Frankenstein (1910), dir. James Searle Dawley, Edison Manufacturing Company
The first adaptation of Mary Shelly’s famed novel sets the bar. Not very high, mind you, as the film is barely twelve minutes, but it does adhere closer to the story than some of the better known versions. Ignoring Edison’s utter bastardy behavior for the next few minutes, how does the film hold up?
Frankenstein (Augustus Phillips), leaves for college and within two years has discovered the secrets behind life and death. He writes to his fiancée Elizabeth (Mary Fuller) boasting that he intends to create the perfect man. What he gets is the misshapen and downright hideous Creature (Charles Ogle). Frankenstein freaks out and the Creature escapes. The Creature, as angered at his appearance as his maker, swears vengeance on his maker.
As I said, the film is very short. The special effects are decent for the time period, and the monster looks gruesome even today. The Monster’s motivation plays out a little different as well, focusing on his jealously at his maker. Worth a viewing at the very least.