Gods and Monsters

"Excellent"

Gods and Monsters Review


It will probably be honored as a triumph of filmmaking (and indeed has already one the National Board of Review's Best Picture award), but while Gods and Monsters is a good film, it's really more of a curiosity than a legitimate masterpiece.

The adaptation of a fictionalized account of the final days of director Frank Whale (best known for directing the first two Frankenstein movies), director Condon's story is really a simple one, about Whale's infatuation with his gardner Clay (Fraser). That Whale is a not-so-in-the-closet homosexual is pretty clear up front, but for some reason, Clay can't figure that out.

What follows is a series of encounters between the two, the degeneration of Whale's mind thanks to a stroke, and, most curiously, one dream/fantasy sequence after another, wherein Whale relives his childhood, World War I, and his years in Hollywood.

The dream sequence, long known as the biggest crutch a screenwriter can use, works. At least part-way. Because Whale's mind is going south, we are asked to indulge his fantasies as near-reality for him. Like I say, this works, but only up to a point. After two hours, the device has grown stale and predictable.

Still, Gods is a truly good film with a great cast (McKellan and especially Redgrave, playing Whale's maid, both deserve serious praise), and what must have been a tricky adaptation of the novel on which it was based is also a feat unto itself.



A Whale of a tale.



Gods and Monsters

Facts and Figures

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 4th November 1998

Distributed by: Lions Gate Films

Production compaines: Flashpoint (I), Lions Gate Films, Showtime Networks

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Mark R. Harris

Starring: as James Whale, as Clayton Boone, as Hanna, as Betty, as David Lewis, Mark Kiely as Dwight, as Edmund Kay, as Elsa Lanchester, Jack Betts as Boris Karloff, as Colin Clive, as Harry

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