James Whales' Frankenstein (1931)
The definitive film version of Mary Shelley's classic tale of tragedy and science gone mad, "Frankenstein" made unknown character actor Boris Karloff a star. But the film's legacy rests with director James Wahles' moody direction, Herman Rosse's memorable set designs, Kenneth Strickfaden brilliant laboratory design, makeup artist Jack Pierce's creativity and a nuanced acting by Mr. Karloff.
Frankenstein was greeted with screams, moans, and fainting spells upon its initial release, obliging Universal to add a disclaimer in which Edward Van Sloan advises the faint of heart to leave the theater immediately. If they don't: "Well...we've warned you."