I’ve never been more proud to be a taxpayer! The Library of Congress has been involved in numerous important projects related to the preservation of film, but none hit closer to home for horror fans than their restoration of the first film version of Frankenstein. Produced in 1910 by the Edison Manufacturing Company, this 12 minute short laid the foundation for the Gothic atmosphere and hulking creature that would soon be improved upon and immortalized by James Whale and Boris Karloff. In a recent guest blog post by Mike Mashon– the head of the Moving Image Section of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division- the institute details the painstaking lengths they went to in restoring and preserving the print for future generations:
“While it came in a fairly nondescript can, it didn’t take us long to get the reel into our film preservation lab for a 2K scan in advance of photochemical preservation. From that 2K scan, we worked on a digital restoration. The film’s head credits and the first intertitle were missing, but fortunately the Edison Historic Site in East Orange, New Jersey, had a copy of the head credit we could drop into place; the intertitle was recreated using the style of the other titles. We asked Donald Sosin, a highly regarded silent film composer and accompanist, to provide a score.”
Even better, because the project is the result of our tax dollars at work, the film is available for free for all to see or download. You can view the film in its entirety by clicking this link.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for complete coverage of The Library of Congress’ other important initiatives in the world of horror film, and all things Frankenstein!