.

Good night. And don't worry. Promise?

I won't.

Victor? What is it?

I'm coming with you.

But, Elizabeth, you can't do that!

I must! I'll be ready in a minute.

Herr Frankenstein is a most brilliant young man, yet so erratic, he troubles me.

I'm worried about Henry. Why has he left the university?

He was doing so well, and he seemed so happy with his work.

Well, you know, his researches in the field of chemical galvanism and electro-biology were far in advance of our theories here at the university.

In fact, they had reached a most advanced stage.

They were becoming dangerous.

Herr Frankenstein is greatly changed.

You mean, changed as a result of his work?

Yes, his work.

His insane ambition to create life.

How? How?

Please tell us everything, whatever it is.

The bodies we use in our dissecting room for lecture purposes were not perfect enough for his experiments, he said.

He wished us to supply him with other bodies, and we were not to be too particular as to where and how we got them.

I told him that his demands were unreasonable, and so he left the university to work unhampered.

He found what he needed elsewhere.

Oh. The bodies of animals.

Well, what are the lives of a few rabbits and dogs?

You do not quite get what I mean.

Herr Frankenstein was interested only in human life.

First to destroy it, then recreate it.

There you have his mad dream.

Can we go to him?

You will not be very welcome.

Oh, what does that matter? I must see him.

Dr. Waldman, you have influence with Henry.

Won't you come with us?

I'm sorry, but Herr Frankenstein is no longer my pupil.

But he respects you.

Won't you help us to take him away?

Very well, Fräulein. I've warned you.

But if you wish it, I will go.



Have you finished making those connections?

Yes, they're done.

Well, come down then and help with these attachments.

We've lots to do.

Look out.


If this storm develops as I hope, you will have plenty to be afraid of before the night's over.

Go on. Fix the electrodes.

This storm will be magnificent!

All the electrical secrets of heaven!

And this time we're ready, eh, Fritz? Ready.

Why, what's the matter?


There's nothing to fear. Look.

No blood, no decay.

Just a few stitches.

And look, here's the final touch.

The brain you stole, Fritz. Yes.

Think of it. The brain of a dead man, waiting to live again in a body I made with my own hands.

With my own hands.

Let's have one final test. Throw the switches.


In 15 minutes, the storm should be at its height.

Then we'll be ready.

What's that?

There's someone there.


Send them away.

Nobody must come here.

Here! Cover this.

Whoever it is, don't let them in.

Leave them to me.

Of all times for anybody to come, now!

Think I'm going to let these people in? Not much.

I'll show them, messing about at this time of night.

Got too much to do.

Wait a minute! All right! All right!

Wait a minute. I'm coming.

It's Dr. Waldman, Fritz.

You can't see him. Go away.

All right, knock, but you can't get in.

Henry! Frankenstein!

Henry! Frankenstein!


Open the door! Let us in!

Who is it? Who is it? What do you want? You must leave me alone now!

It's Elizabeth. Open the door!

Henry! Henry!

What do you want? Open the door.

Let us in! You must leave me alone.

Henry, at least give us shelter!

What's all this nonsense of locked doors? Henry!

Elizabeth, please. Won't you go away?

Won't you trust me, just for tonight?

Oh, you're ill. What's the matter?

Nothing. I'm quite all right.

Truly, I am.

Oh, can't you see I mustn't be disturbed?

You'll ruin everything. My experiment is almost completed.

Wait a moment. I understand.

I believe in you, but I cannot leave you tonight.

You've got to leave!

Henry, you're inhuman!

You're crazy!

Crazy, am I?

We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

Come on up.

Are you quite sure you want to come in?

Very well.

Forgive me, but I'm forced to take unusual precautions.

Sit down, please.

Sit down!

You too, Elizabeth.


A moment ago, you said I was crazy.

Tomorrow we'll see about that.

Don't touch that!

I'm sorry, Doctor, but I insist.


Dr. Waldman, I learned a great deal from you at the university about the violet ray, the ultraviolet ray, which you said was the highest color in the spectrum.

You were wrong.

Here in this machinery, I have gone beyond that.

I have discovered the great ray that first brought life into the world.

Oh. And your proof?

Tonight you shall have your proof.

At first, I experimented only with dead animals and then a human heart, which I kept beating for three weeks.

But now, I'm going to turn that ray on that body and endow it with life.

And you really believe that you can bring life to the dead?

That body is not dead.

It has never lived.

I created it.

I made it with my own hands from the bodies I took from graves, from the gallows, anywhere!

Go and see for yourself.

You, too.

Dead, eh?

Quite a good scene, isn't it?

One man crazy, three very sane spectators.

Is everything ready? Yes!

Get the batteries.

Look. it's moving.

It's alive. it's alive.

