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Uncle Tom's Cabin (1903)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama | September 1903 (USA)
Based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Eliza, a slave who has a young child, pleads with Tom, another slave, to escape with her. Tom does not leave, but Eliza flees with her child. ... See full summary »

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(uncredited)

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(novel)
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Storyline

Based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Eliza, a slave who has a young child, pleads with Tom, another slave, to escape with her. Tom does not leave, but Eliza flees with her child. After getting some help to escape the slave traders who are looking for her, she then must try to cross the icy Ohio River if she wants to be free. Meanwhile, Tom is sold from one master to another, and his fortunes vary widely. Written by Snow Leopard

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Genres:

Short | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

September 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Slavery Days  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

For sale in 1903 at $165 per copy. See more »

Connections

Version of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

A Creditable & Ambitious Attempt, Despite Some Obvious Flaws
10 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Given how early it was in the history of cinema, this attempt to film the story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is creditable and quite ambitious. The flaws of this movie version are now quite noticeable, but at the time it may well have been a satisfying experience, for those who remembered the impact of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, to see the action portrayed on screen. Regardless of what today's critics would think of the novel and its characters, the book had an impact on history that few works of art have ever achieved.

The story is told with a clear assumption that the viewer is already familiar with the story, and it would probably be nearly incomprehensible for those who had never read the book. Within a fairly short period of time, film-makers would develop standard ways of introducing characters and situations so as to make sure that no one got lost, but at this early stage of cinema, an adaptation of well-known literary material was more likely to count on viewers knowing the story already.

The movie illustrates several of the most significant events from the novel, using the kind of tableau format that for a time was the usual way to present this kind of story. It does re-arrange a couple of things, rather than sticking strictly with the book, and it was clearly an enterprising project. Although it only partially comes off, it's still worth seeing for its historical interest alone.


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