The Merchant of Venice (1908)

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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 30 users  
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(scenario) (as Liebler) , (play)
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Cast overview:
Julia Swayne Gordon ...
William V. Ranous ...
Florence Turner ...
Undetermined Role
Paul Panzer ...
Undetermined Role


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Drama | Short




Release Date:

22 December 1908 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of plays by William Shakespeare adapted by the Vitagraph Company of America in 1908. The others were A Comedy of Errors (1908), Othello (1908), Macbeth (1908), Romeo and Juliet (1908), Richard III (1908), Antony and Cleopatra (1908) and Julius Caesar (1908). See more »


Version of BBC Play of the Month: The Merchant of Venice (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

By modern standards, it's really poor,...but for 1908 (or so) it's pretty good
30 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

First off, the video from Milestone Video says this film was made in 1910 but IMDb says 1908. I am not a real stickler, but they are actually talking about the same film, so try not to be confused. Now considering that all of this Shakespeare play was boiled down to only ten minutes (about the length of MOST films of that era), the film does a respectable job of conveying the story--though of course all the subtlety is missing as well as the subplots. But, compared to other contemporary movies based on Shakespeare, this is among the best because of its relatively high production values and because the entire film was hand painted to make it a color picture! Considering most silent films were shown at about 16 to 24 frames per second, that means that about 10,000 cels had to be painstakingly painted!! And while this certainly doesn't compare well to Technicolor, for 1908 or 1910, it's truly an amazing job. Overall, it's not a film most today would enjoy (especially many Shakespeare lovers), but for film buffs like me, it's worth the time.

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