1. THE ANNUNCIATION. The Angel of the Lord appears to Mary, announcing the birth of a child, which shall be called the "Son of God." 2. THE STRANGE STAR. Led by the light of the strange new... See full summary »
At the royal court, a prince is presenting the princess whom he is pledged to marry, when a witch suddenly appears. Though driven off, the witch soon returns, summons some of her servants, ... See full summary »
Trixie Thompson concludes that the only way she could save her sister from dying of the "white plague" is by preventing the autumn leaves from falling. Little Trixie knows all this because ... See full summary »
Two travellers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventuly experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to hell and roasts him ... See full summary »
A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film... See full summary »
Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »
George S. Fleming,
Edwin S. Porter
James H. White
During the Civil War a young soldier loses his nerve in battle and runs away to his home to hide; his sister puts on his uniform, takes her brother's place in the battle, and is killed. ... See full summary »
Henry B. Walthall,
During a screening in the 1940's in Argentina, an old man, for whom this was his first experience with 'moving pictures', was so taken in and enraged from seeing Judas betray Jesus that he pulled out a gun and started firing at the screen, intent on stopping him from betraying Jesus again. See more »
While this film will look extremely primitive to viewers today, for 1906 it was absolutely amazing. The life of Christ is told in a very archaic form, though the production values (for 1906) are shockingly good and quite expensive. It must have taken a lot of work to produce the film--with so many costumes, sets and live animals. When compared to the average film of the day, this is an incredibly complex film. And, at 33 minutes, it's a very, very long movie for the day. And, compared to the wonderful film of the director's countryman, Georges Méliès, the backgrounds were MUCH higher quality and construction--not just painted curtains. I was particularly impressed with Jesus' rising to Heaven near the end--very impressively done.
The biggest shortcoming, and I don't blame the director (Alice Guy) is the format. Instead of a typical narrative they would have used decades later, slides appear that tell what the next portion of Christ's life is and then you see some actors replicate the scene very briefly. It's tough going today, but it had to absolutely wow audiences at the time it was made.
For film historians, this is a must-see. Most non-film historians could probably pass on this one.
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