Produced by Thomas Edision, this is the first film adaptation of Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein- a ten-minute short subject written and directed by J. Searle Dawley, who takes a few key incidents and weaves them into an imaginative, mystical take on the story. (In keeping with the novel, this film has little to say about science; Frankenstein’s methods seem more magical than medical.)
Although old-fashioned and somewhat stagey in its presentation, this version of FRAKENSTEIN remains of more than historical interest, thanks to an interesting use of early special effects and a cleverly condensed storyline (prompting the Overlook Encyclopedia of Film: Horrorto label the film “an extraordinary effort for its time”). The creation scene is a stand-out, and the ending is like nothing seen in any subsequent film (although it does emphasize the doppelganger theme of the story, literally turning the monster into a mirror image of its creator).
FRANKENSTEIN (1910). Produced by Thomas Edison, Written and Directed by J. Searle Dawley. Cast: Agustus Phillipe (Frankenstein), Charles Ogle (Frankenstein’s creation), Mary Fuller (Frankenstein’s fiance).