(Reel One) Amelia Sedley, accompanied by Miss Becky Sharpe, returns from boarding school. Becky is a natural born flirt. Bashful Joseph Sedley falls desperately in love with her. He takes ... See full summary »



(scenario), (novel)


Cast overview, first billed only:
William V. Ranous ...
Leo Delaney ...
Tefft Johnson ...
Mrs. B.F. Clinton ...
Herman Rogers
Ferris Harcourt


(Reel One) Amelia Sedley, accompanied by Miss Becky Sharpe, returns from boarding school. Becky is a natural born flirt. Bashful Joseph Sedley falls desperately in love with her. He takes her to Vauxhall Gardens, where he makes an ass of himself, is very much ashamed, and refuses to keep his appointment with Becky the next day, sailing for Scotland to escape her wiles. Amelia, with her gentle sweetness, hands Becky a letter from Sir Pitt Crawley, requesting her to repair to Queen's Crawley at once. The next morning, bright and early, she takes her departure to enter Sir Pitt's household as a governess, where she meets Rawdon Crawley, youngest son of Sir Pitt, who falls captive to her charms, bringing upon himself the displeasure of the whole Pitt family. He, notwithstanding, marries Becky. (Reel Two) After their marriage, Becky Sharpe and Rawdon Crawley take up elegant lodgings at Mayfair. Rawdon, who is a captain in the English Army, is resplendent in his uniform. They are visited by... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Short





Release Date:

19 December 1911 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hiúság vására  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Surely a new day seems to be dawning when the moving picture is to be considered reliable
3 June 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

If the Vitagraph Company can be considered as a public servant, let us say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." In producing "Vanity Fair" this company has performed a service not only to the public but to the trade. At last we have a well-known literary work done into moving pictures without suffering the loss of any part of its charm or atmosphere. Surely a new day seems to be dawning when the moving picture is to be considered reliable. Historical subjects or literary classics have been handled so freely in their translation into moving pictures that they are divested of well- known facts or incidents, which makes them unauthoritative or unsatisfactory for any other than purely amusement purposes. But in "Vanity Fair" the Vitagraph Company may be said to have "arrived." They have reproduced a well-known work of fiction that has lost none of its individual qualities during the transition. It comes nearer to being a flawless adaptation than anything that has appeared in moving pictures. Aside from one slight incongruity there is nothing to criticize and everything to praise. We were not aware that well- shaped cigars were much in use one hundred years ago. nor were gentlemen accustomed to lighting their cigars with the present-day parlor match as did Lord Steyne in the scene with Becky Sharpe. Snuff boxes were more prevalent at the time, but they are entirely absent in this picture. Aside from this there is no flaw except perhaps the pernicious habit the Vitagraph Company has drifted into lately of cutting the characters off at the knees. "Vanity Fair" is an uninterrupted delight and a revelation in the art of picture making. We predict for it a tremendous success not only in America, but in England, where no doubt it will be even more popular than in the United Stales. It is a film classic: the result of most painstaking care that has been well spent. Not only in entirety, but in detail it is especially noteworthy. The individual work of the principal characters is particularly strong in every instance, but head and shoulders above them all is Miss Helen Gardner as Becky Sharpe. It seems a much too difficult task to attempt to describe her phenomenal work in this exceedingly complex role. It is somewhat of a task for an actress to play it on the speaking stage, but when it comes to portraying such a capricious character in the silent drama there is indeed work to be done. We might ramble on for hours in ecstasies over the superb work of Miss Gardner and at the end of that time have given but a faint idea of what we saw her do. The best that we can advise is for each and every motion picture man to see the picture and let that speak for itself. Her work needs no word of commendation from us after that. Suffice it to say that she has seized every opportunity to portray the fickle, pouting, coquettish character that Thackeray drew to his everlasting fame. Equally as much might be said of any of the other characters, for they are most accurately cast and so thoroughly capable, but the bulk of the work going to the part of Becky Sharpe, Miss Gardner carries off highest honors, with the exception of the producer, Mr Charles Kent. Next to Miss Gardner must be mentioned the commanding work of Mr. William V. Ranous as Lord Steyne. Without a doubt this is the greatest bit of photoplay acting that Mr. Ranous has ever done and we have seen him in many plays before. He lives and breathes the part, and lives up to the fullest conception that anyone could ever have of it. In many respects this picture resembles a dead heat at a horse race, for alongside Mr. Ranous is Mr. Harry Northrup. keeping up the pace in his competent conception of Rawdon Crawley, the debonair roué and dissipated dilettante. The climax of the picture enacted by the aforementioned actors is positively great, one of the strongest scenes that has ever been shown in pictures. The other characters, though of less import, deserve an equal amount of praise which lack of space will not permit. As a matter of pure character acting, Mr. Alec B. Francis deserves special mention in regard to his delineation of Pitt Crawley; a perfect and convincing portrayal in no particular overdone, and leaving nothing to be desired. Mr. John Bunny gave an exquisite bit of comedy character work for the short time it lasted. And that is the charm of it all. All the secondary characters are so well done as to make it a perfect whole. Leo Delaney as George Osborne and Mr. Tefft Johnson as Captain Dobbin live up to the ideals of Thackeray. Mrs. Kate Price and Mr. William Shea in the respective parts of Miss Crawley and Sir Pitt Crawley. Mr. Charles Kent as John Sedley. Mrs. B.F. Clinton as Mrs. Sedley and Miss Rose E. Tapley as Amelia Sedley are all entitled to the highest of praise for their thoughtful work in this picture. Each and everyone has done his and her part to make "Vanity Fair" a composite superlative. "Vanity Fair" will be released December 19. It is on three reels, all of which will be released the same day. - The Moving Picture World, December 16, 1911

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