The first adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was released on March 18, 1910 in the United States and it was only a 12-minute film. It was made by Edison Studios and it was written and directed by J. Searle Dawley. The main cast included Augustus Phillips as Dr. Frankenstein, Charles Ogle as the monster, and Mary Fuller as Elizabeth.
Since the film is only 12 minutes long, most of the details are missing from the novel. The monster is created in what looks like a potion, rather than with body parts and electricity. The monster also begins as a skeleton instead. There is a fight between Dr. Frankenstein and the monster but they never show him killing any of Dr. Frankenstein’s family members until the night of his wedding with Elizabeth and the monster tries to kill her.
It’s quite interesting that in 1910 such a film was even able to be made. It is clear that filming wasn’t a top technology at the time but they still did a decent job outlining the premise of the novel.
Here’s the film for your viewing!
Film taken from “Timeless Classic Movies” youtube channel.