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Jack and the Beanstalk (1902)

 -  Short | Fantasy  -  15 July 1902 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 399 users  
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Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of the famous fairy tale story of Jack and his magic beanstalk. Borrowing on cinematographic methods ... See full summary »

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Title: Jack and the Beanstalk (1902)

Jack and the Beanstalk (1902) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Director: James H. White
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Cast

Credited cast:
Thomas White ...
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Storyline

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of the famous fairy tale story of Jack and his magic beanstalk. Borrowing on cinematographic methods reminiscent of 'Georges Melies', Porter uses animation, double exposure, and trick photography to illustrate the fairy's apparitions, Jack's dream, and the fast growing beanstalk. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

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Release Date:

15 July 1902 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Babszem Jankó  »

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| (hand-colored)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The special effects were inspired by those of Georges Méliès, whose work Edwin S. Porter had studied while pirating it for the Edison Co. See more »

Connections

Version of The Giant Killer (1924) See more »

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User Reviews

Mixing Grammars
2 September 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This early version of Jack and the Beanstalk may look, to the modern eye, as if it is a simple stage play, but it is hardly that. In reality it mixes grammars from three different forms of entertainment: the stage, Georges Melies' film grammar (which at this stage used a good deal of stage techniques, but also included stopping the camera to allow things to appear and disappear) and magic lantern grammar.

Notice how the story is structured so that some of the visions appear as a circle in the center of the screen. That is straight out of standard magic lantern productions, which were still enormously popular in this period. Indeed, this particular bit of magic lantern grammar survives in occasional use today. I have noticed it most recently in Jeunet's A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, in which the main action appear over most of the screen, but thoughts of the lost love appear in the upper righthand corner.

Films were just starting to find their way at this point. It was an enormously exciting period in the movies as many techniques were tried out.


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