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Heart Beats of Long Ago (1911)

A feud existed between two Italian houses and it meant disaster to any one of the belligerents to intrude into the opposing house. The Lord of the house gives a feast in honor of the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
The Father
...
The Lover
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ...
At the Ball
William J. Butler ...
A Guard
...
Courtier
Francis J. Grandon ...
The Nobleman
...
A Guard
J. Jiquel Lanoe ...
At the Ball
Adolph Lestina ...
Courtier
...
At the Ball
...
A Guard
W.C. Robinson ...
A Servant
Kate Toncray ...
Lady-in-Waiting
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Storyline

A feud existed between two Italian houses and it meant disaster to any one of the belligerents to intrude into the opposing house. The Lord of the house gives a feast in honor of the arrival of a wealthy foreign noble, whom he expects to make his son-in-law. The daughter, however, has given her heart to the son of her father's enemy. That he may be present at the festival, she surreptitiously takes her father's signet ring, throwing it to him from the window, which, of course, admits him. The father, anticipating the intrusion of his enemies, orders death to any member who enters the hall. After the festivities the unwelcome betrothal takes place and the forbidden lover braves death to see his loved one. While they are in clandestine meeting a guard is seen to enter the corridor so the girl hides her sweetheart in a secret closet, turning the key and taking it with her. Not finding the intruder, the guard imagines he was mistaken. The favored suitor, however, is suspicious and ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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1300s | costume | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

6 February 1911 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A print of this film survives in the Library of Congress. See more »

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A Study in Composition
12 October 2016 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

When High Renaissance Lady Blanche Sweet is engaged to be married, her lover Arthur Johnson shows up. Her fiancée stuffs him in a closet to asphyxiate in this little known D.W. Griffith short film.

Griffith was always experimenting in this period, often by taking what earlier film makers had done and seeing how it could fit in as a component of the film grammar he was developing. In this case, he was exploring what he could learn from the films of Georges Hatot, who had created filmed tableaux vivantes, in which he would take a famous painting and convert it into a short film. The point of such films as L'ASSASSINAT DU DUC DE GUISE were the moments in which David's famous picture were reproduced.

If this movie looks like a series of Renaissance paintings, that's exactly what Griffith and cameraman Billy Bitzer intended. It's still a common technique in films; you have only to look at a superhero movie and recognize an old splash panel being reproduced for a shot to see it.

If you wish to see it in its raw, experimental form, there is a good copy of the movie on the Eye Institute site on Youtube.


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