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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)

In ancient Athens, four young lovers escape into the woods. Meanwhile, tradesmen rehearse a play. All of them suffer from the shenanigans of mischievous fairies.

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(scenario), (play)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Walter Ackerman ...
Charles Chapman ...
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Fairy
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Fairy
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Elita Proctor Otis ...
William V. Ranous ...
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Mechanical
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Penelope
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Storyline

Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is engaged to be married to Hippolyta. One of the Duke's courtiers has a daughter, Hermia, who, for business reasons, he decides shall marry Demetrius: but she is in love with Lysander. Her father appeals to the Duke and he decrees that Hermia must obey her father or forever remain unmarried. The lovers decide to elope and they are followed by the rejected suitor, Demetrius, and Helena, who loves him in vain. On the night of the elopement a number of townspeople are rehearsing in the woods a play which they intend to present at the wedding of Duke Theseus. The eloping lovers, followed by Demetrius and Helena, wander to the same part of the forest that the players frequent. Meanwhile among the fairies of the forest a little love episode has ended in a tiff and Oberon, the king of the fairies, sends his messenger, Puck, for an herb, which, when placed upon the eyes of a sleeper, will cause him or her to love the first creature seen upon awakening. The ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Plot Keywords:

love | play | fairy | wedding | weaver | See All (34) »


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Release Date:

25 December 1909 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En Skærsommernatsdrøm  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The copy held by the BFI National Archive is incomplete, and ends with the mechanicals beginning their play before Theseus. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: [last title card]
[SPOILER]
Title Card: Penelope discovers the mischief that has been done. She restores the weaver to his normal shape and happily unites the lovers.
See more »

Connections

Version of Sen noci... (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Midsummer Night's Dream's cinematic debut a must see thanks to smart editing
23 October 2016 | by (Johannesburg, South Africa) – See all my reviews

Silent films are a strange object of consideration for the contemporary film critic. Some of them are classics, pieces of cinematic art which belong among the best films of all time and which must be seen by any serious film buff. Others are downright dreadful, only valuable as historical objects. It is in-between these two categories where A Midsummer Night's Dream's cinematic debut belongs.

Stage veteran Charles Kent, along with co-director J. Stuart Blackton, does an adequate job at bringing this legendary piece of dramatic literature to the silver screen for the first time. The theatre man brought a few of the bard's plays to the silver screen for the first time, with A Midsummer Night's Dream being his second after Anthony and Cleopatra a year earlier. Being his second adaptation, it doesn't do much in the way of directorial innovation.

However, the editing shows signs of some innovations that were taking place at the time. An early example of special effects was used to transform Bottom's head into an ass, while the fairies are made to appear and disappear using the same splicing effect. For this editing innovation and foresight alone, A Midsummer Night's Dream's cinematic debut is worthwhile.


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