Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Frankenstein (1910)

Filmed back when people didn't bother much to hold on to film after the first run, Frankenstein was the first ever filmed treatment of the Mary Shelley story. Keeping somewhat to the story (in a very abbreviated format), we see 'oll Vic make a monster, be disgusted by it, run to his love, get tormented by said monster, then deal with it. End scene. All in about sixteen minutes. Or thirteen and a half.

One interesting thing is how the monster gets created. The stitching of body parts is all but de rigueur, but the book never says exactly how. Here, the creature is created in a very alchemical way. They filmed a effigy being burned then played it backwards to show it being spawned by fire. Not bad.

The movie was lost then rediscovered in the 1960's. The movie was filmed like a stage play. The actors are seen in center stage with no close ups. Somewhat crude, even by 1910 standards. IMdb lists the run time at 16 minutes, but the online version flashes before your eyes two and a half minutes short of that. It doesn't appear to be missing anything, except maybe an understandable ending.

What truly is missing is a complete restoration. The existing footage is thin and choppy, at best. That might be asking too much, as this version is little more than a novelty. There may be more worthy projects. AMRU 3.

Watch it here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Fred. Thanks for sharing the link to this rare film.