I have on occasion pointed out how poor a film maker James White, Heisse's contemporary, was -- and by "on occasion" I mean every time I write a review of one of his films. This movie is almost as bad.
The issue is the fact that about the third of the action takes place offscreen. This, in turn, arises from the fact that there was almost no camera movement in films in 1898 unless they were mounted on a train or truck, which meant that if the actors moved out of the camera's view, you didn't see them.
This didn't matter for most actualities, films purportedly about real events, because most of those were staged. In this one, either Mr. Heisse was unaware of this, didn't care, or lost control of his performers and didn't think it worthwhile to either instruct them better or shift the camera and try again.
Things happening off camera could be used for some effect. Griffith's A POLITICIAN'S LOVE STORY uses this for comic effect. However, here the situation is simply clumsy.
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