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The Eternal Strife (1915)

Jane Shore (original title)
A goldsmith's wife becomes the king's mistress to save her husband's life.

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(play), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Blanche Forsythe ...
Jane Winstead
Roy Travers ...
Robert Purdie ...
Thomas H. MacDonald ...
Dora De Winton ...
Margaret
Maud Yates ...
Nelson Phillips ...
William Shore
Rolf Leslie ...
Duke of Gloucester
Tom Coventry ...
Master Winstead
Rachel de Solla ...
Dame Winstead
Frank Melrose ...
Garth the Bard
Fred Pitt ...
Warwick
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Storyline

A goldsmith's wife becomes the king's mistress to save her husband's life.

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Release Date:

March 1915 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Eternal Strife  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Britain's first "epic" film, employing more than 1,000 extras. See more »

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Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slow and stately
18 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

Britain's first epic film was based on a 17th-century tragic play and said to have been filmed in response to the success of Birth of a Nation, from which it doesn't seem to have learnt much. The stagey acting relies on arms thrust skyward to indicate horror, anger, despair etc. The decor is painted. The pace is mostly slow.

The narrative is a mess: it mostly involves using title cards to say what happens in the next scene, then illustrating it. And yet it still leaves great holes in the plot. What is the jealous Margaret telling King Edward? (Presumably that the man whose marriage she is trying to wreck is a rebel.) What is Richard of Gloucester - the future Richard III - up to, poisoning his brother and then executing a bridegroom and condemning his bride for witchcraft? Just being evil? And why on earth is a defeat in battle for Edward's Yorkists announced, when the film carries right on as if it hasn't happened, with the supposedly defeated Edward still king and the supposedly victorious Lancastrian Matthew Shore fleeing to Flanders?

There are some good visual moments. The aftermath of the two battles - actually the same one, in the same place - shows the defeated, hundreds strong, slithering and sliding down a steep hillside. There's a repeated dynamic camera angle that allows characters to walk toward the camera and exit to the left while remaining in focus (as far as I can tell with a non-HD film 100 years old). There's some highly impressive medieval millinery for the women. And the final sequence, with Jane cast out into a "blizzard", hounded by the crowd, all tinted in blue, is genuinely striking. Alas, with typical disdain for emotional impact, the film has her husband returning to find her but instead of allowing them even an embrace it stops short, in long shot, the second he touches her. The End.


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