Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Birth of a Nation - 1915 (Full Movie)

Mabel Normand-Mabels Blunder Pt 2/2 1914

Mabel's Blunder, written and directed by Mabel Normand for Mack Sennett's Keystone Film Company and released October 1914 was Normand's 172nd film although she had only started in the business 4 1/2 years earlier at Vitagraph Co. This film is Public Domain.
Harry (Harry McCoy), the boss's son and Mabel (Mabel Normand), the office girl are secretly engaged but the boss, Harry's father, not knowing of the engagement, is also trying to woo Mabel. A mystery woman (Eva Nelson), arrives to visit Harry and Mabel thinks she is being two-timed when she peeps through a keyhole and sees Harry and Eva embrace. As Harry and Eva leave for a party, Mabel plots to trade identities with her brother (Al St. John), who had arrived to chauffeur Harry to the party. Mabel, now disguised as her brother the chauffeur drives her boyfriend Harry and Eva to the party and she is mad and cussing all the way. Meanwhile poor Mabel's brother, now wearing Mabel's clothes, is spirited away to the party by Harry's father thinking he finally has Mabel all to himself. The plot comes unwound in typical Keystone fashion. We discover the identity of the mystery woman in part II. Charley Chase also has a small part in this film as Harry's friend.

Mabel Normand-Mabels Blunder-Pt1/2-1914

Mabel's Blunder, written and directed by Mabel Normand for Mack Sennett's Keystone Film Company and released October 1914 was Normand's 172nd film although she had only started in the business 4 1/2 years earlier at Vitagraph Co. This film is Public Domain.
Harry (Harry McCoy), the boss's son and Mabel (Mabel Normand), the office girl are secretly engaged but the boss, Harry's father, not knowing of the engagement, is also trying to woo Mabel. A mystery woman (Eva Nelson), arrives to visit Harry and Mabel thinks she is being two-timed when she peeps through a keyhole and sees Harry and Eva embrace. As Harry and Eva leave for a party, Mabel plots to trade identities with her brother (Al St. John), who had arrived to chauffeur Harry to the party. Mabel, now disguised as her brother the chauffeur drives her boyfriend Harry and Eva to the party and she is mad and cussing all the way. Meanwhile poor Mabel's brother, now wearing Mabel's clothes, is spirited away to the party by Harry's father thinking he finally has Mabel all to himself. The plot comes unwound in typical Keystone fashion. We discover the identity of the mystery woman in part II. Charley Chase also has a small part in this film as Harry's friend.

The Little Match Seller (1902)

Our New Errand Boy (Williamson Kinematograph Company, 1905)

This incredibly rare film from the British film concern The Williamson Kinematograph Company, runs nearly 6 minutes, and is one of only a handful of films saved from that period. It is the story of a mischievous errand boy, sent out on a delivery, who causes havoc in the streets of the city of Hove. When he arrives back at the shop, he finds all his furious victims are already there complaining to the grocer...and the chase is on!


James Williamson: Grocer
Tom Williamson: Errand Boy

Directed by James Williamson.

De wigwam - 1911

Tillie's Punctured Romance - 1914

Charlie convinces wealthy farmer's daughter Tillie to elope with him. They run away, Tillie gets drunk and lands in jail. Charlie runs off with Tillie's father's money and his old girlfriend Mabel. When Charlie reads that Tillie has inherited the estate of her multi-millionaire uncle, he dumps Mabel and talks Tillie into moving into her uncle's villa, while Mabel arranges to become his maid. The uncle, who has not died, summons the police.

Mabels Strange Predicament (1914)

Charlie Chaplins 3rd Film Released Feb. 09 1914

Making A Living - 1914

Making a Living is the first film appearance of Charlie Chaplin, which premiered on February 2, 1914. Chaplin plays a lady-charming swindler, Edgar English, who runs afoul of the Keystone Kops.

Between Showers - 1914

Ending missing. Released Feb. 28 1914
Between Showers was a short film made by Keystone Studios and directed by Henry Lehrman. It starred Charlie Chaplin, Ford Sterling, Emma Bell Clifton, and Chester Conklin.

The Massacre - 1912

A Romance of the Rail (Edison, 1903)

Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island - 1903

Arrival of Emigrants, Ellis Island - 1906

The arrival of emigrants from some other part of the world to America is captured by the cameras of the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company in 1906.

Westinghouse Works - Girls taking time checks 1904

Nearly 200 girls clock out from their jobs at Westinghouse in 1904. I love how a few of them give shy glances towards the camera, while others giggle girlishly before hurrying away, and a couple briefly ham it up.
No sound.
(The video is available to downlad here: )

Princess Raja - 1904

Country: United States
Princess Raja bellydancing - 1904
Princess Rajah performs an "Oriental" or belly dance, and a balancing chair act in her teeth like that often found in folk performances in various cultures from Northern Africa to Greece. Shot outdoors in a street scene at the St. Louis Exposition, the film captures her act in an extreme long shot.
Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 3June1904; H46819.
Camera, A.E. Weed.
Performer: Princess Rajah.
Duration: 1:11 at 16 fps.
According to vaudeville historians Joe Laurie, Jr. and Douglas Gilbert, Princess Rajah started as a "cooch" (an early form of what was considered/called belly dance) dancer at Coney Island in the 1890s. She was booked for a time at Huber's Museum in New York City before Willie Hammerstein presented her in her vaudeville debut at Hammerstein's Victoria theater on 42nd Street. In addition to her dance with a chair, she also performed an Oriental dance with snakes. Princess Rajah was a featured act in the "Mysterious Asia" concession on the Pike at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. She later married agent Clifford C. Fischer.
Summary description provided by dance ethnologist Michelle Forner, 9/25/96.

Ben-Hur - 1907

Country: USA
Directors: Sidney Olcott, Frank Oakes Rose, H. Temple, Harry T. Morey (uncredited), Frank Rose (uncredited)
Writers: Gene Gauntier, Lew Wallace (novel)
Stars: Herman Rottger and William S. Hart
Release Date: 7 December 1907 (USA)
Filming locations: Manhattan Beach, California, USA; Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Production Co: Kalem Company
Plot Keywords: Ancient Rome | Roman Empire | Slavery | Chariot Race | Adoption | Rooftop | Jerusalem | 1st Century | Based On Novel | Character Name In Title
Genres: Short | Drama
This version was unauthorized, and its makers were successfully sued for copyright infringement.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Panorama of Calcutta (1899)

This is one of the earliest films to be shot in India - it was filmed in 1899. The film apparently shows the Kolkata (Calcutta) ghats as seen from the perspective of a boat travelling along the Hooghly river, a tributary of the Ganges. However, although the film's title states that this is Calcutta, the footage was in fact shot in the holy city of Varanasi (also on the Ganges). The filmmaker from the Warwick Trading Company clearly had a short memory or a limited sense of geography. (Robin Baker)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Kiss in the Tunnel -1899

This story derives from a popular magic lantern slide show and shows a couple in a railway carriage, going into a dark, Freudian tunnel, taking the opportunity to steal a kiss. As the train emerges into the light the couple move apart in a guilty fashion, and although scarcely enough to make your Victorian grandmother blush, it gives the scene its slight frisson of naughtiness. (Bryony Dixon)

Kiddies and Rabbits - 1901

Notice how the poor rabbits appear to be thrown unceremoniously into the frame by someone standing off camera. Produced by the Warwick Trading Company

Women's Rights (1899)

A century before Little Britain's Emily and Florence first assaulted our screens, a pair of equally rubbish transvestites could be spotted in this short comedy. Our cross-dressing housewives are enjoying a gossip before they're abused by a couple of men. The film doesn't make clear why they deserve this attack, but an accompanying set of cards produced by the production company indicates that the ladies were engaged in a discussion about the then pressing political issue of women's suffrage.
It's hard not to suspect a degree of misogyny on the behalf of not only the abusing men, but also the filmmakers. There's no record of why the housewives should have been played by an amateur drag act, but perhaps it's nothing more than that noble British tradition of men slipping into frocks at the drop of a hat. (Robin Baker)

Daisy Doodad's Dial - 1914

Country: United Kingdom
Director: Laurence Trimble
Stars: Florence Turner and Tom Powers
Release Date: April 1914 (UK)
Production Co: Turner Films
Plot Keywords: Contest | Dream Sequence | Arrest | Face | Making Faces  |  Toothache |
Character Name In Title
Genres: Short | Comedy
For those who like their humour daft and thoroughly unsophisticated, this silent short will be a delight. The titular Daisy enters a face-pulling competition ('dial' - as in watch dial - is neglected slang for a face), but on the big day she falls victim to toothache. When her husband returns from the contest triumphant, the distinctly unladylike Daisy vows revenge in the next competition. But her impromptu rehearsal on a train causes chaos among her fellow passengers, and things only get worse after she is arrested for disturbing the peace...
Director/lead actress Florence Turner was an early Hollywood star, who briefly operated her own production company in Britain in the mid-1910s. Back in Hollywood in the late-1920s, she appeared alongside Buster Keaton in 'College' (1927), before her star faded. (Mark Duguid).

Mary Jane's Mishap (1903)

Laura Bayley, the most prolific British actress of the period and the wife of director G.A. Smith, shows her flare for clowning in this uproarious black comedy. Mary Jane learns that lighting your hearth with a tank full of paraffin may not be the safest of household chores, in a stern tale that could have come from the pages of 'Struwwelpeter'.
As in much of Smith's work, the film delights in its trick effects, including an explosion and the apparition of a ghost. (Alex Davidson)

Edison: The Stenographer's Friend - 1910

The Stenographer's Friend; Or, What Was Accomplished by an Edison Business Phonograph
Edison Manufacturing Company, 1910
It's a busy day at the office, and the stenographer is exhausted from trying to keep up with the demands on her skills. Even when she stays late, she cannot catch up with all of the work. But then a man comes into the office to demonstrate the many advantages of his company's new business phonograph.

The Burgler’s Dilema - 1911

Wilful Peggy (1910) 2/2

Peggy (Mary Pickford) is a high-spirited young woman from a poor family who catches the eye of a wealthy lord.

Wilful Peggy (1910) 1/2

Peggy (Mary Pickford) is a high-spirited young woman from a poor family who catches the eye of a wealthy lord.

