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.

Writers:

(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

Between 3 May-4 November 1901, the Glasgow International Exhibition (the Exhibition), one of what would be later called "Expos" or "World's Fairs", was held in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. In The Grand Hall of the Exhibition, the British Mutoscope & Biograph Company (the Biograph) showed a selection of its films nightly, in one screening, throughout the Exhibition season. As with its presentations elsewhere in The Isles, the films were a mix of popular, topical and local ones, usually of very short length, shown consecutively and with new films added during the presentation's run.

In its edition of Tuesday, 15 October 1901, the Edinburgh, Scotland daily newspaper "The Scotsman", reviewing the Exhibition activities of Monday, 14 October, 1901, reported that:

"Among a new lot of pictures shown by the biograph last evening was a series of scenes in "King John" showing Mr Beerbohm Tree and the entire company engaged at Her Majesty's Theatre, London".

The reference to "a series of scenes" shows that the version of "King John" screened was the original four scene one. The print was probably the one used during the English tour of Biograph films in 1900-1901. It is assumed that the screening of "King John" continued for all, or most, of the remaining three weeks of the Biograph presentation in The Grand Hall. 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 King John (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps the earliest "Shakespeare" film,...of at least it says it's Shakespeare!
30 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

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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