Based on Christopher Bram's novel Father of Frankenstein, Bill Condon's semi-fictional 1998 stars Sir Ian McKellen as director James Whale (Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Show Boat).
It is 1957, and Whale is living in semi seclusion in Southern California with his scrutinising maid, Hannah (Lynn Redgrave). His health is failing, and he is able to do little but lounge around and contemplate his younger days – his many male loves, his days in WWI, and the film world that has forsaken him. When Whale first gazes upon his muscle-bound gardener, Clay (Brendan Fraser), however, it is the beginning of an unusual (and platonic) friendship.
Seasoned with multiple flashbacks to the sets of his films and to the battlefield, Gods and Monsters is a haunting and touching look at the life of a man who was at the top of the Hollywood hierarchy but soon found himself out of favours – and the offbeat friendship he formed in his final days.