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Tannhäuser (1913)

 -  Short | Drama  -  15 July 1913 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 11 users  
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Director:

(as Lucius J. Henderson)

Writer:

(opera)
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Title: Tannhäuser (1913)

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Cast

Cast overview:
James Cruze ...
Tannhäuser
Marguerite Snow ...
Princess Elisabeth
Florence La Badie ...
Venus
William Russell ...
Wolfram
Burton Law
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Plot Keywords:

based on opera | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

15 July 1913 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Silent Operas
24 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

I don't care for opera; regardless, opera is undeniably worse when adapted to the silent screen. (Two adaptations of "Carmen" and one of "Assunta Spina" (1915) come to mind, as well.) Mostly, we're just left with whatever the ludicrous plot was. In this three-reeler, "Tannhäuser", there is, of course, a tragic, melodramatic romance. There's also some Catholic moralizing. It also doesn't help that the filmmakers use the tableau style wherein title cards describe proceeding actions. The camera-work and staging is very static; there's one match on action close-up that stands out as otherwise an example of too advanced film techniques for these filmmakers to use. There's double-exposure photography with dissolves for appearances and disappearances during the Venus episodes.

The Venus episode is the best part—the film really suffers after it. There's an awfully enacted and confusing sword fight, and the rest of the film, as aforementioned, is just bad romantic tragedy and Catholic morals. There are better early films available to see, and I suppose there are superior means to view this opera.

(Note: The DVD print features reconstructed tinting based on those originally intended.)


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