Sir Daniel Brackley attempts to force his ward, Joanna, to marry Lord Shoreby, but receiving news of an impending battle, is obliged to hurry to the front. To prevent Joanna's escaping him,... See full summary »

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(as Oscar C. Apfel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles Ogle ...
Nathalie Jerome ...
Joanna - Brackley's Ward
Harold M. Shaw ...
Edgar L. Davenport ...
Richard Ridgely ...
Charles M. Seay ...
The Priest
Jack Chagnon ...
Will Lawless
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Storyline

Sir Daniel Brackley attempts to force his ward, Joanna, to marry Lord Shoreby, but receiving news of an impending battle, is obliged to hurry to the front. To prevent Joanna's escaping him, he takes her with him, disguised as a boy. Young Dick Shelton (Sir Daniel's nephew) brings reinforcements to Sir Daniel, and thinking Joanna a boy, assists her to escape. Joanna and Dick reach home, closely followed by Sir Daniel, who, becoming suspicious of Dick, plans to have him killed. This plan is overheard by Joanna, who warns Dick of his danger. In the excitement Dick discovers that his supposed boy friend is none other than Joanna, a childhood playmate. They renew their former friendship, which now develops into mutual love, but are rudely interrupted by the approach of Sir Daniel's hired assassins. Dick escapes and hastens to the woods, where he joins the "Black Arrows," a band of outlaws, deadly enemies of Sir Daniel. Choosing Will Lawless, one of their number as companion, they start out... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

10 November 1911 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Brings to mind scenes from the canvas of an old master
25 April 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A Tale of love and adventure, with the War of the Roses as an historical background and the "English Greenwood"' as its prevailing setting, is surely not unwelcome after the monotonous procession of impossible sheriffs, impossible Indians and impossible cowboys which seem to haunt so many studios. "The Black Arrow" is an adaptation for the silent stage of the popular story of Robert Louis Stevenson. The story was originally intended and written for young folks and the picture will undoubtedly make a special appeal to the younger generation, for its hero is a boy and its heroine a girl. The work of adaptation presented difficulties, which few can realize unless they have read the book of Stevenson. As in all of his stories, there is in "The Black Arrow" much fine and graphic description and a variety of incident, not always closely connected with the central theme. An attempt to give the patron of the moving picture all the ramifications of the plot or even a complete portrayal of all its principal characters would have been impossible of achievement within the narrow limits of a thousand feet. The adapter has wisely avoided this temptation and in simplifying with considerable skill the plot, has by that means been able to transfer to the screen the greatest charms of the whole story: the spell of the "greenwood," the spirit of romance and chivalry and the hard yet picturesque fighting, for which the wars of York and Lancaster will ever be famous in English history. The plot in its simplified form deals with the love of a likely young lad, "Dick Shelton," for a very brave and very sweet girl, "Joanna Sedley." A wicked knight, "Sir Daniel Brackley," is the obstacle in the course of true love. Being not only a bad guardian, but a ruthless tyrant and oppressor as well, he has rendered himself hateful to the people of his neighborhood, who as an answer to his acts of cruelty and robbery have formed themselves into a sort of medieval vigilance committee and are called "Black Arrows," many of them being skilled archers, sending vengeful shafts into the hearts of their enemies, who are Sir Daniel and his retainers. There are escapes and rescues and fights aplenty, but it all ends happily; the "Black Arrows" punish the despotic knight and the young people get married with every promise of a long and happy life. One of the features of the reel is the great number of fine outdoor settings, remarkable for beauty of nature and splendor of photography, even in this day of good outdoor settings. The pursuit of Joanna and the scene entitled "The Last Black Arrow" are instances to the point and cannot fail to please, thrill and charm. The scenes in the greenwood, where "Dick" joins the brotherhood, sworn to destroy Sir Daniel, is superb in setting and grouping. The second feature has to do with the brilliant battle scenes, which in point of armor and weapons and in realistic acting, as well as in the number of the combatants, have scarcely been equaled on this side of the water. The attack on Shoreby Town is a masterpiece, the realism is intense, it is spirited in action and brings to mind scenes from the canvas of an old master. It adds not a little to the merit of this truly notable picture, that the principal character is taken by an artist, who showed a fine conception of the part and who knew how to execute his conception in so perfect a manner. Harold Shaw was a "Dick Shelton" after Stevenson's own heart and fancy; he was youthful, yet manly; an admirable lover and a loyal partisan. The part of Joanna was well and understandingly acted by Natalie Jerome, while Charles Ogle gave a good impersonation of the wicked Sir Daniel. Exhibitors will welcome such reels as "The Black Arrow." They attract the best and most desirable class of patronage and serve to increase the respect of the intelligent public for the moving picture, its destiny and its possibilities. - The Moving Picture World, October 21, 1911


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