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Not a Killer

Author: boblipton from New York City
3 July 2011

This early effort by Vitagraph in the way of a feature film -- the surviving print times in at three-quarters of an hour, immensely long for the era -- fails because it relies far too much on titles to tell its story -- it uses the even then antiquated techniques of 'illustrated text'. While the photography is as good as anything in the period, the actors have little more to do than pose, and the entire piece is framed as a troop of boy scouts sit around a camp fire and listen to one of their number read the story from a book.

Director/writer/costar Hal Reid would eventually learn to do better and Wallace Reid, who plays Chingachcook, would eventually become a leading star for Paramount, but this early effort at greater lengths merely highlights how far the industry had to go.

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