This short film recreates King John's death scene at the end of the play.

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(play), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Herbert Beerbohm Tree ...
Dora Tulloch ...
Prince Henry (as Dora Senior)
Charles Sefton ...
J. Fisher White ...
Earl of Pembroke (as James Fisher)
S.A. Cookson ...
Franklyn McLeay ...
Lewis Waller ...
Julia Neilson ...
William Mollison ...
Gerald Lawrence ...
Louis Calvert ...
Norman McKinnel ...
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Storyline

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 Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prince | king | earl | kneel | baron | See All (31) »

Taglines:

A Scene - 'King John', now playing at Her Majesty's Theatre See more »

Genres:

Short | Drama

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

September 1899 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Beerbohm Tree, the Great English Actor  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(full) | (extant)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

From around September 1900 to possibly 1902, The British Mutoscope & Biograph Company (the Biograph) promoted a tour of a selection of its films throughout England (and possibly Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well), showing at most of the major cities and many of the leading towns. The films chosen were a mix of the Biograph's recent and popular films, updated as the tour progressed, including several of Queen Victoria's funeral, reports of the Boer war in South Africa, famous people such as Pope Leo XIII, sporting events, views of and from ships and trains, and other familiar subjects of the cinema of the time, almost all shown in very short forms of one to two minutes duration each on a 26ft (7.92m) by 22ft (6.70m) screen. Attempts were also made to include Biograph films of the locality in each place in which the package was being screened.

It appears from press reports that the full, four scene, version of "King John' (as four separate films shown in sequence together) was included on the tour, although how extensively is not known and may now be impossible to know. It is also not known, with a similar unlikelihood of ever knowing, whether the four prints of "King John" were newly struck for the tour from the original negatives. See more »

Quotes

King John: Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert throw thine eye/ On yon boy: I'll tell thee what my friend,/ He is a very serpent in my way,/ And whereso'er this foot of mine does tread,/ He lies before me: does thou understand me?
Hubert de Burgh: And I'll keep him so,/ That he shall not offend your Majesty.
King John: Death.
Hubert de Burgh: My Lord.
King John: A grave.
Hubert de Burgh: He shall not live.
King John: Enough.
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Connections

Version of König Johann (1971) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Interesting Piece of Cinema History
28 February 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

While not especially detailed or action-packed, this short movie is quite an interesting piece of cinema history. It affords a look at the renowned stage actor Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, in what must have been his first screen role, and it is also one of the very earliest screen adaptations of classic literature. In itself, it is not bad at all for material that is not particularly well-suited for a silent movie.

The footage comes from the last scene of Shakespeare's "King John", and depicts the king (Sir Herbert) in agony, both mental and physical. It's the kind of scene that offers a stage actor some fine opportunities for dramatics and the like, but it's something of a curious choice for early movie footage, compared with some of Shakespeare's other, more action packed works. Yet at that, it does not work badly.

While Sir Herbert's style is clearly based on the stage, he nevertheless convincingly portrays King John's torment, and if you read some of John's lines while watching the footage, it fits together. Prince Henry's vain efforts to comfort his father also come across believably. The setting and background likewise are stage-like, and yet they work in adding a little detail and atmosphere.

All in all, this is worth seeing for a number of reasons.


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