The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the Library of Congress oversees one of the largest collections of motion pictures in the world, spanning the entire history of the cinema. Naturally, the collection contains many films appropriate for Halloween or Día de Muertos.
In silent films, the walking dead, vampires, and masked predators of 19th century novels came to life, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu created a new visual language. In the sound era, horror films developed an effective but familiar style, making later, innovative films like The Mask, The Masque of the Red Death, and Night of the Living Dead all the more frightening. The Library's Moving Image Research Center provides access to films dating from the early days of motion pictures to the present.
One of the most enduring horror stories of the nineteenth century, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), has been the subject of many films. While the classic image of the monster as a flat-headed man with bolts at his neck, seen in the Library logo above and to the right, was created by the 1931 movie directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff, there were other visions of the monster conjured up by directors of other motion pictures. In the player below, see the very first film of Frankenstein, produced by the Edison Company in 1910 and restored by the Library of Congress just a few years ago. Below that, read more about the films in the Library's collections.
The Library presents film screenings both in Washington, D.C. and at its theater in Culpeper, Virginia.