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The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1895)

This short film, one of the first to use camera tricks, depicts the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mrs. Robert L. Thomas ...

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Storyline

A short film depicting the execution of Mary, Queen of the Scots. Mary is brought to the execution block and made to kneel down with her neck over it. The executioner lifts his axe ready to bring it down. After that frame Mary has been replaced by a dummy. The axe comes down and severs the head of the dummy from the body. The executioner picks up the head and shows it around for everyone else to see. One of the first 'camera tricks' to be used in a movie. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Short | History | Horror

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Release Date:

August 1895 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Execution  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The film takes place on February 8, 1587. See more »

Connections

Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
it's place in film history cannot be taken away despite the cruel nature of the film
17 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

all right, the execution of mary, queen of scots is certainly not the prettiest of the edison labs. films. i'm not keen on executions nor bad camera tricks and this one delivers. still, it's the first of it's kind for both, and is therefore essential viewing for anyone seriously interested in film.

now, let's get realistic for a second here. the camera trick used here is one of the first, if not the first of it's kind. apparently it shocked the audience it had in it's days, but for obvious reasons it today looks quite fake. this is also one of the first if not the first film reproducing a historical scene going for the best possible realism, a description that later became a definition for a genre. the execution wasn't very realistic historically either, though.

according to IMDb it's also the first film with trained actors. it doesn't show much ;) but it's yet another merit for this film only mildly interesting in traditional sense. like it or not, the execution of mary stuart ranks high in film history. the influence it has given to countless films after it cannot be dismissed.


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