first frankenstein flic


 
Well, the fact that we all now can watch the first film adaptation (Dawley 1910) of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein (1818) on YouTube was worth a post over at boingboing.
    Matter of fact the movie (in different formats) since quite some time is ready for free and legal download at the Moving Image Archive. And it since long resides on my list of cyberpunkish motion pictures, complete with the download link—together with George Méliès‘s 20.000 lieues sous les mers (1907), Stuart Paton’s 20,000 leagues under the sea (1916), John Stuart Robinson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) and Robert Stevenson’s The man who changed his mind (1936) [full filmographical information below]. And these are only those which I identified as ‘cyberpunkish,’ or: fitting into the cyberpunk discourse.
    Take my advice of last year and scan the collections of the Moving Image Archive … and you won’t have any time left for something else.
    Anyhow, what I like most in Dawley’s movie are the special effects. For the creation process of the monster I guess they had a movable puppet made, burned it, filmed the flaming destruction—moving parts of the puppet now and then, and pasted the sequence backwards into the final movie. Like Méliès Dawley seems to have been obsessed with the then new medium’s visual-effects potential.
    To round it up, here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Boris Karloff—who gave Victor von Frankenstein’s creature the looks which went into collective lore—on set … how similar stills of on-set scenes can appear.
 
Boris Karloff on set during the 1930s

DAWLEY, JAMES SEARLE. 1910. Frankenstein [motion picture]. New York: Edison Manufacturing Company.
MÉLIÈS, MARIE-GEORGES-JEAN. 1907. 20.000 lieues sous les mers [motion picture]. Paris: Georges Méliès.
PATON, STUART. 1916. 20,000 leagues under the sea [motion picture]. New York: Universal.
ROBERTSON, JOHN STUART. 1920. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [motion picture]. Los Angeles: Paramount Pictures.
SHELLEY, MARY. 1818. Frankenstein; or, the modern Prometheus. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones.
STEVENSON, ROBERT. 1936. The man who changed his mind (aka The brainsnatcher aka The man who lived again) [motion picture]. London: Gainsborough Pictures.
Karloff on set via entry at kueperpunk
Share