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Frankenstein

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moira finnie
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Re: Frankenstein

Postby moira finnie » July 7th, 2011, 3:30 pm

Here it is...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcLxsOJK9bs[/youtube]
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Frankenstein

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 7th, 2011, 4:13 pm

Frankenstein 1910

This totally unreal & I was spellbound the filmography of this You Tube Clip of the entire 12+ minutes and its surprisingly done so well back in those days. Words can't describe how good it is & Moira ... thanks for posting it. I'm pretty sure that others have the same feelings as I do.

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby RedRiver » July 29th, 2011, 9:19 am

Hi, everybody! This is my first time on SSO. Some of you will remember me from another message board. I'll take my time learning my way around. Get to know the mechanics of it all. Let me know if there are issues with reviving old threads, repeating comments, or dribbling oatmeal down the side of my chin while typing.

FRANKENSTEIN. I guess we're talking about the greatest of all horror films. There are others I like just as much. Most of them feature huge monsters destroying cities; one a TINY Grant Williams at odds with a bad-ass spider! But Big Frank...

The first two films are darkly poetic. Having been made so soon after the silent era, the visual images are stark and disturbing. The characters are sad and desperate. The monster reminds me of my dog, trying so hard to fit into a society that makes no sense at all. "Son of Frank" and "Ghost of Frank" are effective in lesser ways. They're fine for Saturday afternoon thrills. But they're three star movies, as opposed to the classics that preceded them.

INVISIBLE MAN is excellent. ISLAND OF LOST SOUNDS makes my skin crawl. (This only exacerbates the oatmeal situation!) But Big Frank...

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby JackFavell » July 29th, 2011, 9:49 am

Hi Red! Nice to see you over here.

I had always liked the Bride better than Frankenstein, but when I watched the first one recently, I was struck by that "silent movie imagery" you spoke of. It's such a simple, simply told story, pretty near perfect. I liked how you distilled it down to it's essence, describing the monster as befuddled by a world that makes no sense. I think we've all felt like aliens in this world of ours and that's what keeps us coming back to this movie.

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby RedRiver » July 29th, 2011, 10:27 am

Jack Favell,

What an insightful point you've made! How many times have we wandered through utter chaos, thinking, I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON!

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby JackFavell » July 29th, 2011, 10:35 am

You're not alone...sigh :D

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MichiganJ
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Re: Frankenstein

Postby MichiganJ » August 3rd, 2011, 8:31 am

While Whale never made a silent film, I agree that the silents influenced Frankenstein a lot. In fact, much of the plot comes directly from the 1920 version of The Golem (including the Monster's encounter with a young girl.) Like The Golem, Frankenstein is more Gothic in look and atmosphere. Expressionism came a bit later in the Universal horror films.

As for the silence itself, Frankenstein benefits greatly from not having a musical score. Whale used the silence and limited sound to great effect in many scenes, creating and building on the horror. While I love Bride of Frankenstein, and the score is superb, the original Frankenstein is the scarier of the two.

(In regards to the "silence", Universal made a huge mistake in their release of both Frankenstein and Dracula in their respective "Legacy Collection" sets. In the silent portions of both films, they simply wiped the entire soundtrack, getting rid of the pops and scratch noises as well as general ambience. These drop-outs are as noticeable as a character giving "555" as their phone number and completely takes one out of the film. Fortunately, Universal rectified this in their 75th Anniversary Editions of both films. But you still need to double-dip if you want the series' sequels.)
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby RedRiver » August 3rd, 2011, 8:28 pm

If anything, I think "Bride" is the better film. I give credence to the first as the one that opened the door. It's my sentimental favorite. But "Bride" takes the story in a more challenging direction. Like THE GODFATHER so many years later, it's really just one story. The only difference is, "The Frankenstein Epic" could be shown in about three hours. Coppola's collection would take days!

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby MichiganJ » August 4th, 2011, 8:43 am

No doubt Bride is the better film (earlier in the thread I proclaimed it a "perfect film", and still think so). It's surely one of the "exceptions to the rule" that sequels are inferior to the original. Happens a lot, though, in horror films. Both Son of Dracula and especially Dracula's Daughter. Dawn of the Dead. Arguably Aliens. Stayin' Alive.
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby ChiO » August 4th, 2011, 4:07 pm

Stayin' Alive.


You're such a card. In a Horror thread no less.
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Re: Frankenstein

Postby charliechaplinfan » August 5th, 2011, 1:25 pm

I thought I preferred Bride but now I'm not so sure, I think the balance is tipping back towards Frankenstein. The monster doesn't talk in Frankenstein, like Chaplin's little tramp, I can imagine more and find him more sympathetic and enigmatic. They're my personal pinnacle of the horror genre.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby JackFavell » August 5th, 2011, 2:40 pm

I feel the same way, Alison. I am tipping back toward Frankenstein too. It's so simple and very expressionistic, like a Murnau film.

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Frankenstein

Postby Mr. Arkadin » March 8th, 2012, 10:16 am

While waiting to have my picture taken for a driver's license renewal (it had been 11 yrs, so I couldn't do it online), I was informed that all the DMV computers were down statewide. As usual, I killed time by blowing through the books I had brought for just such an emergency.

Robert Spadoni's Uncanny Bodies is an interesting and suprisingly deep exploration of early sound usage in film--horror films in particular. While he delves into the birth of the talking picture and examines such films as The Unholy Three (1930), The Great Gabbo (1929) and Svengali (1931), the book mainly devotes its time (and whole sections) to two films, Dracula and Frankenstein and their influence on the sound era. A very interesting book that has confirmed my belief that Frankenstein is a monumental achievement and made me re-examine everything I thought I knew about Dracula. Highly recommended, especially if you're stuck in a room with a hundred other people playing with their phones for three hours.

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JackFavell
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Re: Frankenstein

Postby JackFavell » March 8th, 2012, 11:19 am

That sounds like a great read, Arkadin!

I usually stay away from books about horror films, the fanatics sometimes drive me mad.

When I think of Frankenstein, I don't think of talk at all, I think of the look of the set pieces mostly, oh well, maybe the buzzy machines and thunder and lightning .....but mostly I think of the quiet scene by the water, or the opening shot in the cemetery with the crosses at such angles and shadows. I agree with you that it was monumentally important, and incredibly well done and expressionistic.

But I do remember the last time I saw (or heard) it the scene where the little girl is found dead really impressed me. There is a large crowd in the town, dancing and singing in honor of the wedding, and we hear as things change over from celebration to despair. The father comes quietly into the scene, while the celebration is still going on, and there are layers upon layers of sounds - church bells ringing, then on top of that singing, then people whooping it up in different ways. It's a very densely layered, brilliant use of sound. The sound actually travels too as we follow the father just walking, walking through the streets of the town. As impressive as the camera work is in this scene, the sound is just as interesting. The the crowd changes over from joy to nervousness, to concern to an angry mob. This really struck me as highly advanced in this particular part of the movie.

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Re: Frankenstein

Postby Mr. Arkadin » March 8th, 2012, 12:04 pm

The genius of Frankenstein, as MichiganJ has alluded to earlier in this thread, is in its subtley with sound. Supposedly, Whale placed a microphone inside of the casket to record the dirt hitting the lid, creating a foreshadowing (through use of sound) of the horror to come. Other ideas include the monster's footsteps behind the door when we are about to see him for the first time, the gears in the windmill, and many other "layering sounds" of rustling chains, wind, and noises, which provide a bed of ambient noise that is far more effective than a musical soundtrack.


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