King John does whatever it takes to keep himself on the throne of England, making enemies of the pope, France, and his nephew along the way.

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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 ...
...
William Mollison ...
Gerald Lawrence ...
Louis Calvert ...
Norman McKinnel ...
Lymoges
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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:

20 September 1899 (UK)  »

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

In 1900 and 1901, The British Mutoscope & Biograph Company (the Biograph) promoted a tour of a selection of its films throughout England (and probably Scotland and Wales and possibly Ireland as well) in each year, showing at most of the major cities and many of the leading towns. The films chosen for both of the tours were a mix of the Biograph's recent and popular films, updated as the tour progressed, In 1901, the leading films were several of Queen Victoria 's funeral followed by 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 contemporary press reports that the full, four scene, version of "King John' (as four separate films shown in sequence together) was included on the 1901 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

Philip Faulconbridge: Oh I am scalded with my violent motion/ And spleen of speed, to see your Majesty.
King John: Oh Cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:/ The tackle of my heart, is crack'd and burnt,/ And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail,/ Are turned to one thread, one little hair:/ My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,/ Which holds but till thy news be uttered,/ And then all this thou sees, is but a clod,/ And module of confounded royalty.
Philip Faulconbridge: The Dolphin is preparing hitherward,/ Where heaven he knows how...
[...]
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Connections

Version of König Johann (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Silent Shakespeare
13 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

King John (1899)

*** (out of 4)

've been told this was the first Shakespeare adaptation and if so it isn't too bad for what it is. Running just over three minutes this here takes the final pages of the play as King John dies.

Tempest, The (1908)

*** (out of 4)

Another Shakespeare adaptation works perfectly well and delivers a very magical feel. Part of this is due to the dreamlike camera work but the special effects are also quite good for their time.

Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1909)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Yep, more Shakespeare early style. The actual "story" never really comes across here and the title cards just make things even more confusing but the interesting thing are all the technical stuff. Every shot of the film takes place outdoors and all the locations are very nice. The camera angels are also all set up to perfectly capture the mood of the film.


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