The New York Hat (1912)

From 1912, a film starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore - "The New York Hat". It was filmed in Ft. Lee, New Jersey! It is a short film produced by Biograph in 1912. Based on a scenario by Anita Loos, it was directed by D.W. Griffith and stars Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish. It is considered one of the most notable of the Biograph shorts and is perhaps the best known example of Pickford's early work.
The story is simple: Mollie (Mary Pickford) leads a cheerless, impoverished life, largely because of her stern, miserly father. Her mother is mortally ill, but before dying, she gives the minister(Lionel Barrymore) some money with which to buy her daughter the "finery" her father has always forbid her. Mollie is delighted when the minister presents her with a fashionable New York hat she has been longing for, but village gossips misinterpet the minister's intentions and spread malicious rumors. Mollie becomes a social pariah, and her father tears up the beloved hat in a rage. All ends well however, after the minister produces a letter from Mollie's mother about the money she left the minister to spend on Mollie.
Mary Pickford is young & beautiful in it. A young dashing Lionel Barrymore is the minister. Its rare we've seen him at this age long before arthritis set in and was in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Both of the Gish sisters are seen as well. Finally, even Mack Sennet makes a cameo appearance as well! Also, since American Biograph was afraid of piracy (even way back then!), they incorporated their "AB" logo into the film itself. (Look closely on the back wall at Mary's house and you'll see the Biograph logo pasted on the wall!)
Released: December 5, 1912

His Trust Fulfilled - 1911

Continuing where His Trust (1911) leaves off, George, a slave, takes care of his deceased master's daughter after her mother's death. He sacrifices his own meager savings to give the girl a good life, until the money runs out and he tries to steal money from the girl's rich cousin.
D.W. Griffith
Emmett C. Hall
Release Date:
19 January 1911 (USA) 

His Trust - 1911

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Those Awful Hats - 1909

A gentleman with a top hat, and a series of women with ever more ludicrous hats enter a movie theatre. They refuse to remove them, until a giant bucket forcibly removes one hat. All but one woman then remove their hats, and the bucket returns to remove the woman.

Those Awful Hats
(1909) American
B&W : Split-reel
Directed by D.W. Griffith
Cast: Flora Finch, Linda Arvidson, Mack Sennett, Arthur V. Johnson, John R. Cumpson, Florence Lawrence

A Punjab Village - 1925

A snapshot of life in a village in the Punjab - from the production of mustard oil to the shoeing of a bullock. With intertitles that include such jewels as "they do a great deal of spinning," it's clear that this film was made to be shown to young audiences. From the repetition of the opening title sequence it would appear that the original film was later re-edited. (Robin Baker)

Die Nibelungen- Siegfried's Tod - 1924

Fritz Lang's 2-part silent film of 1924, Die Nibelungen, is a masterpiece of German cinema from the 1920s. A landmark in the development of cinematography as an art, it displays a stunning use of light and shadow, and exquisite set design. The script is based on an ancient, 12th century, German and Norse epic poem Die Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungen), and was developed and adapted by Fritz Lang's wife, the author and former actress, Thea von Harbou. Her novelised version of the script was published during 1923-4 as an adjunct to the film.

Prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, von Harbou had performed on stage in Friedrich Hebbel's dramatised version of the saga dating from 1866. She was therefore well versed in the story's narrative elements when the time came to prepare a script. As a result, the film largely adheres to the traditional text, varying significantly from Richard Wagner's operatic adaptation (known as The Ring) which first appeared in 1876. Wagner's opera was compiled from a variety of sources, and differs markedly from the von Harbou / Lang silent film of 1924. Fritz Lang's Nibelungen should not be seen as a cinematic version of the musical, though upon the film's American release, and subsequently, a Wagnerian soundtrack was added, much to the director's ire.

Lang's large-scale Decla-Ufa film commenced production in 1922 and was not completed until the early part of 1924. Part 1, Siegfrieds Tod [Siegfried's Death], premiered on 24 February 1924 at the Ufa Palast am Zoo, Berlin, in the presence of the Reich Chancellor Gustav Stresemann. Part 2, Kriemhilds Rache [Kriemhild's Revenge], appeared two months later, on 26 April, at which point both films were screened in unison. Together, they originally ran to almost five hours and were accompanied by a dramatic, classically-based musical score composed by Gottfried Huppertz. The length and complexity of the original saga called for such a detailed treatment on the part of Lang and his crew. Though slow-paced in parts and lengthy, the film was nevertheless rivetting to German and non-German audiences alike, due in part to the stunning camera work by Gunther Rittau and Carl Hoffman, and lush set design by Erich Kettelhut and Kurt Volbrecht.

Just as this film was set in times past, so Lang and von Harbou's next epic - Metropolis - would be set in the future. Both films have strong narrative linkages and shared visual motifs. For example, in Die Nibelungen the dwarfs who hold up the bowl containing the Nibelungen treasure are turned to stone when Siegfreid steals the cloak of invisibility from Albrecht; in Metropolis, the negro slaves who hold aloft the bowl upon which the evil Maria performs her seductive dance, are turned to stone copies of the 7 Deadly Sins during Freder's hallucinogenic dream.

Both of these silent 'blockbusters' were to influence filmmakers to come, and can be seen as the pinnacle of German cinematic production values during the 1920s. Reproduced below is a synopsis of the film, interspersed with images from a series of contemporary postcards issued in Germany during the 1920s and featuring black and white, and coloured, images from the film. Also listed below are production details of the film, a minor bibliography, and links to related web sites.

Film Synopsis
1. Siegfrieds Tod / Siegfried's Death

Volker von Azley (Bernard Goetzke), a minstrel, sets down to tell the story of Siegfried, son of King Siegmund of the Nibelungen (Netherlands). Siegfried (Paul Richter) is apprenticed to Mime, a blacksmith, who helps him forge a special sword. Siegfried then sets off to the court of the Burgundian King Gunther (Theodor Loos), at Worms by the Rhine, seeking the hand of the beautiful young Princess Kriemhild (Margaret Shoen), sister to Gunther.

En route to Worms, Siegfried encounters and slays a dragon. He bathes in its blood in order to make his body impervious to swords and arrows. Unfortunately, a leaf lands on his upper back, stopping the dragon's blood reaching him there. This part of his body is therefore made vulnerable. Siegfried also encounters Alberich (Georg John), the dwarf Lord Treasurer to the Nibelungen dynasty. He captures the Nibelungen treasure and acquires a magic cloak which makes him invisible and provides him with the strength of many men.

