Although several others are ahead of him in the line of succession, Richard of Gloucester is determined to gain the throne. Through deceit, manipulation, and murder, he does become King ... See full summary »
Frank R. Benson
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Based on Shakespeare's play, Act V, Scene vii: King John is in torment, and his supporters fear that his end is near. As he writhes in agony, he is attended by Prince Henry, the Earl of Pembroke, and Robert Bigot. Prince Henry tries repeatedly to comfort his delirious father, but to no avail - John's pain is too great. Written by
Perhaps the earliest "Shakespeare" film,...of at least it says it's Shakespeare!
This film purports to be KING JOHN, though you'd really not recognize any of the great bard in this film. Like all the films you would have seen in 1899, it's very, very, very brief (at about three minutes, it's actually longer than many contemporary films). The problem is you really can't do a Shakespeare play in three minutes!! And it's obvious that the director really didn't try to encapsulate the entire film--just one long and very over-done scene. In fact, all the film consists of is a guy dressed like a king apparently writhing in pain (I think he's trying to pass a kidney stone or something). And that's it!!! No plot, no action apart from the writhing and no relationship to KING JOHN or any other play by Shakespeare!
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