Per its title, Jack Smight
's Frankenstein: The True Story
, strives for greater faithfulness to Mary Shelley's novel than prior versions. Thus, as in the book, Dr. Frankenstein's (Leonard Whiting) creation is no monster, but a handsome young man of high intelligence (Michael Sarrazin). In fact, the doctor and his creature are the best of friends until the latter's body begins to deteriorate. This sends the creature over the bend into insanity, prompting Frankenstein -- with the help of his evil mentor, Dr. Polidori (James Mason), a character not in the Shelley novel -- to try, try again to create a viable synthetic human. The film ends more or less as the novel does, with the outcast Frankenstein and his creature expiring in the frozen wastes of Antarctica. Adapted for television by Christopher Isherwood, Frankenstein: The True Story
was originally telecast in two parts on November 30 and December 1, 1973.