Frankenstein (1910)

(1910 – Edison Co. – silent) dir: J. Searle Dawley; w/ Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips, Mary Fuller. One reel.

Almost certainly the first film adaptation of the story, and while it does try to use some of the themes from the book, conveying such a story in less than 13 minutes is a fool’s task. Still, that doesn’t excuse the trip-hammer ending so ridiculous that you can almost hear the cameraman shout, “We’re almost out of film! Write an ending, quick!” Aside from that, the film is well made (within expectations of the era). Notable is that the monster-making process is alchemical and accomplished with an interesting bit of trickery (a burning mannequin filmed in reverse). The surviving copy is a little rough in spots, but well worth a view for film historians and horror aficionados.


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