Frankenstein (1910)

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Connections: Frankenstein

Frankenstein, a young medical student, trying to create the perfect human being, instead creates a misshapen monster. Made ill by what he has done, Frankenstein is comforted by his fiancée; but on his wedding night he is visited by the monster. --TMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: May 24, 2015
Having just finished Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, I've naturally been hunting down various movie adaptations released over the years. What better place to start than at the beginning? We're going back over a century and taking a look at they very first time this classic tale was adapted to film; a fifteen-minute silent film released in 1910.

Considering writer/director J. Searle Dawley condensed the entire novel into a quarter hour, I was expecting to just rush through some of the key scenes, telling a paper-thin version of Shelley's opus. That's not exactly what I got. It starts out closely enough. Victor Frankenstein leaves his mother country to study science and stumbles across the secret to life itself. With hopes of creating the perfect human being, he puts his plans into action. Unfortunately, things go horribly wrong, and he unintentionally makes a deformed monster. In horror, he rushes back home to the peace of his home, but you can't just create life and expect there not to be consequences.

While most of the this abridged version told the tale just fine, there was a drastic change to close out the climax that left me shaking my head. Given the short running time, I knew there'd be a lot of omissions and changes made to such an epic story, and I was fine with that. This particular change, however, was the last one I saw coming, and the last one I would have gone with. To put it simply, I hated it. It's a shame too, because it derailed an otherwise fine adaptation. The creation scene in particular was extraordinarily well done, and I loved both the visuals and the score that accompanied it.

Even though that final change brought the final product down a few notches, the chance that we got to see this at all is almost a miracle. It was long considered a lost film until the seventies, when a film collector realized he purchased a copy almost twenty years earlier. Given how iconic the doctor and his creation has become, it sure is nice to have his very first foray available to the public. 6.5/10.
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