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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

By modern standards, it's really poor,...but for 1908 (or so) it's pretty good

7/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
30 September 2006

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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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Silent Shakespeare

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
13 March 2008

Merhant of Venice, The (1910)

** (out of 4)

Another weak Shakespeare adaptation, which has no story whatsoever and comes to an abrupt hault.

Twelfth Night (1910)

** (out of 4)

The story is very clear in this one but that's about it. The film drags even though it's a one reeler and the acting, direction and sets are all on the boring side. However, this must have been one of the first films to show a lesbian kiss so perhaps that'll give you a historical reason to see this.

King Lear (1909)

*** (out of 4)

Once again the story doesn't come across too clearly but I've still gotta recommend this baby due to the incredibly hand tinting. The work here is downright beautiful and perfectly done making this look and even feel just like a Technicolor film. Whoever did the drawing on this was way ahead of their time considering what most hand tinting jobs look like.

Richard III (1911)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Decent version of Shakespeares play benefits from some good performances and some nice atmosphere. The story here is pretty easy to follow and seems to be filmed from an actual stage production.

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