Presented for the first time in high definition and featuring some incredible bonus material and stunning new artwork by Graham Humphreys, Frankenstein: The True Story is one of the most acclaimed versions of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece. The film features an all-star cast led by James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour, Michael Sarrazin, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Tom Baker. Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) inspired author Anne Rice to write Interview with the Vampire, the movie of which starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.
In 19th Century England, Dr Victor Frankenstein, bitter over his brother’s death, voices his wish that men could have power over life and death. Following a chance encounter with Dr Henry Clerval, a surgeon experimenting in this very field, they begin to work together. Victor achieves the impossible, the creation of life, but with it comes unforeseen and unimaginable terror.
Having finished The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola and John Boorman, having wrapped up Deliverance were both keen to direct Frankenstein: The True Story as a theatrical release but it was decided to keep it as a made-for-television movie directed by Jack Smight.
Writer Christopher Isherwood (Forever and a Day, The Great Sinner, A Single Man, and author of Goodbye to Berlin, the novel on which the musical Cabaret was based) and Don Bachardy (Isherwood’s longtime lover and chief creative consultant) weren’t happy that Smight played down the homo-eroticism they’d written in to the screenplay and so published it separately.
Leonard Whiting, who stars as Victor Frankenstein, is currently in the process of suing Paramount Studios for child abuse over the nude scene in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Zeffirelli chose Whiting for the part of Romeo because he had “a magnificent face, gentle melancholy, sweet, the kind of idealistic young man Romeo ought to be.” The role of Frankenstein saw Whiting growing increasingly hideous as the film progresses. The make-up was by Hammer horror veteran artist Roy Ashton.
Extras: Film Introduction from James Mason; Off with Her Head – An Interview with Jane Seymour; Victor’s Story- An Interview with Actor Leonard Whiting; Frankenstein’s Diary- A Conversation with Writer Don Bachardy; A Double-Sided Fold Out Poster of the All New Graham Humphreys Artwork.