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The Charge of the Light Brigade (1912)

Retelling of the famous incident in the 1854 Crimean War when a British cavalry unit, because of a mix-up in orders, charged an almost impregnable Russian artillery position and was decimated.


J. Searle Dawley




Complete credited cast:
Ben F. Wilson ... Captain Morris (as Benjamin Wilson)
Richard Neill ... Captain Nolan
James Gordon ... Lord Raglan - Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces
Charles Sutton Charles Sutton ... Lord Lucan


There are eighteen short minutes in the history of Great Britain that will live as long as the war drum is sounded and the shrill trumpet calls to arms. These historical moments are recorded in the annals of time on October 25th, in the year 1854, at the hour of ten o'clock, on the blood-stained field of Balaklava, where England strewed for over a mile the life-blood of heroes. Over four hundred soldiers gave up their lives to the everlasting glory and honor of England's military discipline, and all within this short space of time. Think of them, wonder at them, honor them, all you who love the heroic and brave, for it was only eighteen minutes from the moment Lord Cardigan gave the command, "Forward the Light Brigade," and the brilliant band of England's best blood made their never-to-be-forgotten charge, and then this torn, bloody, battle-stained, broken and shattered regiment, the pride of England's army, came back from the valley of death. All that was left of the six hundred, ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short


Did You Know?


The film takes place on October 25, 1854. See more »


Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Very, very impressive
17 March 2017 | by fredcdobbs5See all my reviews

I started watching this movie thinking it would be a fairly typical one-reeler of the time, shot on the cheap, with a few perfunctory action scenes, a lot of smoke, some horses running around, and that would be pretty much it.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

This is an extremely impressive little film, and while I might not call it the "masterpiece" that the previous reviewer did, I do have to say that I was very, very pleasantly surprised by what I saw. This film is in no way, shape or form "cheap"--the producers put a lot of money into this little epic, with hundreds of extras and horses, elaborate (and apparently period-correct) costumes and equipment, batteries of cannons and exciting battle scenes. For an action picture the acting is actually rather subdued, as opposed to the often over-the-top ham that was common in pictures of the time, especially D.W. Griffith's. It had almost a documentary feel to it that I found quite effective.

I had heard of director J. Searle Dawley but, as far as I know, have never seen any of his films. Based on what I've seen in his work here, I've been missing out on a lot. I'll have to start looking out more for his pictures.

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Release Date:

11 October 1912 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Edison Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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