Frankenstein

Frankenstein (1931)

2 questions

Question: Why in this movie is Mr. Frankenstein's first name Henry and not Victor (like it is in the book)? If it was changed to Henry so it would not be confused with the Frankenstein's family friend Victor Moritz, why not just call Moritz something else, and keep the original name of the main character in the movie?

Chosen answer: There seems to be no officially stated reason why the name was changed, but it's possible to theorise. There were numerous changes between the original book and the film. One theory is that these changes were to make the story more accessible to the mass audiences, and altering the name of the main character to a more common one could be seen as part of that. Another (possibly more likely) reason is down to alterations in the characters. Unlike the book, the film ultimately seeks to redeem Frankenstein's character, making him a more human and sympathetic character. Conversely, the character of Frankenstein's old friend, named Victor in the film, but Henry in the book, has been made a much less pleasant character. As Victor is quite a harsh, martial name and Henry comes across as rather more amiable, the filmmakers might well have decided that it would be more appropriate to the characters that they were trying to portray to switch the names round.

Tailkinker

Question: Why is Henry's last name "Frankenstein" in this film and it's first sequel, "Bride of Frankenstein", but the last name is changed to "Von Frankenstein" in the second sequel, "Son of Frankenstein"?

Chosen answer: By the third film, the original "Baron Frankenstein," played by Frederick Kerr is supposed to have died. Therefore, his son Henry had inherited the title of "Baron Frankenstein," and as part of Germanic aristocratic inheritance this automatically places a "von" between the Christian name and Surname of the holder. This in turn has happened when Henry died and Wolf took up the Baronetcy.

David Mercier

Share

Follow

Join the mailing list