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The Heart of the King's Jester (1912)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Earle Williams ...
Edith Storey ...
The Princess
William Humphrey ...
The King
Rose Tapley ...
The Queen
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Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

3 January 1912 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Merryman Moping Mum
1 May 2012 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This short subject from Vitagraph concerns a jester who loves the king's beautiful daughter. He, however, dresses weird and has a hunchback, so she prefers a shepherd. The jester helps them escape and brokenhearted, he mopes.

It's a slow melodrama. The direction of the actors in this piece are very broad. Although Vitagraph was a leading studio at this point, it was Griffith at Biograph who got his actors to rein in their movements. However, while the actors (including Edith Storey and Earle Williams) are overwrought, the set is very well dressed and the frame's composition is filled, if not well to the modern eye, ornately. The proscenium arch frames the screen, but the unknown cinematographer works hard to split the screen in a sort of triptych effect, searching for ways to avoid irising to define the action.

The net result is a film that is not very successful, but still of some interest to the film historian, pointing the way towards advances in composition.


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