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Old 11-20-2010, 05:28 AM
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1910 - Frankenstein hits the silver screen!

100 years ago, J. Searle Dawley wrote and directed Frankenstein.

It took him three days to shoot the short, 12-minute film (when most films were actually shot in just one day).
It marked the first time that Mary Shelley’s literary creation was adapted to film.
And, somewhat notably, Thomas Edison had a hand (albeit it an indirect one) in making the film. The first Frankenstein was shot at Edison Studios, the production company owned by the famous inventor.

Quote:
“In making the film, the Edison Company has carefully tried to eliminate all the actually repulsive situations and to concentrate its endeavors upon the mystic and psychological problems that are to be found in this weird tale."

— The Edison Kinetogram, March 1910
The first Frankenstein film was released on March 18, 1910.

The 12-minute film was shot in January of 1910 at the Edison studios on Decatur Avenue, in The Bronx, New York. In an era when film were made in just one day, three whole days were lavished on this production, no doubt due to the demands of elaborate makeup and the special effects of the creation and mirror scenes.

Frankenstein was overseen by J. Searle Dawley, serving as producer, writer and director. A former actor, stage manager and vaudevillian, Dawley had been hired by Edwin S. Porter of the Edison Company in 1907, specifically to direct. He would later lay claim to the title of “the first motion picture director” because, until then, “the cameraman was in full charge”. Dawley would direct well over 200 silents, including Rescued from an Eagle's Nest (1908), a thriller famous for its scene of a baby carried aloft by an eagle, and the acting debut of one D.W.Griffith.

The same year he made Frankenstein, Dawley traveled to California as one of the leaders of a movement that would see filmmaking in America switch to the West Coast. In 1917, he became the first secretary, under Alan Dwan, of the newly formed Motion Pictures Directors Association. Dawley quit films in 1927 to work in radio.

In Dawley’s Frankenstein, the scientist literally cooks up his Monster in a boiler-cabinet. A dummy of the Monster, complete with a movable arm, was set afire and the film was reversed so that we see The Monster apparently assemble itself in a cloud of roiling ash and smoke. Frankenstein is overcome with horror and remorse at the sight of his horrible, hairy creation. In the one scene straight out of Mary Shelley’s novel, The Monster appears at the bed curtains to hover balefully over the collapsed Frankenstein.

In the final scene, as he looks at himself in a full-length mirror, The Monster vanishes, but his reflection remains. Frankenstein enters and sees himself as The Monster in the mirror. The image of The Monster dissolves and is replaced by Frankenstein’s reflection. The title card reads: “The creation of an evil mind is overcome by love and disappears". The concept of Frankenstein and his Monster as being intimately connected, perhaps even one and the same, has since been explored in countless retellings.

A truly historical moment in our genre. Come, let's relive those moments...

You can download the movie at the Internet Archive here - http://www.archive.org/details/FrankensteinfullMovie

or watch the complete film here -




Frankenstein was just one of thirty films released by the Edison Trust that week. It seems that Frankenstein had the typically short distribution life that most films could hope for back then. Copies were sent through the exhibition circuit and soon returned to the Edison lab and destroyed, their silver content recycled. Cinema art and technology progressed rapidly in those days and, a mere five years later, the theatrics of Frankenstein were already old hat. The film was to be forgotten for half a century.

In 1963, a copy of the March 15, 1910 issue of The Edison Kinetogram trade magazine surfaced with a picture of the Ogle Frankenstein and a synopsis of the film. Among other sources, Famous Monsters of Filmland carried an article about it and, almost overnight, the film became one of the most sought after of all “lost film”. Against all expectations, it did not remain lost for long.

The film is usually referred to as “The Edison Frankenstein”, but the real-life scientist and experimenter, Thomas Edison, only ushered the fictional scientist, Frankenstein, into the world of films in his remote capacity as president of the Edison Kinetograph Company. There is no record of Edison himself mentioning the film or, for that matter, even seeing it, from among the veritable torrent of product his company churned out every week.


For more info about this film, please click below.

Source - http://frankensteinia.blogspot.com/2...of-movies.html
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Last edited by _____V_____; 11-20-2010 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:27 AM
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This movie is amazing. By the way do you know if it is out on DVD. Yes I know that because of it's length the chance that it is out on a disc on it's own are slim, but are there any horror movie compilations that it is a part of? Or is it a featurette on any published DVDs
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:36 PM
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It is on DVD... I can't tell you where to get it, but I know it's been released. The guy who owned the film used to sell it himself.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:07 PM
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I just watched 1910 Frankenstein. It was quite good, the style was 10 or 15 years ahead of its time. Another good silent movie is Fritz Lang's Metropolis from 1926. A lot of it was lost for several years but they show a restored version with original soundtrack music on Turner Classic Movies from time to time.

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Old 04-24-2011, 03:24 AM
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Neverending thank you for the information. I guess I will have to begin searching for the film. Perhaps it is on one of the collections of Frankenstein movies out there.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:53 AM
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http://graveyardrecords.com/product_...5dc32e5320f479
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:13 AM
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Thank you, you are a gem. :D
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:04 AM
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You can also get it on Amazon -

http://www.amazon.com/Edisons-Franke...3981355&sr=8-1

Quote:
The complete torturous story of the 1910 film version of Frankenstein is revealed in this 100th Anniversary E-edition, presented in Word Format and PDF so that it can be read on all computers. This 2 disc package also contains a DVD of the Edison motion picture, also playable on your TV. The book tells everything you ever wanted to know about the classic first Frankenstein film and then some. This highly researched 200 page document begins in the dusty archives of Thomas A. Edison and follows a trail of evidence that leads through the tattered pages of pre-Hollywood film history. The story of the making of the film and its disappearance leads to the actual re-discovery of the long lost 1910 Frankenstein film starring Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips and Mary Fuller, and finally getting it released on DVD. Helped step by step with recently discovered Edison Manufacturing Co. documents and numerous rare photographs, many in color, published for the first time, this motion picture, it s unknown impact on later Frankenstein films and intertexuality are finally revealed and brought to life. Created in a style that appeals to all audiences, author Wiebel brings forth a living E-Book from dead tissues. Edison s Frankenstein stands on its own in the world of Horror filmography. This edition is welcome in any library. Now being offered with a DVD-R of the 1910 Frankenstein film, restored to the original titles with no visible watermarks is accompanied by a stirring soundtrack created from the original music cues edited from Edison Phonograph cylinders of the time period, it s become essential. Of the over 400 books on Frankenstein that I have in my library, this is the gem of my collection and the one I ve been waiting for. - FORREST J. ACKERMAN
Only 2 are left, though.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:27 AM
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That you for the information, that look like a nice book and movie set.
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