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Well sustains the Vitagraph reputation for lavishness and splendor
deickemeyer26 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The career of "The Father of His Country" will always be popular reading with patriotic Americans, and if appearances count for anything, those who frequent moving picture theaters (and they are counted by millions) will never tire of studying the life of Washington in graphic form. In this picture the Vitagraph Company with timely enterprise, and we wish to congratulate this company on the appropriateness with which it produces many of its splendid pictures, have chosen that period of Washington's career which was passed in the service of the British Government for illustration. Starting with his surveying work in Virginia, a very pretty piece of picture-making, by the way, Washington's early military experiences are illustrated in a number of disconnected scenes, each, as it were, complete in itself. The movements of the troops and officers employed in these scenes were very well rehearsed and great realism indeed was imparted to an ambuscade of Indians where death was dealt out to the unsuspecting whites. Probably patriotic Americans will care less for this picture than for that which follows it, wherein Washington is shown serving under the flag of that country which he made free. But, patriotism apart, all unite in appreciating the almost idyllic beauty of the latter part of the film which we are noticing. For it shows Colonel Washington in love. He meets the charming widow who subsequently becomes his wife. We see him as the courtier, the love dalliant, and finally as the proud bridegroom leading his pretty wife to the altar and finally being driven away with her in his carriage to the plaudits and congratulations of the guests. Effective and stirring as were the early parts of this film, these must, we think, yield the palm for tenderness of beauty and sentiment to that which shows the gallant young Colonel in the role of lover and bridegroom. These scenes are very beautifully staged indeed, and well photographed, and we think they would linger in the mind of the average person longer than the impression of military exploits. We think the Vitagraph Company is heartily deserving of praise for the splendid qualities of this picture. It is nicely colored and in parts full of the most exquisite photographic delicacy. As a feature film it will undoubtedly be popular with holiday audiences, for it cost a great amount of time and money to produce and well sustains the Vitagraph reputation for lavishness and splendor of production. – The Moving Picture World, July 3, 1909
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