It's alive.

It's moving. It's alive.

Oh, it's alive! It's alive! it's alive!

It's alive!

Henry, in the name of God.

In the name of God!

Now I know what it feels like to be God!

Henry is well, but he's very busy.

He said he would get in touch with you soon.

Don't worry about him, Baron.

He'll be home in a few days.

You two have it all arranged, haven't you?

You think I'm an idiot, don't you?

But I'm not.

Anyone can see with half an eye that there's something wrong.

And I have two eyes, pretty good ones, at that.

Well, what is it?

You're quite mistaken, Baron.

What's the matter with my son? What's he doing?

He's completing his experiments, that's all.

Why does he go messing around an old, ruined windmill, when he has a decent house, a bath, good food and drink and a darned pretty girl to come back to?

Will you tell me that?

Oh, Baron, you don't understand.

I understand perfectly well.

There's another woman, and you're afraid to tell me.

Pretty sort of experiments these must be.

Oh, but you're wrong.

And how do you know?

If you please, Herr Baron, the Burgomaster.

Well, tell him to go away.

But he says it's important.

Nothing the Burgomaster can say can be of the slightest importance.

Good day, Herr Baron. Fräulein.

Well, what do you want?

If it's trouble, go away. I have trouble enough.

Oh, there's no trouble, sir.

What do you mean, "No trouble"? There's nothing but trouble.

I brought you these flowers.

Thank you, Herr Vogel.

Both in my private and official capacities as Burgomaster...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, we know all about that, but what do you want?

Well, what I really want to know is, when will the wedding be, if you please?

Unless Henry comes to his senses, there'll be no wedding at all.

But, Herr Baron, the village is already prepared!

Well, tell them to unprepare.

Oh, but such a lovely bride.

Such a fine young man, the very image of his father.

Heaven forbid.

But, sir, everything is ready!

I know that. Don't keep on saying so, you idiot.

There's nothing to cry about.

Good day, Miss Elizabeth.

Good day, Herr Moritz.

Good day, Herr Vogel.

Good day, Herr Baron.

And good riddance to you.

There you are. You see how it is.

The whole village is kept waiting.

The bride is kept waiting.

And I am kept waiting.

Henry must come home, if I have to fetch him myself.

No, no, Baron. What do you mean, "No, no"?

What about his work?

Stuff and nonsense! What about his wedding?

There is another woman, and I'm going to find her.

Oh, come and sit down, Doctor.

You must be patient.

Do you expect perfection at once?

This creature of yours should be kept under guard!

Mark my words, he will prove dangerous!


Poor old Waldman.

Have you never wanted to do anything that was dangerous?

Where should we be if nobody tried to find out what lies beyond?

Have you never wanted to look beyond the clouds and the stars, or to know what causes the trees to bud, and what changes a darkness into light?

But if you talk like that, people call you crazy.

Well, if I could discover just one of these things, what eternity is, for example, I wouldn't care if they did think I was crazy!

You're young, my friend. Your success has intoxicated you.

Wake up and look facts in the face.

Here we have a fiend whose brain...

Whose brain must be given time to develop.

It's a perfectly good brain, Doctor.

Well, you ought to know. it came from your own laboratory.

The brain that was stolen from my laboratory was a criminal brain.

Oh, well. After all, it's only a piece of dead tissue.

Only evil can come of it.

Your health will be ruined if you persist in this madness.

I'm astonishingly sane, Doctor.

You have created a monster, and it will destroy you!

Patience, patience.

I believe in this monster, as you call it, and if you don't, well, you must leave me alone.

But think of Elizabeth, your father.

Elizabeth believes in me.

My father never believes in anyone.

I've got to experiment further.

He's only a few days old, remember.

So far he's been kept in complete darkness.

Wait till I bring him into the light.

Here he comes.

Let's turn out the light.

Come in.

Come in!

Sit down.

Sit down!

You see? it understands.


Take care, Herr Frankenstein! Take care!

Shut out the light!

Sit down.

Go and sit down.

It understands this time. It's wonderful.

Frankenstein! Frankenstein! Where is it? Where is it?

Quiet, you fool!

Get away with that torch!


Fetch the rope. Quick!

Stop kicking!

Get him to the cellar!

Shoot it! It's a monster!

Quiet. Quiet!


You'll have the whole countryside on us!

Come away! He has the strength of 10 men.

This is madness. Give me that.

Oh, come away, Fritz.

Leave it alone. Leave it alone.

Listen. What's that? Who's there?

It's Fritz!

Come on, Doctor. Quick. Hurry.

Get back.

Get back. Get back.

Quick. Quick!

He hated Fritz. Fritz always tormented him.

Come, come. Pull yourself together.

What can we do?

