Frankenstein: The Return to Malibou Lake
October 8, 2009 6:31 AM   Subscribe

"It is a scene etched in film history. ...the drowning of the little girl in Frankenstein was a truly transgressive moment in a film already overloaded with gruesome happenings. Actor Boris Karloff protested, as did audiences and critics when the film previewed. The scene was jettisoned, cutting off suddenly as The Monster reaches for the child." John Cox went looking for the spot where this scene was shot, join him in The Return to Malibou Lake.

Lost for years, the footage was found in the 1970's and later restored to the film. Malibou Lake previously on Frankensteinia here and here.

Something else cut from the film and later restored: "In the name of God, now I know what it feels like to be God!"

Frankensteinia previously on Metafilter.
posted by marxchivist (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
In the text in which I first read about this infamous deletion, the author argued that it inadvertently made the film more disturbing. In the uncut version (linked above), the monster inadvertently kills the girl. However, in the cut version, audiences see Frankenstein approach the girl and then see her floating, lifeless, in the water, so they assume that he's killed her out of malice, not on accident and that he'd probably beaten, tortured, and/or raped her first. I suppose there are some lessons to be learned here.
posted by Clay201 at 7:08 AM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]

Oh how I love
my pretty pretty flowers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:27 AM on October 8, 2009

That kid totally had it coming.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:38 AM on October 8, 2009 [4 favorites]

Exactly what the webby thing is for. Lovely post. Thanks.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:46 AM on October 8, 2009

I'm not exactly advocating what he did and all, but she sure was an annoying little girl. You'd have to remind yourself a couple of times not to throw her in.
posted by pracowity at 9:58 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a distinct memory of watching this scene on television when I was about 7 - this would have been around '75 or '76 - and being completely traumatized by it. Doesn't seem like the 'restored' cut would have been on TV yet by then? Is this a false memory?
posted by mattholomew at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2009

I remember being traumatized just by reading about it in The People's Almanac or Big Secrets or something like that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:17 AM on October 8, 2009

According to the blog linked in the main post, the footage was restored in the 1970's. I thought it was later than that, but I'll concede to Frankensteinia on all thing Frankenstein.

I remember being traumatized by that scene in the cut version as a little kid. Even with the cut it is obvious what happened (or maybe something worse!). The scene of the father carrying the dead kid through the town is what got me when I was a wee lad.
posted by marxchivist at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2009

Let's hope the kitten was okay.
posted by elder18 at 11:57 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

unhhh... story - good
posted by Drasher at 3:26 PM on October 8, 2009

The Monster: [picks last petal off a flower and throws it into the well]
Little Girl: Now throw a kiss and say "Bye bye."
The Monster: [throws kiss, waves, and grunts "bye bye"]
Little Girl: Oh dear. Nothing left. What shall we throw in now?
posted by KokuRyu at 3:35 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Little Girl: Oh dear. Nothing left. What shall we throw in now?

Seda-give? SEDA-GIVE??!!!!
posted by panboi at 5:17 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bing Maps.
posted by dhartung at 9:49 PM on October 8, 2009

So the rumors are true then, that Frankenstein's monster raped and murdered a young girl in 1931?
posted by captnkurt at 5:55 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

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