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Mary Shelley Movies & TV

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)

Kenneth Branaugh directed this film adaptation of the book, and even credits Shelley as a screenwriter. It is the latest in a line of hundreds of Frankenstein films made since 1910. Robert de Niro plays the monster, though he's still not as scary as he was in Taxi Driver.

Frankenstein (1931)

Mary Shelley may have created the monster, but this movie created the character "Frankenstein" as we know him today. Boris Karloff plays the monster, replete with the grayish skin, scarred face and bad haircut reproduced in countless Halloween costumes. The movie was so successful that the studio made a sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, four years later.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Other Frankenstein movies have hewn closer to Shelley's plot, but none are as funny as this one. Gene Wilder plays the grandson of Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, trying - and failing - to distance himself from his grandpa's notorious past. The movie is a parody of previous Frankenstein films - it even uses the same laboratory set as the 1931 Karloff picture. The scene where the monster sings "Puttin' on the Ritz" destroys us every time.

Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

In this horror movie, a scientist working on a killer weapon is zapped back in time to 1817 Switzerland, where a real-life monster is terrorizing a village. Frankenstein, the movie speculates, is a fictionalized account of this real-life monster attack. Then the monster gets zapped into the future with the scientist. The plot also involves lasers.

Gothic (1986)

A freaky movie that imagines what it was like at the house in Lake Geneva where Mary Shelley thought up Frankenstein. If this film is to be believed, Shelley spent most of the time in a drug-like trance while Lord Byron pranced about acting creepy as hell. Very disturbing - but then again, we weren't there and can't say for sure that Shelley's parties weren't always like this.

Byron (2003)

Few lives were as drama-filled as that of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, also known as Lord Byron. He became deeply entangled in the Shelleys' lives, trading poetic rivalries with Percy Bysshe Shelley and impregnating Mary's half-sister. This made for television biopic sums up the sexual escapades, literary triumphs and shady dealings of this curious creature.

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