1997 32¢ “Frankenstein”
Classic Movie Monsters
Issue Date: September 30, 1997
City: Universal City, CA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
In 1931 the movie Frankenstein made its shocking debut as the first major horror movie with sound. Based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818, it is the story of Dr. Frankenstein, a scientist who creates a living being from the bodies of the dead. Despite his noble intentions, Frankenstein creates a monster.
Assembled from body parts stolen from graveyards, the monster is brought to life when Frankenstein raises him through a hole in the roof of his laboratory and he is struck by lightning. When the creature is lowered to the floor and begins to move, Dr. Frankenstein cries, “It’s alive!”
Despite his hulking size and revolting appearance, the monster is actually a gentle creature. Although he is responsible for drowning a little girl, the tragedy is due only to his childlike ignorance of the world.
Boris Karloff was the talented actor who brought the monster to life. With a delicacy of expression unexpected from a character so grotesque, his performance inspires feelings of pity and compassion. When the monster meets his end in a burning windmill, the mood is tragic. The role brought Karloff worldwide fame, and launched his 20-year career as the king of horror films.