This is a respectful but slightly stodgy film realization of the Biblical story of Joseph -- played here by future director James Cruze.
Part of the problem is caused by the length of the takes. Thanhouser had developed a house style of camera work in which a brisk pace of cutting hid the camera movement necessary to maintain composition. But in this movie the length of a shot seems to be tied to the average length of the titles, which average five lines from the Bible: screen title, then illustrate it. This was, by 1914, rather old hat, but given that this was a Biblical epic and that FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS two years earlier had been such a huge success using the same techniques, the practice is understandable, if slow.
Certainly this was a large production, even for Thanhouser, which was a very ambitious company, quite willing to spend money on sets and costumes. It shows. Also the uncredited set designer and camera man were quite clever. The Egyptian sets have a pretty good 19th Century illustration look to them, sometimes approaching watercolor.
Over all, the effect is a not brilliant and it will never bump Demille from the list of great Biblical epics, but interesting to fans of silent films.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this