Upon arrival at the castle of King Gunther, Siegfried is opposed by the warrior Hagan (Hands Adalbert von Schlettow), half-brother of Gunter. Hagan is jealous of the young and handsome Siegfried who seeks the hand of the beautiful Kriemhild. This maiden had previously vowed to marry no warrior. She subsequently foresees Siegfried's death in a dream during which a white dove is attacked by a pair of black hawks.

In order to obtain the hand of Kriemhild in marriage, Siegfried must assist Gunther in likewise obtaining the hand of Brunhild (Hanna Ralph), warrior queen of Iceland. Brunhild has pledged that she will only marry a warrior who can defeat her in a series of athletic games - these involve throwing a large spear, throwing a heavy rock, and leaping through the air. Upon arrival at Brunhild's castle, Siegfried assists Gunter in defeating Brunhild by donning the cloak of invisibility and utilising his special strength.

Upon the party's return to Worms, Brunhild weds Gunther, and Siegfried takes Kriemhild. However, during an encounter on the steps of Worms cathedral between the two women, Brunhild learns how Siegfried and Gunther had deceived her into giving up her kingdom. She calls on Siegfried to be killed in revenge. Gunther agrees and together with Hagan tricks Kriemhild into revealing Siegfried's vulnerable spot. Hagan then spears the young hero in the back and kills him. With the death of Siegfreid, Brunhild becomes remorseful and apparently commits suicide. Kriemhild seeks revenge on Gunter and Hagan.

2. Kriemhilds Rache / Kriemhild's Revenge

As part of her scheme of revenge, Kriemhild accepts the offer of Rudiger and travels to the land of the Huns (Hungary) to marry King Etzel of the Huns (Rudolf Klein-Rogge). Upon the birth of their son, she invites Gunther and Hagan to Etzel's court for a celebration. As Hagan holds the baby in his arms he hears that Huns have killed some of his comrades - Burgundians. Hagan then kills the baby (a boy), and in the following skirmish Kriemhild kills Hagan with Siegfried's sword. She is then killed by Hildebrand (Georg August Koch), but is finally at peace.

Film Details

Siegfrieds Tod - 12 reels, 10,551 feet / 3216 metres, 7 Acts. Running time: 176 minutes at 16 frames per second. Filming took 15 weeks.

Kriemhilds Rache - 13 reels, 11,732 feet / 3585 metres. Running time: 195 minutes at 16 frames per second. Filming took 16 weeks.

Director - Fritz Lang
Script - Thea von Harbou
Camera - Carl Hoffmann, Günther Rittau, and Walter Ruttman for the animated 'Dream of the Falcon' sequence
Assistant Cameraman - Günther Anders
Set design and construction - Otto Hunte, Erich Kettelhut, Karl Vollbrecht
Production - Decla-Bioscop AG, Berlin
Production Assistants - Rudi George, Gustav Püttjer
Musik - Gottfried Huppertz, Konrad Elfers, Consort Franz Teuta
Design - Paul Falkenberg
Makeup - Otto Genath

Siegfried - Paul Richter
Kriemhild - Margarethe Schön
Brunhild - Hanna Ralph
König Gunther - Theodor Loos
Hagen Tronje - Hans Adalbert Schlettow
Volker von Alzey - Bernhard Goetzke
Giselher - Erwin Biswanger
Schmied Mime + Alberich der Nibelungen + Blaodel - Georg John
Königin Ute - Gertrud Arnold
Gerenot - Hans Carl Müller
Dankwart - Hardy von François
King Etzel - Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Hildebrand - Georg August Koch
The Priest - Georg Juwoski
The Page - Iris Roberts
Rudiger - Rudolf Rittner
Werbel - Hubert Heinrich
Dietrich von Bern - Fritz Alberti
A Hun - Grete Berger
Reader of the Runes - Frida Richards


1922- Filming begins


24 February - Siegfreids Tod premieres at Ufa Palast am Zoo, Berlin.

26 April - Kriemhilds Rache premieres in Berlin.


US release of a 9,000 ft long version of Siegfried, with a Wagnerian score.


UFA releases a 9,000 ft long verison of Kriemhild's Revenge.


Siegfrieds Tod re-released by Ufa, cut to 7,400 ft (2258 metres) and simply titled Siegfried. It now includes spoken words and a Wagnerian soundtrack.


Friedrich Hebbel, Die Nibelungen, [Stage play], 1866. Thea von Harbou performed in a production of this prior to 1914.

Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Operatic tetrology, 1876. Comprises three parts: 1. Das Rhinegold, 2. Die Walküre, 3. Siegfried, and 4. Götterdämmerung.

Das Nibelungenlied, Trans. by Simrock, Ed. by Prof. Walter Freye, Deutsches Verlagshaus Bong & Co., Berlin & Leipzig, n.d., 342p.

Thea von Harbou, Das Nibelungenbuch, München, Drei Masken Verlag 1923, 8vo., 267p. Illustrated with 14 images from the film.

----, ibid., 2nd edition. Illustrated with 24 images from the film.


Das Nibelungen, [Program], Berlin, January 1924.

Das Nibelungen, [Program], Berlin, March 1924, 4p.

Thea von Harbou, Das Nibelungenbuch, München, Drei Masken, 1924, 16-30,000th, 3rd edition, 368p. Illustrated with 24 images from the film.

----, ibid., 1924, 31-40,000th, 4th edition, 270p. Illustrated with 24 images from the film.

Fritz Lang (Regie) und Thea von Harbou (Drenbuch), Die Nibelingen. Ein deutsches Heldenlied, Ufa-Decla-Film. 1. Film: Siegfried. 2. Film: Kriemhilds Rache. (Bln. 1924). Kl.-8°. 24 S. Mit 10 Taf. in Kupfertiefdruck. OKt. mit Kordelheftung. - Letztes Bl. in der oberen Ecke leicht angeschmutzt. Original-Filmbuch zur legendären Fritz Lang-Verfilmung. Selten.

----, Das Nibelungen, [Program for Decla-Ufa Film], Film-Kurier, Vienna, 1924, 32p.


Siegfried, A music-photo drama with Wagner's immortal score, produced by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, directed by Fritz Lang, from the scenario by Thea von Harbou, photography by Carl Hoffman, sets by Otto Hunte, music score by Hugo Reisenfeld, P. McNerney & Co., M.R. Gray, Inc., New York, 1925, 18p.


Thea von Harbou, Nibelungerne - Siegfried - Kriemhilds Haevn, Boghandel and Banner, Norregade and Kobenhaven, 1926. Text in Danish with 8 photographs from the film.


The Nibelungenlied (Translated by A.T. Hatto), Penguin Classics, Middlesex, 1976, 403p.


Fritz Lang: Die Nibelungen, Kulturreferates der Landeshauptstadt München, 1986, 48p. Diese Brochüre erschien zur Aufführung von Fritz Langs Die Niebelungen mit der Originalmusik von Gottfried Huppertz, 31.1. bis 5.2.1986 im Gasteig.


Wie macht man einen Regenbogen? - Fritz Langs Nibelungenfilm: Fragen zur Bildhaftigkeit des Films und seiner Rezeption, Giessener Arbeiten zur neueren deutschen Literatur und Literaturwissesnchaft, P. Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1994, 121p.


David J. Levin, Richard Wagner, Fritz Lang, and the Nibelungen: The Dramaturgy of Disavowal, Princeton Studies in Opera, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1998, 207p. Available from PUP web site.
Web Sites Deutsche Filminstitut site with production details.
Goethe Institute - Die Nibelungen. At the At the Goethe Institute's Fritz Lang site.
Die Nibelungen (1924). Fritz Lang - Master of Light and Shadow web site.
Die Nibelungen. Film synopsis at Inter-Nationes web site.
Nibelungen. Laserdiscs review.
Extracted from

The title character Siegfried, son of King Siegmund of Xanten, masters the art of forging a sword at the shop of Mime. Mime sends Siegfried home, but while preparing to leave, Siegfried hears the tales of the kingdom of Burgundy, the kings who rule there, as well as of Kriemhild, the princess of Burgundy. Siegfried announces he wants to win her hand in marriage, much to the amusement of the smiths. By way of physical violence, Siegfried demands to be told the way, and Mime sends him in the right direction. On the way to Burgundy, Siegfried discovers a dragon, and deviates from his path to slay it. He touches its hot, yellow blood and understands the language of the birds, one of which tells him to bathe in the dragon's blood in order to become invincible to attack — except for one spot on his shoulder blade, which is missed after being covered by a falling lime leaf (Freya's tree).

Soon after, the powerful Siegfried trespasses on the land of the Nibelungs and is attacked by Alberich, King of the Dwarves. Siegfried defeats Alberich, who offers Siegfried a net of invisibility and transformation. Siegfried is not persuaded to spare Alberich's life, whereupon Alberich offers to make Siegfried "the richest king on earth!" [intertitle 1.14]. While Siegfried is mesmerised by the treasure, Alberich tries to defeat him, but dies in the attempt. Dying, Alberich curses all inheritors of the treasure and he and his dwarves turn to stone.

Siegfried finally arrives in Burgundy in his new guise of the King of twelve kingdoms. A battle breaks out between Siegfried and King Gunther and his adviser Hagen of Burgundy, which is subdued by the appearance of the beautiful princess Kriemhild. Hagen negotiates over Siegfried helping Kriemhild's brother, King Gunther, to win the hand of Brunhild, the Queen of Iceland. The men travel to Brunhild's kingdom where Siegfried feigns vassalage to Gunther so that he can avoid Brunhild's challenge and instead use the net's power of invisibility to help Gunther beat the powerful Queen in a three-fold amazonian battle of strength. The men return to Burgundy where Gunther marries Brunhild and Siegfried weds Kriemhild. Brunhild is not, however, completely defeated. She suspects deceit and refuses to consummate the marriage. Hagen again convinces Siegfried to help. Siegfried transforms himself into Gunther and battles Brunhild and removes her arm-ring during battle after which she submits to his will. Siegfried leaves the real Gunther to consummate the marriage.

Kriemhild discovers Brunhild's arm ring and asks Siegfried about it. Siegfried discloses the truth to Kriemhild about his role in Brunhild's defeat. When the Nibelungen treasure that Siegfried acquired from Alberich arrives at the court of Burgundy as Kriemhild's morning gift, Brunhild becomes more suspicious about Siegfried's feigned vassalage to Gunther. Brunhild dons the Queen Mother's jewelry and proceeds to the cathedral to enter as the first person, as is her right as Queen of Burgundy. Kriemhild tries to take Brunhild's right of way and an argument errupts between the two Queens. Kriemhild betrays her husband's and brother's secret to Brunhild, who then confronts Gunther. Brunhild demands Siegfried be killed, which she justifies by stating that Siegfried stole her maidenhood [intertitle 1.94] when he battled her on her wedding night. Hagen von Tronje and King Gunther conspire to murder Siegfried during a hunt in the Odenwald. Hagen deceives Kriemhild into divulging Siegfried's weak spot by sewing a cross on the spot in Siegfried's tunic.

