Frankenstein is a 1931 American pre-Code science fiction horror film directed by James Whale, produced by Carl Laemmle Jr., and adapted from a 1927 play by Peggy Webling, which in turn was based on Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The Webling play was adapted by John L. Balderston and the screenplay written by Francis Edward Faragoh and Garrett Fort, with uncredited contributions from Robert Florey and John Russell.


In a village of the Bavarian Alps, Henry Frankenstein and his assistant Fritz, a hunchback, piece together a human body. Some of the parts are from freshly buried bodies, and some from the bodies of recently hanged criminals. In a laboratory he's built inside a watchtower, Henry desires to create a human, giving this body life through electrical devices. He still needs a brain for his creation. At a nearby school, Henry's former teacher Dr. Waldman shows his class the brain of an average human being and the corrupted brain of a criminal for comparison. Henry sends Fritz to steal the healthy brain from Waldman's class. Fritz accidentally damages it, and so brings Henry the corrupt brain.