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This film was a struggle. I had to keep myself from shutting it off and doing something else. I don't think I've ever been this bored for forty minutes, not even while listening to dry lectures in algebra class.
I'm grateful that we have the legendary Bernhardt captured on film for all time, but it's unfortunate that she was not paired with adequate filmmakers who understood how to make engaging cinema. The movie is literally a recording of a stage play, all done in long shot with the actors playing for the back row. Peppered throughout are intertitles which explain exactly what's going to happen in the next scene.
The fact that this film was made in 1912 is no excuse; watch the one reeler An Unseen Enemy from the same year and you can see that film is shot and acted much better than this. Perhaps if the likes of DW Griffith had directed, this might have been a classic. Instead we're left with a movie which only functions as a historical curio and nothing more.
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