User Reviews

Review this title
1 Review
Sort by:
Every inch of the film seems crowded with action
deickemeyer19 January 2015
The dramatic episode in the history of this country in the concluding quarter of the eighteenth century forms the subject of a highly successful Vitagraph picture. Successful we mean in many respects. In the first place it is not too long, being under 700 feet; in the next place every inch of the film seems crowded with action, and in the third place the picture is uniformly good in photographic quality throughout; three features which always make for success in moving picture films. On this little point as to the desirable length of films, we have something to say elsewhere in this week's number. Meanwhile "Benedict Arnold," in our opinion, stands out as one of the successes of the week for the reasons given. Everyone of course is familiar with the story, which it is unnecessary to repeat. But we would like to say that the acting of the performers fully rises to the occasion. Arnold takes his reproof at the hands of Washington as we imagine an officer would. His subsequent conduct in attempting to betray his country is only explicable on grounds of personal hatred. But the producers of this film wisely avoided any examination into subtlety of motive. They deal alone with the facts of history, and history records how Andre, the British spy, is caught by the Americans, stripped and discovered with the goods on him. So he goes to his fate. Arnold, meanwhile escapes, flees to London and dies in a garret, alone and friendless, as a vision of the American flag greets his closing eyes, an emblematic touch which perhaps might have been dispensed with, as the story is so clearly, convincingly and well told. Of course, as we have pointed out, everybody is familiar with this episode in American history, and it therefore needs no explanation. All the same, the Vitagraph Company deserve every praise for the dignified way in which the picture was mounted, dressed, acted and photographed. Short military subjects of this nature are bound to be popular, especially where the canvas is not overcrowded with supernumeraries. Tn this subject there are not too many actors or mobs marching and counter marching, which, however pretty to look at, often obscures the action of the piece. And, as we have said over and over again, the modern moving picture audience wants in its films action, action, action. - The Moving Picture World, November 27, 1909
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews