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PART 1. The first of a series of three reels, each approximately 1,000 feet, and intended to adequately present this powerful and fascinating drama. This reel depicts the escape of Eliza and the removal of Uncle Tom from his old home in Kentucky. Most of the salient facts in the story up to that point are graphically produced. It is scarcely necessary to go over the story. It is well known to practically every one. The staging is adequate and the actors have caught the spirit of the original story and develop their parts with a skill and intelligence which must be seen to be appreciated. While the story has lost most of its power with the removal of the reason for its existence, it still has a fascination which few are able to resist, and in this film that fascination is retained. It is a picture of power, and deserves all the applause which it receives. The producing firm deserves commendation for the sympathy and excellence of its work. - The Moving Picture World, August 6, 1910. PART 2. The second film illustrating this once popular story. It carries one forward to the death of Eva, showing the affection of Eva for Uncle Tom, the purchase of the old negro by St. Clair, the appearance of Topsy and finally Eva's death. The staging and scenic effects are wonderfully well produced and the story is followed closely enough to make it plain to those have read it. On the other hand, should anyone see it who never read the story the picture tells it plainly enough to make it understood. - The Moving Picture World, August 13, 1910. PART 3. This film, the last in the series, illustrates the re-sale of Uncle Tom to Simon Legree, the escape of Cassie and the cruel punishment and death of Uncle Tom, with the accessories which are described in the novel. What is said of this film may be accepted as applying to the entire series. Probably few novels offer such a fertile field for exploitation in motion pictures as this. The incidents, as described, are dramatic, but they are more. They arouse the emotions more forcibly than almost any other book published, and in playing upon the emotions they excite interest. The acting is sympathetic, with full appreciation of the possibilities of the piece. Perhaps few reproductions of long stories have been so well done. The difficulty generally is that the stories seem disconnected and in a way meaningless; but in this instance the continuity has been preserved, even in the process of elimination which has been unusually severe. But the novel has so many salient features that with only the most prominent shown there is no trouble in holding the interest of the audience. The series will be recognized as an achievement of importance, calculated to excite more than ordinary interest in the minds of almost any audience. - The Moving Picture World, August 13, 1910
Only one print of the 1910 Vitagraph version seems to have survived:
designed for European distribution, its titles are in Danish, and it is
in The National Film and Television Archive, in London. The version
available in the archive through the link at left is digitized from a
re-release of the film by another company (the Empire Safety Film
Company) in the late 1920s, around the time of Universal's big budget
Uncle Tom. This version, according to Brewster and Jacobs*, was
intended for home use, and divides the film into six reels. At about 20
minutes in length, the re-release is about half as long as the
original. But the clips here will give you a good idea of the way the
story looked to film audiences in 1910.
http://www.iath.virginia.edu/utc/onstage/films/mv10hp1.html The link cannot be cut/copied, sorry, please refer to the above site.
Good luck! -Elizruth
This early version of the classic novel is not known to have survived. It contains one of the earliest appearances of Norma Talmadge. Anyone knowing the existence of this film and its location is invited to contact Greta de Groat at Stanford University, who maintains a web site devoted to Ms. Talmadge.
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