Frankenstein: The True Story was first released in 1973 as a two part mini-series. It is based on the novel by Mary Shelley and was adapted for the screen by Christopher Isherwood (Cabaret) and Don Bachardy.
This is an interesting version of the story, which does bear many similarities to the original story and with no shortage of renowned actors involved, it was always sure to be a hit.
Victor Frankenstein (Leonard Whiting – Romeo and Juliet, 1968) is distraught at the death of his brother and vows to his fiancee, Elizabeth (Nicola Pagett – Anna Karenina) that he will gain power over life and death.
After a chance meeting with Dr. Henry Clerval (David McCallum – The Invisible Man, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), a surgeon who is researching just that very thing, they begin to work together to reanimate a human male. However due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, although “The Creature” (Michael Sarrazin – The Peace Keeper, The Gumball Rally) is at first perfect, handsome and intelligent, the results soon begin to degrade, and Frankenstein realizes that he has in fact created a monster.
The second part sees the arrival of the sinister and evil scientist Dr. Polidori (James Mason – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, North By Northwest) who wishes to capitalize on the work of Clerval and Frankenstein in order to create a human of his own. This time using his own formulae, the beautiful Prima (Jane Seymour – Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Live and Let Die) is created.
However, in true horror film style, nothing ever goes to plan and all concerned are plunged into a nightmare of doubt and horror.
Also starring Tom Baker (Doctor Who), John Gielgud (Gandhi, The Elephant Man), Ralph Richardson (Dr. Zhivago, The Fallen Idol) and Peter Sallis (Last Of The Summer Wine, Wallace and Gromit), this is a star studded cast, doing a great job with a well written script.
It is also a fairly good conversion, thoroughly enjoyable to watch and stands up very well against modern adaptations of the story. Highly recommended.
Frankenstein: The True Story is available to buy now on DVD