Frankenstein (1931) was a hit so what do you do? You make a sequel, of course! In some cases, it's a bad idea [Exorcist 2, anyone?]. In this instance it's cinematic gold. Many film critics are of the opinion that Bride of Frankenstein bests the original. I say that they are equal in greatness but different in feel. Frankenstein is more menacing in terms of tone and plot development. Bride uses more humor and ups the philosophical banter by introducing a second mad scientist, the incredible Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorius. His scenes with Dr. Frankenstein [Colin Clive] are perfection. He pretty much steal every scene which is no easy task.
Boris Karloff is back as the monster only this time he speaks. It has been said that Karloff disagreed with the decision to give the Monster a voice. However, I think it works well here and Karloff pulls it off brilliantly. [Would you expect anything less?] Elsa Lancaster is wonderful as the Bride [She also plays Mary Shelley at the beginning of the film]. While she is only in the film for about two minutes, her scenes are unforgettable. Kudos to legendary makeup artist Jack Pierce for giving us another iconic movie monster in the form of the Bride!
Bride of Frankenstein is director James Whale at his best. From script, to cinematography to sets, everything works brilliantly. He also captures what is arguably on of Karloff's greatest performances. A joy to watch from start to finish. Bride of Frankenstein can be watched on You Tube. However, I believe this needs to be seen in a better format in order to fully appreciate the film. I have the Universal Legacy Frankenstein Collection which can also be rented through Netflix. Enjoy!
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.