Bride of Frankenstein (character)

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Bride of Frankenstein (character)
Bride of Frankenstein character
Created by William Hurlbut
Portrayed by Elsa Lanchester
Gender Female

The Bride of Frankenstein is a character that was briefly mentioned in the novel Frankenstein and officially introduced in the film Bride of Frankenstein.



In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is tempted by his monster's proposal to create a female creature so that the monster can have a mate. He promises that if Victor grants his request, he and his mate will vanish into the wilderness of South America, never to reappear. Fearing for his family, Victor reluctantly agrees and travels to England to do his work. Working on a second being on the Orkney Islands, he is plagued by premonitions of what his work might wreak, particularly the idea that creating a mate for the creature might lead to the breeding of an entire race of creatures that could plague mankind. He destroys the unfinished female creature after he sees his first creation looking through the window. The monster witnesses this, and vows to be with Victor on his upcoming wedding night. True to his word, the monster murders Frankenstein's new wife, Elizabeth.


In Bride of Frankenstein, Henry Frankenstein's former mentor Doctor Septimus Pretorius, proposes to Henry that together they create a mate for his monster, with Henry creating the body and Pretorius supplying an artificially-grown brain. Henry initially balks at the idea, but Pretorius threatens to expose him to the authorities as the creator of the monster. Henry eventually agrees to help his mentor when the monster kidnaps Henry's wife Elizabeth. Henry returns to his tower laboratory where, in spite of himself, he grows excited by his work. After being assured of Elizabeth's safety, Henry completes the Bride's body. A storm rages as final preparations are made to bring the Bride to life. Her bandage-wrapped body is raised through the roof. Lightning strikes a kite, sending electricity through the Bride. They remove her bandages and help her to stand. Pretorius then declares it "The Bride of Frankenstein!" The excited monster sees his mate and reaches out to her. When the monster quotes "friend" to it, the Bride screams in horror at the sight of him. When the monster tries to advance on her, the Bride screams again as the monster quotes "She hate me! Like others." As Elizabeth races to Henry's side, the Monster rampages through the laboratory. The Monster tells Henry and Elizabeth "Yes! Go! You live!" To Pretorius and the Bride, he says "You stay. We belong dead." While Henry and Elizabeth flee, the Monster sheds a tear as the Bride hisses and pulls a lever to trigger the destruction of the laboratory and tower. The following film Son of Frankenstein reveals that the monster survives the explosion while the fates of Pretorius and the Bride are unknown.

Production info[edit]

Early in production, James Whale decided that the same actress cast to play the Bride should also play Mary Shelley in the film's prologue, to represent how the story — and horror in general — springs from the dark side of the imagination.[1] He considered Brigitte Helm and Phyllis Brooks before deciding on Elsa Lanchester. Lanchester, who had accompanied husband Charles Laughton to Hollywood, had met with only moderate success at that point. Lanchester had returned alone to London when Whale contacted her to offer her the dual role.[2] Lanchester modeled the Bride's hissing on the hissing of swans. She gave herself a sore throat while filming the hissing sequence, which Whale shot from multiple angles.[3]


Since the original film, characters based on the Bride of Frankenstein have been featured in different media. Unlike the original, most of these later incarnations of the bride depict her as reciprocating the Monster's affection for her:

  • The Bride of Frankenstein appears as "The Monster's Mate" in Mad Monster Party? voiced by Phyllis Diller (whose likeness was used for the Bride's design). She was seen with Frankenstein's Monster (who she calls "Fang") where they live with their creator Baron Boris von Frankenstein on the Isle of Evil. The Monster's Mate was first seen catching him watching Francesca. During Boris' party where he announces his retirement tomorrow, the Monster's Mate hoped that she and "Fang" would inherit their creator's scientific business. After Boris' announcement of him choosing an heir to take over his scientific business, the Monster's Mate ends up dancing with the Mummy as Little Tibia and the Fibias sing "It's the mummy." Upon overhearing Francesca and Count Dracula discussing about Boris' nephew Felix having been chosen to be Boris' heir, the Monster's Mate is discovered by them as she ends up in a cat fight with Francesca. After Francesca scolds Count Dracula for failing to take out Felix, Count Dracula cuts off his deal with Francesca upon the Monster and his Mate arriving. Following Francesca's escape, Dracula, "Fang," and the Monster's Mate rally the other monsters into capturing Francesca and Felix. When "It" (a giant gorilla who is a knock-off of King Kong) arrives on the Isle of Evil. She was among the monsters snatched up by "It" as she was disappointed that "Fang" was crying. The Monster's Mate perishes when Boris sacrifices his life to drop the Secret of Total Destruction formula that destroys the Isle of Evil.
  • The Bride of Frankenstein appears in Mad Mad Mad Monsters (a "prequel of sorts" to Mad Monster Party) voiced by Rhoda Mann. This version is shown with hair over her face where her face wasn't seen until the end of the film. She was created by Baron Henry von Frankenstein to be the mate for his monster. Of course Henry's assistant Igor wants the Bride for himself at the time when Henry makes plans to have a wedding at the Transylvania Astoria Hotel on Friday the 13th.
  • The Bride of Frankenstein was portrayed as Eva in The Bride played by Jennifer Beals, opposite of Clancy Brown as the monster Viktor. She was created by Baron Charles Frankenstein and his assistant Paulus. When she sees Viktor, she is revolted. Later on in the film, Eva falls in love with Viktor when he discovers her in the monastery outside of Frankenstein's castle.
  • The Bride of Frankenstein appears as Eunice in the film Hotel Transylvania voiced by Fran Drescher. She is portrayed as Frankenstein's wife, the best friend of Wanda the Werewolf, and also as the aunt of Dracula's daughter Mavis. She is a diva, dressed in a black miniskirt and fluffy pink turtleneck jumper.


  1. ^ Vieira, p. 82
  2. ^ Curtis, pp. 243–44
  3. ^ Vieira, p. 86