You may be aware of the character ‘Frankenstein’, perhaps from the Kenneth Branagh movie of the same name or maybe the character in the more recent ‘Van Helsing’. The Mary Shelley character of Frankenstein’s monster is still notorious today; and as well as a popular Halloween costume, has been spoofed in various comedies such as ‘The Munsters’.
Below, however, is the original black and white classic movie from 1910. It is interesting to see if this version, now over a century old has stood the test of time:
This Edison production is filmed in black and white with moving pictures and captions explaining each scene, as it is silent apart from music to add to the changing atmosphere.
Two years after leaving his family and sweetheart for college, it is revealed that Dr Frankenstein has discovered the mysteries of life and death. A letter is briefly held up to the camera revealing this and also how he shall ‘create the perfect human and return to claim you as my bride.’
The ‘creation’ is then taking place in a vat behind a bolted door with an excited Frankenstein who is intrigued to see what is going to emerge from the vat. Dramatic music adds to the suspense but Frankenstein goes from excited to fluster as he looks through a small window. Frankenstein’s monster’s hand is revealed first and Frankenstein is appalled at the sight of his evil creation. He backs away scared as the monster comes to his bedroom, he passes out and shortly after a friend mops his brow.
The scene then changes to ‘The Return Home’ and it is revealed that the monster is jealous of his creator and sweetheart. The monster catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and hides. A fight then breaks out.
It is then the bridal night of the creator. The monster returns and the bride faints. The caption ‘The creation of an evil mind is overcome by love and disappears’ is displayed. The monster drinks something and disappears, but it seems he is only invisible as his reflection remains in the mirror.
Although this does initially appear to be dated compared to the special effects of today’s horror films, it is still fascinating to watch, even 100 years on. It was particularly exciting to see how the monster was going to emerge and how this version would end.
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