Shakespeare's tragedy of the hump-backed Duke of Gloucester, who rises to the throne of England by chicanery, treachery, and brilliance, only to find that his own methods have prepared the ... See full summary »
Shakespeare's tragedy of the hump-backed Duke of Gloucester, who rises to the throne of England by chicanery, treachery, and brilliance, only to find that his own methods have prepared the groundwork for his downfall. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Far from being a representation of a typical stage production of the play when the film was made, star Frederick Warde related in his autobiography that "I found the action of the camera necessitated entirely different methods of acting from the stage. Spontaneity must be replaced by deliberation and concentrated expression take the place of words. I had much to learn and considerable to unlearn but the director and photographer were very considerate, although my ignorance of the necessities of the camera must have tried their patience almost to the limit." See more »
Not horrible for 1912, but pretty much unwatchable today
This was a very, very early full-length film. According to the video box, it was the first full-length American-made film, but that is debatable--as several films have made that claim and exactly what constitutes "full-length" is pretty vague. Regardless, I have to commend the cast for trying something unique and epic, though in today's light the film is a totally boring mess and only of interest to cinephiles. Instead of the modern notion of story-telling and action, the crew was breaking new ground and made a bizarre film that appears more like a series of vignettes instead of a coherent film. Instead of a moving and evolving narrative like we are used to, the film was made with a real-life traveling acting troop. But, instead of having them act out the story, the film shows inter-title cards that describe what has occurred and the cast pose like they are going to be photographed or just make a few minimal movements or actions until the next card appears to describe an all-new scene. It's almost like looking at a series of stereoscope cards that move just a little and all together tell a very, very dull story. Very static and horrid to watch, it DID try something different and this is an amazingly important film historically--I just would NEVER want to have to watch it again!
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