That Scene From ‘Frankenstein’ (1931)

“Hey, have you seen this movie? What did you think about THAT SCENE?!” We have all used that phrase at one point during our discussions of movies with the other person’s eyebrows raising, “Oh yea, THAT SCENE!” You go on to pick that memorable scene apart by listing what you loved or didn’t like, how it made you feel and the impression it left on you. 

In this series, we will do just that. We will take a scene from a movie and discuss its impact on us. Some of these scenes may be frightening, weird, iconic, controversial, hilarious and everything in between. Let us know your impression of the scene and the impact it left on you the first time you watched it down below in the comments. Enjoy!

 *Warning: May Contain Spoilers*

Frankenstein (1931)

Scene: The Monster makes a friend

Any time a scene is censored because of its content, not only will controversy follow but a certain aura or legend will begin to grow around it especially for horror fans. This film was already on the censor’s radar because what was deemed, at that time, as blasphemous when Dr. Frankenstein stated, “Now I know what it feels like to BE God!” One censorship board wanted almost half of the movie’s scenes deleted, so it is a wonder this film not only was able to exist but became the classic it has become with its legendary character.

However, the scene that caused the most talk and controversy wouldn’t be added back to the film until it was rediscovered in the ’80s. The Monster has been raised from the dead, chained and tormented, strangled a guy, and was almost re-killed by its creator. It is able to escape and wanders through the land until he has an unfortunate encounter which brings us to our scene.

While on the run, the creature comes across a little girl named Maria. Surprisingly, she isn’t afraid of the grotesque monster and invites him to play an innocent game. As they both sit on the shore of a lake, they cradle flowers in their hands and Maria shows her new friend how the flowers can float as she tosses one in the water. It mimics the little girl as you see sheer delight come over the face of this monster. They take turns throwing the flowers in the water and watching them float until the creature runs out of flowers. He looks around for something else to make float until he turns his attention to his new friend.

I completely understand why this would have caused some issues back in 1931. Even with all the graphic violence shown over the past few decades of blood, guts and everything in between, this scene is still deeply unsettling today. The monster’s cheerful glee simply wants to continue the fun as he runs out of flowers to toss so he grabs his thinking she will simply float just as the pretty daisies do. Maria struggles but he doesn’t understand as he toss her into the lake. We hear struggle and splashing until we don’t hear anything anymore as the monster realizes too late this was wrong. He turns and runs away frightened.

There is no music or built-in melodrama. No blood or ultraviolence. We are pulled into this innocent encounter thinking the creature may find some peace or at least a friend. Instead, he has killed the first being to show him kindness. The sight of this massive monster tossing a real girl is simply chilling.

Author: Vincent Kane

I hate things.