Thank Jezebel for bringing this to our attention. It’s a gorgeously restored version of the original 1910 silent movie adaptation of Frankenstein.
Backstory: In 2014, the Library of Congress bought the print – once thought to be lost in the dustheap of celluloid history – from one Alois F. “Al” Dettlaff of Cudahy, Wisconsin, who had bought a nitrate print as part of a larger collection in the 1950s (not realizing the treasure he had, until it appeared on a list of famously missing movies). They restored it to it’s current condition and made it available for all to see.
The movie is an important link in the chain of Frankenstein’s long-running cultural staying power, representing a bridge between its place in the 19th century popular imagination and its place in the pop cultural monster canon of the 20th century. Most fascinating is the opportunity to see an example of how Frankenstein’s creation was imagined before the Universal monster movies made him synonymous with the big green lunkhead with the bolts in his temples. And instead of electrifying a body on a table, it’s really more of a magical cabinet situation. You see the creature slowly emerge, from an empty cauldron to this Terminator skeleton made out of rotten vegetables… [Then] finally—it’s alive!!!!!! And frankly it looks like Igor—another addition of the 1930s… It’s easy to laugh, but these special effects must have been absolutely astonishing in 1910.
Watch it below (Trust me… It’s better than watching I Know What You Did Last Summer on TBS for the 32nd time this week).
(Screen grab via Jezebel, as well)