A young working girl must suport her family on only five dollars a week. The strain of trying to feed, house and clothe her mother, her father and three brothers finally gets to be too much... See full summary »
In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.
Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »
Edwin E. Reed
Restored in 2015 from 35mm print held by BFI and 16mm print from New York Public Library. See more »
During Fenella and Alphonso's romantic interlude on the beach, a modern clapboard structure with a shingled roof and double-hung windows, is visible amid structures that match the village set. See more »
The Dumb Girl of Portici is based on an Auber & Scribe opera, but obviously as a silent film the music isn't there to help it out. It is filmed mostly in long shots and is a long, long, long movie to watch. Pavlova's graceful movements keeps her going from one end of the frame to the other, but she is acting, not dancing. The camera is placed so far away from Pavlova that it is difficult to evaluate the quality of her performance in the title role. The sets and scenery, however, are truly impressive, though the preservation print that survives on this title is a bit dark and grainy. What is most amazing about The Dumb Girl of Portici is that director/writer Lois Weber was able to command such expensive resources to get this made, as it is both conceived and executed on an epic scale. You go girl!
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