Edison’s Frankenstein

Did you know that the first first filmed version of Frankenstein was not the James Whale movie, but a 1910 Edison studios film?

Though full of the hokey melodramatic tropes of early silent cinema, it actually follows the basic plot of the Mary Shelly novel more closely than the Whale movie, at least up until the happy (and vaguely slipstreamy) ending. The creation of the monster scene uses not one, but two special effects: running the film backwards and at high speed. I’m sure it blew people’s minds in 1910.

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One Response to “Edison’s Frankenstein”

  1. Dan Luft says:

    Wow, as a kid growing up in the pre-video 70s, I read a lot of monster books and picked up copies of Famous Monsters of Filmland and I had always been led to believe that this was a lost film. I had seen that single photo of the monster that was reprinted in so many books but I figured that the movie remained lost.

    Any idea when or where it was recovered? For it to be gone for 80+ years and then turn up again means the film must have sat in a very good room.

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