Frankenstein is a 1931 American pre-Code science-fiction horror film from Universal Pictures. It is about a scientist and his assistant who dig up corpses to build a man animated by electricity. The project goes awry when Frankenstein's assistant accidentally gives the creature an abnormal, murderer's brain. The film was directed by James Whale, and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn was based on Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The created "monster" is portrayed by Boris Karloff in the film. A hit with both audiences and critics, the film was followed by multiple sequels and has become one of the most famous horror films in history.