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Not currently on display at the V&A

The Bride of Frankenstein

Prop
1935 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

British stage actor Boris Karloff (1887 – 1969) is remembered today for a series of iconic ‘monster’ roles in the 1930s. Born William Henry Pratt in London, Karloff began his acting career in Canada, touring with the Jeanne Russell Company. When Karloff arrived in Hollywood in the 1920s, he made a series of silent films but often worked as a labourer between acting roles to earn extra money.

Karloff’s break-through came in 1931 when he appeared as Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931). The film was an instant box office success, its popularity ignited the horror genre within Hollywood filmmaking and its influence is still felt today. The film spawned a series of sequels including The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939) in which Karloff reprised the role of the monster. Much of the success of the films was in part credited to Karloff’s portrayal of the creature and the sympathy that he evoked in his performance.

Karloff returned to the stage in the 1940s appearing in the comedy Arsenic and Old Lace (1941) and as Captain Hook in Peter Pan (1950). In a sixty-year career, he appeared in over 150 films, and yet Frankenstein’s monster remains his most enduring creation.

The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.
interact Design and make your own story Use objects from around the home to help you create your own story. Then design the costumes and sets, and bring it to life! Take a look at the objects in our collections for more inspiration. Designed for ages 7 and up.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 6 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • T-Shirt
  • Boot
  • Boot
  • Mannequin
Materials and Techniques
Wood, foam padding and painted details. Wool based garments.
Brief Description
Clothed wooden mannequin with padding and costume matching that worn by Boris Karloff in the film The Bride of Frankenstein,1935
Physical Description
Clothed wooden dummy with padding, and costume consisting of black coat, knitted round neck jumper and trousers, matching that worn by Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster in the film The Bride of Frankenstein,1935.
Dimensions
  • Top of head to end of 'poles' (base of mount missing) length: 204cm (approximate)
  • Widest point width: 58cm (approximate)
Credit line
Given by the British Film Institute
Summary
British stage actor Boris Karloff (1887 – 1969) is remembered today for a series of iconic ‘monster’ roles in the 1930s. Born William Henry Pratt in London, Karloff began his acting career in Canada, touring with the Jeanne Russell Company. When Karloff arrived in Hollywood in the 1920s, he made a series of silent films but often worked as a labourer between acting roles to earn extra money.



Karloff’s break-through came in 1931 when he appeared as Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931). The film was an instant box office success, its popularity ignited the horror genre within Hollywood filmmaking and its influence is still felt today. The film spawned a series of sequels including The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939) in which Karloff reprised the role of the monster. Much of the success of the films was in part credited to Karloff’s portrayal of the creature and the sympathy that he evoked in his performance.



Karloff returned to the stage in the 1940s appearing in the comedy Arsenic and Old Lace (1941) and as Captain Hook in Peter Pan (1950). In a sixty-year career, he appeared in over 150 films, and yet Frankenstein’s monster remains his most enduring creation.



The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.

Collection
Accession Number
S.1703:1 to 6-2015

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record createdMay 29, 2015
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