After the hunt, Hagen challenges Siegfried to a race to a nearby spring. When Siegfried is on his knees drinking, Hagen pierces him from behind with a spear. In an evil twist of bitter revenge, Brunhild confesses that she lied about Siegfried stealing her maidenhood in order to avenge Gunther's deceit of her. Kriemhild demands her family avenge her husband's death at the hands of Hagen, but her family is complicit in the murder and owe him loyalty, so they protect Hagen. Kriemhild swears revenge against Hagen while Brunhild commits suicide at the foot of Siegfried's corpse laid in state in the cathedral.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making Christmas Crackers - 1910


Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Stars: A.E. Coleby
Release Date: 1910 (United Kingdom)
Production Co: Cricks & Martin Films
Genres: Documentary | Short
Factory workers make Christmas crackers, a process that is shown in detail. Girls are shown making the stockings on sewing machines. A woman operates the machine that makes the tum-tums (the cards at the center of the crackers). A man operates a machine that prepares the paper that makes up the body of the cracker. A man at a band saw cuts out paper caps. A woman folds and glues together the paper caps. Two women put together and pack the crackers. Finally, a family is shown at Christmas. Mother and children dance around the Christmas tree. Father and grandfather stand close by. Father tosses a box of crackers into the air, and the children gather them off the floor. There's a gigantic cracker on top of the tree. Father takes it down and has two of the children pull it apart. In a puff of smoke, Santa Claus emerges from it and hands out gifts to the children.

Keystone Kops: Our Dare-Devil Chief (1915) 3 of 3

Classic Keystone Kop slapstick with the police chief (Ford Sterling) being pursued by the mayors wife (Minta Durfee) and also by a band of crooks (including Edward F. Cline and Al St. John), but for different reasons. The Mayors wife is in love with the Police Chief, while the crooks want to blow him up with dynamite. The Police Chief suspects that the Mayor (Harry Bernard) might be on the crooks side. The final confrontation with the crooks involves a gag in which the Police Chief ties a rope to a messenger he sends to deliver a note to the crooks, with the other end tied around him. The Mayor gets tangled up in the events, and the Keystone Kops arrest the bad guys. Directed by Charley Chase.

Keystone Kops: Our Dare-Devil Chief (1915) 2 of 3

Classic Keystone Kop slapstick with the police chief (Ford Sterling) being pursued by the mayors wife (Minta Durfee) and also by a band of crooks (including Edward F. Cline and Al St. John), but for different reasons. The Mayors wife is in love with the Police Chief, while the crooks want to blow him up with dynamite. The Police Chief suspects that the Mayor (Harry Bernard) might be on the crooks side. The final confrontation with the crooks involves a gag in which the Police Chief ties a rope to a messenger he sends to deliver a note to the crooks, with the other end tied around him. The Mayor gets tangled up in the events, and the Keystone Kops arrest the bad guys. Directed by Charley Chase.

Keystone Kops: Our Dare-Devil Chief (1915) 1 of 3

Classic Keystone Kop slapstick with the police chief (Ford Sterling) being pursued by the mayors wife (Minta Durfee) and also by a band of crooks (including Edward F. Cline and Al St. John), but for different reasons. The Mayors wife is in love with the Police Chief, while the crooks want to blow him up with dynamite. The Police Chief suspects that the Mayor (Harry Bernard) might be on the crooks side. The final confrontation with the crooks involves a gag in which the Police Chief ties a rope to a messenger he sends to deliver a note to the crooks, with the other end tied around him. The Mayor gets tangled up in the events, and the Keystone Kops arrest the bad guys. Directed by Charley Chase.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Détresse et Charité - 1905

Country: France
Also known as: The Christmas Angel
Review extracted from imdb:
Unlike all other Méliès films I've seen so far, this one plays it serious - as a melodram. A poor family in a run-down house where snow falls through the broken roof, there's no coal to heat the pathetic little stove, mother is sick, father sends daughter out to beg. Rejected by other beggars, the girl twice collapses to die in the snow... and then, the happy end indicated in the title :) I enjoyed watching this very much. Sometimes a teardrop in the eye makes one feel more involved with a film..
Notable details: an automobile (cardboard prop, though) and an interesting bakery scene where half of the screen is inside, the other half outside, done with a partly missing wall.

Hydrothérapie fantastique (English Title:The Doctor's Secret ) - 1909

Country: France
Also Known As: The Doctor's Secret
Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Doctors blow to pieces a patient in a hydrotherapy machine and re-assemble him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cruel Cruel Love - 1914

Chaplin's 8th Film released March 26 1914

This early Chaplin film has him playing a character quite different from the Tramp for which he would become famous. He is a rich, upper-class gentleman whose romance is endangered when his girlfriend oversees him being embraced by a maid. Chaplin's romantic interest in this film, Minta Durfee, was the wife of fellow Keystone actor, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle.

The Fatal Mallet - 1914

Charlie Chaplin's 15th Film Released June 1914.
Three man will fight for the love of a charming girl. Charlie will play dirty, throwing bricks to his contender, and using a huge hammer to hurt one of them. But a precocious kid will be the fourth suitor in discord.
Charlie throws a brick at a man and woman and gets it thrown back at him. The rivals fight. The lady leaves with a third suitor. Charlie finds a wooden mallet with which he subdues both rivals, locking them in a barn. He kicks the lady who instantly falls for him.

