5.7/10
459
8 user 1 critic

Rescued from an Eagle's Nest (1908)

A family is terrified when an eagle carries off its young child.

Director:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Frank Powell, Grace Henderson, James Kirkwood
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in an early cinema house, this comic short illustrates the problems with the gals' hats obscuring the movie patron's line of vision.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Linda Arvidson, John R. Cumpson, Flora Finch
Frankenstein (1910)
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Frankenstein, a young medical student, trying to create the perfect human being, instead creates a misshapen monster. Made ill by what he has done, Frankenstein is comforted by his fiancée ... See full summary »

Director: J. Searle Dawley
Stars: Mary Fuller, Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips
Cinderella (1899)
Short | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Barral, Bleuette Bernon, Carmely
Action | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

On a warm and sunny summer's day, a mother and father take their young daughter Dollie on a riverside outing. A gypsy basket peddler happens along, and is angered when the mother refuses to... See full summary »

Directors: D.W. Griffith, G.W. Bitzer
Stars: Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson, Gladys Egan
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

During the Civil War a young soldier loses his nerve in battle and runs away to his home to hide; his sister puts on his uniform, takes her brother's place in the battle, and is killed. ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Henry B. Walthall, Grace Henderson, Dorothy West
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The fiend faces the spectacular mind-bending consequences of his free-wheeling rarebit binge.

Directors: Wallace McCutcheon, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Jack Brawn
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An astronomer falls asleep and has a strange dream involving a fairy queen and the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A gang of thieves lure a man out of his home so that they can rob it and threaten his wife and children. The family barricade themselves in an interior room, but the criminals are ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: David Miles, Marion Leonard, Mary Pickford
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Trixie Thompson concludes that the only way she could save her sister from dying of the "white plague" is by preventing the autumn leaves from falling. Little Trixie knows all this because ... See full summary »

Director: Alice Guy
Stars: Mace Greenleaf, Blanche Cornwall, Marian Swayne
Fantasmagorie (1908)
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The first all-animated film in history, a series of scenes without much narrative structure, but morphing into each other.

Director: Émile Cohl
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At a tramcar in Copenhagen the piano teacher Magda Vang meets the young man Knud Svane, who falls in love with her. She is invited to spend the summer with him and his parents at the ... See full summary »

Director: Urban Gad
Stars: Asta Nielsen, Robert Dinesen, Poul Reumert
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Woodsman (as H. B. Walthall)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Miss Earle
Jinnie Frazer ...
Baby
...
Edit

Storyline

A woodcutter says good-bye to his wife and child, and then goes off to work. After he has left, the mother leaves the child outside their cabin to play. Suddenly, an eagle swoops down and carries off the child. When the mother realizes what has happened, she runs to tell her husband. He and the other lumberjacks immediately set out to find and rescue the child. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rescue | baby | melodrama | bird | See All (4) »

Genres:

Action | Short

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1908 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Ørnekløer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.1 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A fun early adventure film...

In 1908, a 34 year old playwright named D.W. Griffith was having little success with his plays and decided to try his luck in the newly formed movie industry with an adaptation of "Tosca" he intended to sell to the film studios of the Edison Manufacturing Company. The head of the studio at the time was film pioneer Edwin S. Porter, who wasn't really impressed with Griffith's work as a writer but, since Griffith was also an actor, Porter decided to hire him and send him to director J. Searle Dawley. A former theater director (he liked to called himself as "the first professional motion picture director"), Dawley immediately chose Griffith for the main role in his new film: "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest". It would be in this early adventure film where D.W. Griffith would have his first contact with the movie industry and where he would first learn the crafts that would make him a legendary filmmaker in the following years.

"Rescued from an Eagle's Nest" is the story of a woodsman's family and the extraordinary adventure they live one day while the Father (D.W. Griffith) was outside working. After the father leaves the house, the Mother (Miss Earle) begins her own housework and leaves the child (Jinnie Frazer) outside to play. While the mother is inside the cabin, a big eagle descends from the sky and takes the child away. The mother notices the eagle kidnapping the kid, but it's too late for her to save him, so she runs to the woods in order to tell her husband about it. After hearing what has happened to his child, the lumberjack and his mates run together to the mountains. When they find the nest, they discover that it's very difficult to reach it, so the Woodsman takes a rope with him and begins to climb down. However, before returning home he'll have to face the eagle that kidnapped his kid.

As usual with the early movies from the Edison Manufacturing Company, it can't be known for sure who exactly wrote the screenplay of the film, but considering director J. Searle Dawley's background, it is highly probable that it was all Dawley's creation expanding from one of his or Porter's ideas. The story of "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest" is pretty simple and has almost no characterization, focusing on the action and adventure that the Woodsman faces to save his kid. In this sense, the movie works like a folktale put on film, as it is concerned more about the adventure in itself than about the characters. While simple in its construction, the plot of "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest" remains so universal that is hard not to feel thrilled by the Woodsman's adventure.

In "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest", director J. Searle Dawley truly shows a better understanding of the new options that film offered him as a narrative language, and moves further away from the idea that movies were simply plays on film. The influence of Edwin S. Porter (who was in charge of cinematography in this movie) can be seen in many scenes as Dawley employs several of the editing techniques that Porter originated in his 1903 seminal classic, "Life of an American Fireman" (Techniques that Griffith would further develop in his own films). This is reflected in the very original ways the movie uses edition and its primitive special effects to play with action and suspense in order to thrill and surprise the audience. By our standards, the effects look poor and clichéd, but it was definitely a step ahead in its time.

As written above, the film focuses entirely on the family's adventure without leaving too much for character development, so it would be not only difficult but also unfair to judge the performances of the cast on those terms. So considering that they were playing basically archetypes, it could be said that the whole cast was actually good, as there rarely was any overacting (so common in the early days of cinema) and everyone seemed to know what to do. It is obviously interesting to see D.W. Griffith as the Woodsman, and his performance doesn't disappoint. His fight with the eagle is a very good scene that forecasts similar scenes in future action movies like the ones with Douglas Fairbanks. Even when she was not a professional actress (or probably because of that very reason), Miss Earle is very good and looks very natural in her concern for her baby.

While the film still feels stagy at times, it was a step ahead in the development of the language of cinema that spawned an entire series of imitators that further developed the adventure genre (even Griffith himself would use the same basic plot of a kidnapped child in his first movie, "The Adventures of Dollie"). To call this movie clumsy or uneven and judge it under our standards is criminally unfair, as while "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest" is not a perfect movie, it is not only actually very good for its time but it also helped to set the basis for the action and adventure films of today. "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest" is not only a must see for Griffith fans interested on his first work, it is also an amusing short movie for fans of early action movies and silent film in general. 7/10


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Miss Earl velob53
Discuss Rescued from an Eagle's Nest (1908) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?