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Old November 26 2009, 11:58 PM   #28
stj
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Re: A good Frankenstein movie.

The best faithful adaptation I know of is the 2004 Hallmark Channel Frankenstein, with Alec Newman as Victor, William Hurt, Donald Sutherland (as Walton, which shows how faithful the miniseries was,) and, I think, Julie Delpy as Justine (again, striking evidence of how faithful the book is.)

Not only is Victor the villain, Victor is the villain because he does to his creation what the Christian God did to his, abandoned him to loneliness and ignorance and misery. Victor's renunciation (to Walton) of the value of knowledge has to be read in that context. Also, since Victor is basically committing suicide is it wise to take the "There Are Things Man Was Not Meant To Know" message at face value? I don't think the 1931 Frankenstein got the point, much less communicated it, as entertaining a movie it is.

There is a movie, Prototype, by the great writing team of Levinson and Link. It is a modernization of some of the novel's themes, rewriting Victor as a roboticist (Christopher Plummer) and the creature as a robot (David Morse.) Being a modern work, naturally it openly references Frankenstein. The robot correctly notes the movies are not serious, while the novel is. Prototype, incidentally, ironically has the creature redeeming the creator.

PS Didn't see Harvey's post above till double checking the typos.

Also, I forgot to add that Burton started his film career by doing Frankenstein, so to speak. I think it is his very first film, a short called Frankenweenie. It is about a dog being brought to life. It is highly referential to the 1931 movie, with the Frankendog (yes, it's a dachshund) meeting a fiery end at at minature golf course's windmll.
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