Tango Tangles- 1914

Kids Auto Races In Venice - 1914

 Country: United States
Charlie, dressed as a tramp for the first time, goes to a baby-cart race in Venice, California. He causes a great deal of trouble and confusion, both on off the track (getting in the way of the cameraman) and on (interfering with the race). He succeeds in irritating both the participants and the public.

Police -1916

Charlie Chaplin's 49th Film Released May 27 1916
Police was Charlie Chaplin's 14th released film from Essanay. It was made at the Majestic Studio in Los Angeles. Charlie playing an ex-convict finds life on the outside not to his liking and leads him to breaking into a home with another thief (Wesley Ruggles). Edna Purviance plays the girl living in the home who tries to change him.

The New Janitor - 1914

Charlie Chaplin's 27th Film released Sept. 14 1914

The New Janitor was the 27th comedy from Keystone Studios to feature Charlie Chaplin. The film is arguably one of his best for the studio, and a precursor to a key Essanay short, The Bank. The film also demonstrates the differences that Chaplin had with Keystone comedy --- this film is a coherent whole in which the stock characters actually fill some emotional center. Chaplin brings a certain complexity to his janitor, unusual to the comedy factory of Mack Sennett. The film, which stars among Sennett's bit players Jess Dandy, Al St. John, John Francis Dillon, and Minta Durfee, is far more centered and clear in direction. Comedy flows from within the story rather than as a by-product of story. After all this is a typical bank robbery storyline

The Bangville Police (1913) - First Appearance of The Keystone Cops (Res...

Metropolis- 1927


Old London Street Scenes -1903

Made over 100 years ago, this footage shows a number of scenes shot around central London, taking in locations such as Hyde Park Corner, Parliament Square and Charing Cross Station. We see crowds of people disembarking from a pleasure steamer at Victoria Embankment, pedestrians dodging horse-drawn carriages in Pall Mall, and heavy traffic trotting down the Strand.

There are plenty of famous landmarks to spot here, including Big Ben, the National Gallery and the Bank of England, and it is fascinating to see the similarities between the customs of "then" and "now" - the dense traffic (mainly horse-drawn, with the occasional motor car) is highly reminiscent of today's London rush hour, whilst advertising on public transport is clearly no new phenomenon - in one scene, an advert for Nestlé's Milk seems to be plastered on every other vehicle. (Alex Davidson)

Under Burning Skies - 1912

Indian Brothers - 1911

The Fugitive - 1910

Country: United States
Language: English
Director: D.W. Griffith
Writer: J. McDonagh
Stars: Kate Bruce, Edward Dillon and Clara T. Bracy
Release Date: 7 November 1910 (USA)
Filming Locations: Fishkill, New York, USA
Production Co: Biograph Company
Runtime: 17 min (16 fps)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: American Civil War | Melodrama
Genres: Short | Drama | War
In the sting of the Civil War, mothers and sweethearts must wait and worry as their sons and lovers go off to the front. Forthwith, a Southerner named John (Edwin August) goes off to fight for the Confederacy. Meanwhile, a Northerner named John (Edward Dillon) goes off to fight for the Union. Naturally, the two opposing soldiers named John have a mother (Kate Bruce or Clara T. Bracey) and a sweetheart (Dorothy West or Lucy Cotton) waiting for their safe return. As fate would have it, the Johns meet on the battlefield, and one shoots the other. Later, Mr. August (of the Union) finds himself alone and pursued; the only refuge is the home belonging to Ms. Bruce, mother of the Confederate officer he shot. Thinking first as a mother, she hides "The Fugitive". Then, her wounded son is brought home! A nice idea, but rather slightly told, from director D.W. Griffith.    

The Girl & Her Trust 1910

Rescued From an Eagles Nest - 1908

A Calamitous Elopment - 1908

House with Closed Shutters - 1910

The Adventures of Dollie - 1908

Country: USA
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: D.W. Griffith, and G.W. Bitzer (uncredited)
Writer: Stanner E.V. Taylor
Stars: Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson and Gladys Egan
Release Date: 14 July 1908 (USA)
Also known as: Dollie kalandjai (Hungary), Dollys Abenteuer (Germany), Les aventures de Dollie (France)
Production Co: American Mutoscope & Biograph
Runtime: 12 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Gypsy | Barrel | Waterfall | Lost Child | Melodrama | Revenge | Kidnapping | One Reeler | Character Name In Title
Genres: Action | Short
On a warm and sunny summer's day, a mother and father take their young daughter Dollie on a riverside outing. A gypsy basket peddler happens along, and is angered when the mother refuses to buy his wares. He attacks mother and daughter but is driven off by the father. Later the gypsy sneaks back and kidnaps the girl. A rescue party is organized but the gypsy conceals the child in a 30 gallon barrel which he precariously places on the tail of the wagon. He and his gypsy-wife make their getaway by fording the river with the wagon. The barrel, with Dollie still inside, breaks free, tumbling into into the river; it starts floating toward the peril of a nearby waterfall . . .

