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Gods and Monsters

DOWN & DIRTY:
Drama: A once famous and outwardly gay movie director and his young gardener enter into an awkward, but platonic relationship in this fictional account of the last days in the life of legendary Frankenstein director James Whale.

NITTY GRITTY:
Decades after being at the top of his profession, former movie director James Whale (IAN McKELLEN) now lives in seclusion with his overly protective and longtime housekeeper, Hanna (LYNN REDGRAVE) in Hollywood, 1957.

Whale has suffered a mildly debilitating stroke and often experiences headaches, phantom odors, and must take medication to prevent hundreds of thoughts from simultaneously racing through his mind.

A known homosexual with a penchant for younger men, Whale's attention has been on Clayton Boone (BRENDAN FRASER), a young gardener hired to tend to Whale's home. Learning of his employer's famous past, Boone is happy to tell his friends, including sometime girlfriend, Betty (LOLITA DAVIDOVICH), about Whale, but they all laugh at the now seemingly antiquated films.

Even so, Boone and Whale soon strike up an odd, platonic relationship, with Boone agreeing to pose for portrait sessions. That arrangement nearly falls apart when Boone learns of the old man's sexual orientation. It's also not helped by Whale's sudden and recurring mental lapses where he imagines and relives moments from his past, including a tragic affair with a fellow soldier during WWI, and his directing of the movie, "Bride of Frankenstein."

THE ENDING:
Whale begins to realize his stroke-induced condition will only continue to worsen. He asks Boone to kill him, but Boone refuses.

Hanna fixes breakfast for Whale but cannot find him. She and Boone search the large house. Boone finds him floating in the pool and dives in and pulls him out.

Whale has drowned himself. Hanna tells Boone to leave before the police arrive to avoid the publicity.

WHAT EVERYONE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT:
You'll never watch the classic horror movie Frankenstein the same way again.


 
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Movie posters courtesy of The Nostalgia Factory.