In a modern day interview, after she had seen the restoration of the film, Edison actress Viola Dana (nee Virginia Flugrath) identified the actress who played the Queen of the Fairies as her sister Shirley Mason who was also working for Edison at that time, under her real name, Leonie Flugrath. See more »
The 5,5 minute version of this short film is represented on a wonderful double disc Les Premiers Pas du Cinema (The Firsts of the Cinema), dedicated to the earliest experiments in colour and sound. The oldest colour films and surviving soundies are well represented on these discs. Nursery Favourites is a marvel. Even though it's presented as a pre-recorded number (singers miming to a commercial record), I strongly disagree. Having watched this performance many times, it is quite clear that this is a live recording - we see the performers and hear them at the same time. The way the singers sing, breathe, bump against the objects, drop things on the ground and add bits of spoken dialog strongly suggests that somewhere is a hidden orchestra and everything is done live in front of a camera. Which probably makes this the first time ever a live performance is recorded on a sound stock. Which makes this marvel from 1913 one of the most fascinating film-sound documents of all times.
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