Bride of Frankenstein (advertised as The Bride of Frankenstein) is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Universal Pictures' 1931 hit Frankenstein. As with the first film, Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster. The sequel features Elsa Lanchester in the dual role of his mate and Mary Shelley, Colin Clive reprising his role as Henry Frankenstein, and Ernest Thesiger as Doctor Septimus Pretorius.
The film follows on immediately from the events of the earlier film, and is rooted in a subplot of the original Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein (1818). In the film, a chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry's old mentor Dr. Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him.
Preparation to film the sequel began shortly after the premiere of the first film, but script problems delayed the project. Principal photography began in January 1935, with creative personnel from the original returning in front of and behind the camera. Bride of Frankenstein was released to critical and popular acclaim, although it encountered difficulties with some state and national censorship boards. Since its release the film's reputation has grown, and it has been hailed as Whale's masterpiece.
In 1998, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry, having been deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". Frequently identified as James Whale's masterpiece, the film is lauded as "the finest of all gothic horror movies". Time rated Bride of Frankenstein in its "ALL-TIME 100 Movies", in which critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel overruled the magazine's original review to declare the film "one of those rare sequels that is infinitely superior to its source".