Kill it, as you would any savage animal.

We must overpower him first. Get me a hypodermic needle.

It's murder. It's our only chance.

In a few minutes he'll be through that door.

Come quick. Hurry.

Got it? Yes.

Here it is. It's very strong.

Half-grain solution.

Good. Now, then.

You stand there.

When he goes toward you, I will make the injection in his back.


Ready? Yes.

Get back. Back!

Dr. Waldman? Dr. Waldman!

Are you hurt?

No, no, I'm all right. It's nothing.

See who's at the door.

What's happening here?

Elizabeth and your father are coming up the hill to see you.

You must keep them out. Too late.

They must not see that. Here, quick, give me a hand.


Down here.

Henry, you better hurry upstairs and get that blood off your face before your father and Elizabeth get here.

All right.

Well, pretty sort of place for my son to be in, I must say.

Is that the front door?

Yes, this is it.

Why, I don't like it, but here goes.

Why, that...

There doesn't seem to be anybody in the place.


What a forsaken place here.

You're trying to burn it down, eh? What's that for, eh?

What's the matter with you?

You look as though you've been kicked by a horse.

Where's Henry? Why...


He can't be disturbed just now.

Oh, can't he? I'll soon settle that nonsense.

Victor, where is he?

This place seems to drive everybody crazy. I...

Good heavens, what's that?

I beg your pardon. I am Dr. Waldman.

Oh, are you? I'm Baron Frankenstein.

Perhaps you know what all this tommyrot's about.

I'll be shot if I do.

I would advise you to take Henry away from here at once.

What do you suppose I'm here for, pleasure? Huh?

Where are you, my dear? Oh, there you are.

Let's go and see what's up the awful stairs.

I don't know how the deuce I'm going to get up them.

Just watch me. Do the trick.

Leave them alone.

No banisters or anything else.

God bless his soul. How much further?

Come in.




Victor, Dr. Waldman, come quickly!

My dear, what have they done to you?

Poor, poor, Fritz. It's all my fault.

Get him on the sofa. Come on.

Oh. Oh, my boy.

Thank you.

Have you got any brandy?

I did it. Quick, quick, quick, quick.

Here, I'll do that.

Come on, boy. Now, now, now, drink. Drink this.

There. There, that's better.

I'm going to take you home with me, Henry.

No, I can't. My work.

What will happen to the records of my experiment?

We will preserve them.

And... I will see that it is painlessly destroyed.

No. Yes, yes. Leave it all to me.

Poor Fritz. All my fault.

There, Henry. You can't do any more now.

You must come home until you get well again.

You'll soon feel better when you get out of here.

It's like heaven, being with you again.

Heaven wasn't so far away all the time, you know.

I know, but I didn't realize it.

My work...

Those horrible days and nights.

I couldn't think of anything else.


You're not to think of those things anymore. You promised.

All right. Let's think about us.

When will our wedding be?

Let's make it soon.

As soon as you like.

For three generations, these orange blossoms have been worn at our weddings.

Your great-grandfather wore this, Henry.

Looks as good as new now, eh?

Thank you. And here.

Here's one to make the best man look still better.

Thank you, sir.

Thirty years ago, I placed this on your mother's head, Henry.

Today you'll make me very happy by doing the same for Elizabeth.

And I hope in 30 years time, a youngster of yours will be carrying on the tradition.

And now, how about a little drink, eh? Come on.

My grandfather bought this wine and laid it down.

My grandmother wouldn't let him drink it.

Oh, bless her heart. Here's to your very good health.

Well, you all full? Yes? Come along.

Here's a health to a son of the house of Frankenstein.

A son to the house of Frankenstein.

Here's a jolly good health to young Frankenstein.

Young Frankenstein.

Here, Hyde.

Give the servants some champagne.

This stuff's wasted on them.

Well, well, well, well.

Go on, mop it up, mop it up. it'll do you good.

To the house of Frankenstein.

To the house of Frankenstein.

Thank you.

Now, then, now be off about your business.

Listen. Listen to them.

The boys and girls are busy, my dear.

It's extraordinary how friendly you can make a lot of people on a couple of bottles of beer.

Tomorrow they'll all be fighting.

No doubt.

They're calling for you, Baron.

Well, I suppose I'd better show myself.

Make a little talk.


Thank you all very much indeed.

I am very pleased to see you all, and I hope there's plenty of beer.

At all events there's lots more where that came from.

You stay here, Maria. I'll just take a look at my traps.

Then we'll go to the village and have a grand time, huh?

You won't be long, Daddy? Oh, no, no.

If Hans comes by, tell him I'll be back soon? Hmm?

Daddy, won't you stay and play with me a little while?

I'm too busy, darling. You stay and play with the kitty, huh?

