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The photographer did some daring things in placing his apparatus so close to the moving figures

Author: deickemeyer from Chicago
19 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A film de luxe, one of the most ambitious products of this progressive house. It is a free rendering of Tennyson's poem of the same name in the "Idyls of the King," and clearly illustrates its main features, ft is a simple story, though one's imagination is fired by the glamor of the romance of chivalry which pervades it. The staging has been done with care and so far as may be judged in these times, fairly represents costuming and customs in vogue during the period represented. The photographer did some daring things in placing his apparatus so close to the moving figures; but each one comes out clear and distinct with no suspicion of blurring. The piece affords few opportunities for dramatic climaxes. It is a story of the love of a simple country girl which the bold and bombastic knight, already in love with the queen, cannot return, and the maiden pines and dies, asking with her dying breath that her body be taken to King Arthur's court, where over her bier occurs the most dramatic of all the scenes, when the king asks Sir Launcelot if the charge contained in the scroll is true. It is not too much to say that the players have succeeded admirably in reproducing the spirit of the poem, and the working out of the details, even to the darkness in the cave, where the wounded knight lies, adds materially to the attractiveness of the picture. The tournament, as may be conceived, a difficult scene for a motion picture, is reasonably well represented. Obviously it would be exceedingly dangerous for actors to undertake more than a semblance of a joust, and the sudden change in the film before the combatants meet is sufficient to save picturing a deficiency which could not be helped, while the imagination supplies missing details. Really the weakest scene in the joust is where the knight is hurled from his horse and falls to the ground. As a whole the picture is a triumph of the producer's art and deserves only the highest praise for its excellence. - The Moving Picture World, November 27, 1909

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