Doctor Frankenstein is loosely based on the character of Victor Frankenstein as first seen in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. Nearly every film within the Frankenstein franchise includes some variation of the character, and they are generally portrayed as being an obsessive visionary who creates life by way of galvanism and/or chemical processes.
The role of Doctor Frankenstein has been played by such notable actors as Colin Clive, Peter Cushing, Sting, Kenneth Branagh, Alec Newman and many more. The film version(s) of the character has also spawned a family lineage of various descendents, nearly all of whom attempt to recreate their ancestor's work in some way.
Charles Frankenstein was a scientist and visionary originally responsible for giving life to a creature stitched together from the remains of corpses. This creation, who has since become known as Viktor, recognized himself as being different and so demanded Frankenstein to create a mate for him. Charles acquiesced and used the elaborate equipment from this tower laboratory to create a female companion for the monster. When the female creation first awakened however, she was stricken by the monster's appearance and shied away. Charles decided that this specimen was too perfect to simply give away to his original experiment and so denied Viktor his bride. Viktor was enraged and lashed out at Frankenstein, but Charles drove him away by threatening him with fire from a lit torch. The struggle culminated in an explosion, which tore down a large section of the laboratory. Charles then decided to assume personal guardianship over his female creation that he named Eva.
Inspired by his own handiwork, Charles Frankenstein sought to usher in a new breed of woman -- one who was every bit the equal to any man. He shared these sentiments with his close friend Clerval who, as an admitted misogynist, felt that such lofty ideals were absolutely dreadful. Clerval's criticisms aside, Charles took Eva under his wing as his ward and convinced her that she was actually an amnesiac from a nearby town. He instructed her in the ways of polite society and it wasn't long before Eva's grace and raw intelligence surpassed that of her creator.
Charles publicly introduced Eva to the modern world when they attended a party hosted by a wealthy countess. Eva comported herself quite admirably, but embarrassed Charles when she demonstrated an adverse, savage reaction upon seeing a house cat (she had never seen one before). Also at this affair, Eva met a young officer named Josef Schoden (Cary Elwes), a man who would later earn Charles' enmity.
Charles continued to tutor Eva, but her persistent questions regarding her true origins irritated him. In the growing war of sexual politics, Charles realized that he did not truly desire a strong-willed independent woman, but rather, a woman who would be completely subservient to him. Charles' obsession with Eva climaxed when he found her in the arms of Captain Schoden. Frankenstein attacked Schoden, nicking him across the cheek with a riding crop. Eva rebelled against Frankenstein, screaming "You cannot have me!" When Charles tried to assert his dominance over her, she declared "You didn't create me!" to which Charles responded, "As a matter of fact... I did." Charles finally told Eva the truth about her creation and even showed him his private journals. Watching her gross discomfort actually brought him some small level of satisfaction.
Frankenstein then tried to physically force himself upon Eva, to show her once again, who was the ward and who was the master. The episode was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Viktor, who had not seen his creator for many years. The two fought against one another, but Charles remembered Viktor's fear of fire, so he kept him at bay by waving a lit torch in his face. Frankenstein continued to drive him back until they reached the top of the tower laboratory where Charles conducted his experiments. He lunged at his creation with the torch, but Viktor sidestepped him. Frankenstein's momentum propelled him over the parapet and he fell to his death. Viktor took Eva away from the castle to forge their own destinies together.
- Sting is more popularly known as the front man for the 80s rock 'n roll group The Police. He later went on to have a successful solo career. The Bride was filmed during the height of Sting's popularity.
- ↑ Franc Roddam; The Bride DVD director's commentary; 2001
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