The Italian Almanac

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the monster of Frankenstein

The Monster in the Library

Vatican archivists made a bizarre discovery when they stumbled upon a film frame from the 1931 production of Frankenstein in the Holy See library. It was unclear how the unmarked frame wound up in the film section of the archives, which is composed primarily of footage of the pope and historical church events.

The film frame was immediately identified as something outside the norm, according to the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. "The frame was enough to recognize which film it came from," it said.

Based on the Mary Shelley novel by the same name, Frankenstein is the story of a young scientist who endeavors to create human life by piecing together human body parts, including the brain of a criminal. The resulting monster is led to kill when he is maltreated by those around him

The film was produced by Universal Pictures and directed by James Wale, but is best remembered for the lead role of "The Monster" played by British actor Boris Karloff, who went on to play in the sequels Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939).