Saturday, May 21, 2022


Largely unheralded during his career, Dwight Frye has since become an iconic character actor in the canon of the classic Universal horror films. While he played roles in numerous other non-genre films, his portrayal of Fritz in James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN (1931) has assured his place in cinematic history.

Who can forget Henry Frankenstein's diminutive hunchback assistant, scurrying around nervously about the laboratory among Kenneth Strickfaden's machines and equipment? In my estimation, two of his most memorable scenes are when he scrambles down the stairs to answer the door, then stops to pull up his sock, and when he breaks into Dr. Waldman's lab to steal a brain and drops the "normal" one when he backs into a hanging skeleton. Most likely the two scenes are all of Whale's design, but Frye pulls them off magnificently. 

This article from the April, 1974 issue of the great little magazine, FILM FAN MONTHLY (#154) includes one of the earliest comprehensive articles on his career.

Come back tomorrow for the second half of the Wom tribute to Dwight Frye.

1 comment:

Rip Jagger said...

I always anticipate with great fun Frye's appearances in the classic horror flicks. His bits of fun add nifty texture to sometimes shambling stories. One of my favorite moments in Frankenstein is when Fritz stops on the way up those impossible steps in the tower and adjusts his socks. It's a small moment but tells us everything about the little man.