A colonial scene in the U.S. An old lady sits astride a bell while a man in blackface, wig, and livery pulls the bell rope. From an upper door emerges an old man, dressed as a dandy, who ... See full summary »
A colonial scene in the U.S. An old lady sits astride a bell while a man in blackface, wig, and livery pulls the bell rope. From an upper door emerges an old man, dressed as a dandy, who tips his hat to the woman as he walks down stairs grinning. Others leave the same door and walk down the same stairs: a shabby man, a cop, and, several times, the same dandy. The man in blackface hangs himself; the dandy continues to smile. A bell tolls, a grave beckons. In the dark, the dandy plays the piano. Is he Death? Written by
This film really was NOT intended for general release. Instead, it's a recording of a production by a small theater group and it made it to the "Unseen Cinema: 1884-1941" set of DVDs. However, it is interesting because it features a very young unknown actor--Orson Welles.
The film looks very amateurish and at times is pretty bad (such as the guy in black-face) and is quite grainy. But, as I said, it was not intended to be a release to the public--just a record for the theatrical group. The costumes are also pretty bad--and the cheap prosthetics on the actors' faces are garish. But, as a historical record of the growth of Welles as an actor, it's invaluable. Well worth seeing if you are a lover of everything Welles.
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