aka Edison’s Frankenstein
16 min., 1910
Directed by J. Searle Dawley
Edison has nothing on Méliès.
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This version of Frankenstein has Frankenstein (Augustus Phillips) working on creating life, in this case the Monster (Charles Ogle). While the process is going on he is extremely happy and excited, but after creating the monster he realizes exactly what he’s done and quickly leaves. We meet his soon to be wife Elizabeth (Mary Fuller) and it seems that the Monster has also fallen for her. After a bit of time Frankenstein finally has a confrontation with the monster and after that the monster fades into a mirror forever leaving Frankenstein and Elizabeth to their love.
So it’s pretty hard to look at the acting in this movie and take it very seriously, mainly because it just comes off as very silly and over-the-top. Then again that’s just the sign of the time and that’s the way things were done back then. So I really can’t (okay I can, but I shouldn’t) be too hard on it. The cast does convey exactly what they should and you never really have to question exactly what’s going on. The best of the bunch has to be Charles Ogle with his extremely creepy facial expressions and even the way he moves is just kinda jarring.
Now the effect of the movie were actually pretty poor. Now don’t try and attack me and tell me that it’s just the times, because after watching Méliès movies which came out fourteen years earlier, these effects actually seem like a step backwards. The only real good effect is when the creation of the monster is going on and they used reverse footage. Nicely done, but that’s about it.
In the end this movie is an interesting look at a movie that is one hundred years old. It has its good parts and it has its flaws but at the end of the day it’s worth a look see, mainly because it’s so short.Have You Read...?