You think I’m an idiot, don’t you?: Frederick Kerr in “Frankenstein” (1931)


By Scott Ross

I watched Frankenstein again this evening. A word or two must be said about Frederick Kerr, who plays Baron von Frankenstein in a dithery, harrumphing manner that must be seen, and heard, to be believed. With a voice that anticipates Bertrand Russell in his dotage, Kerr gives the sort of unfortunate performance those of us with theatrical experience have all too often either seen or, if we are particularly unlucky, had to work with: A fat, grade-A hunk of glazed, honey-roasted ham on two creaky legs, “ad-libbing” snorts and mutters and exhalations, “A-hem”s and “Ehs?” and “What-what?”s as if in mortal terror that the stage (or soundtrack) might actually fall silent for a single, precious moment.

The Monster never gets his hands around the right throats.

Text copyright 2014 by Scott Ross

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