Bye, Daddy.


Be a good girl now.

Come on, kitty.

Who are you?

I'm Maria.

Will you play with me?

Would you like one of my flowers?

You have those, and I'll have these.

I can make a boat.

See how mine floats?

No, you're hurting me! No!

They're having a wonderful time, aren't they?



Oh, how lovely you look. But you shouldn't be here.

I must see you for a minute.

Well, what's the matter?

Could you leave us for a moment?

Why, of course.

Well, what is it?

Oh, I'm so glad you're safe.

Safe? Of course I'm safe. But you look worried.

Is anything wrong?


No, forget my foolishness. It was just a mood.

There's nothing the matter.

Of course there isn't.

Henry, I'm afraid, terribly afraid.

Where's Dr. Waldman? Why is he late for the wedding?

Oh, he's always late. He'll be here soon.

Something is going to happen.

I feel it.

I can't get it out of my mind.

You're just nervous.

All the excitement and preparation.

No, no, it isn't that.

I felt it all day.

Something is coming bet ween us.

I know it. I know it!

Sit down and rest. You look so tired.

If I could just do something to save us from it.

From what, dear? From what?

I don't know. if I could just get it out of my mind.

Oh, I'd die if I had to lose you now, Henry.

Lose me? Why, I'll always be with you.

Will you, Henry? Are you sure?

I love you so.


How beautiful you look.

Henry! Henry!

What's that? What's that? Henry! Henry!

Henry! Dr. Waldman! Dr. Waldman! What about Dr. Waldman?

Henry, don't leave me. Don't leave me.

No, darling, you stay here.

Henry. Henry!

Dr. Waldman's been murdered in the tower.

The monster?

He's been seen in the hills terrorizing the mountainside.

He's in the house.

He's upstairs!

Oh, God!

It's in the cellars.

It's Elizabeth. Come on.

Someone open the door!


Where is it?

Don't let it come here. No, no, no, darling.

Don't let it come here. It's all right.

Don't let it come here.

It's all right, darling. It's all right.

Oh, look! Look, Maria!

Silence! Silence!

Silence. What is it? What is it?

Maria, she's drowned.

My poor man, why do you bring her here to me?

But she has been murdered.

Silence! I'll see that justice is done!

Who is it?

How is Elizabeth now?

I don't know.

She's still in a daze. Just looks at me and says nothing.

It's maddening. Easy, old man. She'll be all right.

Our wedding day. Steady.

Your wedding will only be postponed a day at most.

A day? I wonder.

What do you mean?

There can be no wedding while this horrible creation of mine is still alive.

I made him with these hands, and with these hands, I'll destroy him.

I must find him. I'll go with you.

No. You stay here and look after Elizabeth.

I leave her in your care, whatever happens.

You understand? In your care.

Quiet! Quiet!


Ludwig, you will search the woods. Those are your group.

We'll get him. Quiet!

Herr Frankenstein, you will take to the mountains.

Those are your people.

I will lead the third group by the lake.

Remember, remember, get him alive if you can, but get him!


Search every ravine, every crevice, but the fiend must be found!

Are you ready? Yes!

Then light your torches and go!

Stop! Stop, men.

Frankenstein, mountains. Ludwig...

Lake party, this way!

Come on, men!

Come on, boys. Keep together.

Now, you search there. The rest, come with me.

Go over there! Go on.

Come on, men! Come on! Come on!

Herr Frankenstein! Herr Frankenstein!

Come on, men! Hurry up. This way.

Which way?

Which way did he go?

Hans, which way did he go? Tell me. Tell me!

Over there.

You stay here and take care of him.

The rest, follow me. Come on. Come on, quick!

Come on! Come on!

No, come back. This way!

Herr Frankenstein!

Herr Frankenstein! Where are you?

I think he's up there. Come on, follow him. Follow him.

Follow him. Quick!



Fire. Fire!

Help! Help!


Help! It's Frankenstein.

That way!

This way. Come on. Hurry. Hurry!

There! Turn the hounds loose!

Come on! Come on!

Once more.

There he is! The murderer!

Kill him!


Bring him down to the village, and let's take him home.

Burn the mill!

Burn the mill. Burn it.

Have you got it? Yeah. Come on. Hurry.

Hurry up.

Quiet, quiet.

Well, go ahead and knock.

Well, well, well. What's all this?

What do you want, eh?

What's this?

If you please, Herr Baron, we thought that Mr. Henry could do with a glass of his great-grandmother's wine.

Fine old lady, my grandmother.

Very foreseeing of her to prevent my grandfather drinking this.

Mr. Henry doesn't need this.

Well, as I said before, I say again.

Here's to a son to the house of Frankenstein.

Indeed, sir.