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Sleeping Beauty (1908)
"La belle au bois dormant" (original title)

6.0
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A beautiful daughter having been born to the king and queen, the nine most important fairies of the country are called upon to be godmother of the child, and as the ceremony takes place ... See full summary »

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Title: Sleeping Beauty (1908)

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Director: Segundo de Chomón
Stars: Julienne Mathieu
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Cast

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Julienne Mathieu
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Storyline

A beautiful daughter having been born to the king and queen, the nine most important fairies of the country are called upon to be godmother of the child, and as the ceremony takes place each blesses the child with a special virtue or talent. The welfare of the child seems assured, when all at once the oldest, ugliest and therefore forgotten fairy, appears on the scene and, furious at the slight, puts upon her, curses the baby princess and predicts that she will die poisoned by the prick of the spool of a spinning wheel. The godmother fairies, however, sooth the grief-stricken mother by telling her that her daughter will not die but only fall asleep, as well as everything living which surrounds her for one hundred years. To avoid this calamity, the king orders that every spinning wheel be destroyed under penalty of death, and the king's messenger is seen reading the command. The next scene shows the grown-up princess closely watched by a stately matron. This trusted servant, however, ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

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Release Date:

5 April 1908 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sleeping Beauty  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
I really liked this one.
14 February 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Albert Capellani and Lucien Nonguet apparently directed this one. This took me by surprise since the film starred Julienne Mathieu--the wife of prolific director Segundo de Chomón.

The story is that of Sleeping Beauty. It really helps to be familiar with the tale unless you can read German (my ability with German is, at best, fair to poor) as the copy I found from archive.org had German intertitle cards. Now having intertitle cards in ANY language this early in cinema is unusual, so it is far ahead of most films of the time that relied instead on pantomime--and often it was highly exaggerated. I have no idea if other copies are out there in other languages or if anyone has any plans on translating it into other languages.

The film sticks closer to the original telling by Perrault than the later Disney film. This is a plus, but the picture has many pluses. The biggest is the use of natural sets--including the use of a castle instead of lots of studio sets. It also has decent coloring added cel by cel by assembly lines of female workers at the Pathé company. It's not the cleanest and best looking of their colored films but still looks pretty good. Additionally, the costumes and special effects were quite nice. The overall production for 1908 is truly special and makes the film worth seeing---even if you don't know German.


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