After discovering a wonderful site called Open Culture, I found that they have "101 Free Silent Films: The Great Classics" available on their site! I decided to challenge myself--if not every day then pretty close to it--to watch at least one silent film each day. After all, I'm working on a book about silent film stars and haven't watched many silents since I was in college. And even then not nearly enough.
My first selection was the 1910 version of "Frankenstein." While only just more than 12 minutes long, it kept a pleasant pace and stayed true to the original story (unlike the Karloff version that took a number of liberties).
"Frankenstein" stars (all uncredited) Augustus Phillips as Frankenstein, Charles Ogle as The Monster and Mary Fuller as Elizabeth. It was directed by J. Searle Dawley, who also wrote the script based on the Mary Shelley novel.
The condition of parts of the film are in very rough condition You can't see the gestures very well, and the facial expressions are just not visible. Both are critical to the silent world.
I found out that Mary Fuller ended up in movies kind of by accident. According ti IMDB.com, she was a stage actress who got stuck in New York and ended up working at a studio. She ended up working for studios such as Vitagraph.
According to FindaGrave.com, Mary Fuller spent the last years of her life in a mental institution in Washington, D.C. She died in obscurity and was buried in Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. For an unknown amount of time, her grave went unmarked. Now it seems a very nice monument has been placed at her grave (see the photos at FindaGrave).
I'm the author of a number of cemetery books and am now writing one about the graves of silent film stars, starting with the ladies. Who would you like to see included?
More Silent Film Resources
• Silentology blog