Frankenstein

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ 

(6/10) In a nutshell: This supposedly first Frankenstein movie of 1910 turns the monster metaphysical rather than physical, but the gruesome special effects in the creation scene is fleshy enough. 

Frankenstein (1910, USA).  Written and directed by J. Searle Dawley. Based on Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818). Starring: Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips, Mary Fuller. Produced by the Edison Company. IMDb score: 6.5 Tomatometer: N/A. Metascore: N/A. 

Promo still of Charles Ogle as the monster, in make-up of his own invention.

Promo still of Charles Ogle as the monster, in make-up of his own invention.

Although the Americans and the Edison Company was a bit slow to jump on the sci-fi bandwagon, mostly leaving it to the French and the Brits, they ultimately did so in style in 1910 with the much fussed about adaptation of Frankenstein – often cited as the first Frankenstein film. Or did they? In this trimmed down and altered version on Mary Shelley’s novel, not much science remains. Continue reading

A Trip to Mars

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ 

(5/10) In a nutshell: A scientist floats to Mars and is captured by Martians in this early American short film. Not a masterpiece, but a well made and intriguing little film.

A Trip to Mars. USA, 1910. Silent short. Directed by Ashley Miller. Loosely based on H.G. Wells’ novel The First Men in the Moon. Produced by the Edison Company. IMDb Score: 6.2 Tomatometer: N/A. Metascore: N/A. 

A famous shot from the film, of the Martian creating a snowball around the scientist.

A famous shot from the film, of the Martian creating a snowball around the scientist.

Along with the Edison’s 10 minute rendition of Frankenstein (review), A Trip to Mars was one of USA’s first science fiction films, and perhaps the first all-out sci-fi. It was also one of the very first films about a trip to Mars – in any country. Both these films were released in 1910, and both were produced by Thomas Edison’s powerful conglomerate. Before this film there had apparently been made a version of Jules Verne’s book 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Seas in 1905, but that appears to have been lost. Continue reading