The Mystic Swing (Silent Movie) 1900

Alice In Wonderland - 1903 silent film. (un-restored version)

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) - Full Movie

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Full Movie

Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1920) - Full Movie

Frankenstein - 1910

Country: United States
Language: English
Director: J. Searle Dawley
Writers: Mary Shelley (novel), J. Searle Dawley
Stars: Mary Fuller, Charles Ogle and Augustus Phillips
Release Date: 18 March 1910 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White (tinted)
Plot Keywords: Frankenstein | Mirror | Alchemy | Frankenstein's Monster | Experiment Gone Wrong | Gothic Horror | Horror Movie Remade | One Word Title | Doctor Frankenstein | Reverse Footage | Remade | Based On Novel | Character Name In Title
Genres: Short | Horror
Frankenstein, a young medical students, trying to create the perfect human being, instead creates a misshapen monster. Made ill by what he has done, Frankenstein is comforted by his fiancée but on his wedding night he is visited by the monster. A fight ensues but the monster, seeing himself in a mirror, is horrified and runs away. He later returns, entering the new bride's room, and finds her alone.
Since its original release, the Thomas Edison "Frankenstein" had been listed as missing; no copies of the film existed. An original nitrate print finally turned up in Wisconsin in the mid-1970s.
Prior to the film's rediscovery, only a few images of Charles Ogle as The Monster were known to exist. Interestingly, Ogle looks a lot younger in the film than he does in the photographs.
This is one of the only Frankenstein films where the monster is truly created. All Frankenstein films that followed assembled body parts from various corpses to make the monster. In this film, Frankenstein uses chemicals and "potions" to create the monster. The "creation" scene was made by filming a monster-dummy burning, and then playing the footage backwards.
First filmed version of the story of Frankenstein's monster.

Nosferatu (1922) - Full Movie

Boarding School Girls At Coney Island 1905

The Haunted Curiosity Shop (1901)


By 1901, director-illusionist W.R. Booth and producer-inventor R.W. Paul had so much confidence in the special effects techniques they had demonstrated in such earlier films as Upside Down, or The Human Flies (1899) and Railway Collision (1900) - each of which revolves around a single trick effect - that they started making films featuring more elaborate and ambitious techniques, of which The Haunted Curiosity Shop is a good example.
Despite the increased sophistication (since the film gives the appearance of a single shot, it clearly required a great deal of planning to put together), it is otherwise not much of an advance. Its story of a curiosity shop owner discovering that the various pieces of bric-a-brac on his shelves have a life of their own is primitive, and was clearly devised purely as a showcase for Booth and Paul's bag of tricks.
With these limitations in mind, though, it's an effective and engrossing experience, as the poor shop owner is beset by all manner of apparitions: floating heads, disembodied women, Egyptian mummies and an animated skeleton that predates Ray Harryhausen's rather more famous efforts in such films as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (US, d. Nathan Juran, 1958) and Jason and the Argonauts (d. Don Chaffey, 1963) by some six decades. The effects where, respectively, a woman's two halves rejoin themselves and a man in armour is systematically dismembered, are particularly impressive.
The same year, Booth and Paul would make The Magic Sword, a similarly elaborate special effects showcase but which also had a rather more involving multiple-shot narrative.
Michael Brooke

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Nihilist - 1905

Country: United States
As a family is enjoying dinner together, the elderly father is suddenly arrested as a political offender. Tsarist officers imprison him and treat him brutally. With his family's appeals refused, he is sent to Siberia, and dies on the difficult journey. Three of his family members then join the Nihilists, swearing to gain vengeance regardless of the risk or cost.

The Chechahcos - 1924

Country: USA
Director: Lewis H. Moomaw
Writer: Lewis H. Moomaw (story); Harvey Gates (titles- uncredited)
Stars: William Dills, Albert Van Antwerp and Eva Gordon
William Dills ... 'Horseshoe' Riley Albert Van Antwerp ... Engineer Bob Dexter Eva Gordon ... Mrs. Margaret Stanlaw (as Miss Eva Gordon) Baby Margie ... Baby Ruth Stanlaw Alexis B. Luce ... Gambler Richard Steele Gladys Johnston ... Ruth Stanlaw
Release Date: 15 May 1924 (USA)
Filming Locations: Alaska, USA
Runtime: 87 min (23 fps)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Production Co: Alaska Moving Picture Corp.
Genres: Adventure | Drama
A fire engulfs a shipload of prospectors and adventurers making their way to Alaska. In the confusion, Mrs. Stanlaw is separated from her young daughter, who ends up in the care of 'Horseshoe' Riley and Bob Dexter. Mrs. Stanlaw is told by gambler Richard Steele that her daughter is lost. Flash forward 10 years; Riley and Dexter are running a prosperous gold mine, and Steele has just come to town to run the local saloon. Ruth, meanwhile, has grown into a beautiful young woman, and finds herself falling in love with Dexter. Between Steele sending his henchman Pierre to kill Dexter, Dexter discovering that Steele tried to kill him on the ship, and the reunion of Mrs. Stanlaw and Ruth, there's plenty of drama even without the dramatic Alaskan scenery, including the majestic glaciers.
Trivia: One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by Alaska Film Archives. This version has an uncredited piano music score and runs 87 minutes.
The word "chechahcos" is Inuit for tenderfoot or newcomer.
The only film ever made by the Alaska Moving Picture Corp. The first feature film produced entirely in Alaska. True to an intertitle's claim, all of it was filmed there. Nothing was shot in Hollywood.

Love's Prisoner 1919 Pt 5

Love's Prisoner 1919 Pt 4

Love's Prisoner 1919 Pt 3

Love's Prisoner 1919 Pt 2

Love's Prisoner 1919 Pt 1

The Eyes Of Julia Deep - 1918

The Eyes of Julia Deep
Directed by  Lloyd Ingraham
Written by Elizabeth Mahoney
Starring Mary Miles Minter, Allan Forrest
Cinematography Frank Urson
Distributed by Pathé
Release date(s) August 1918
Running time 54 minutes (5 reels)
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles
The Eyes of Julia Deep is a 1918 silent film starring Mary Miles Minter, directed by Lloyd Ingraham. The film is based on the short story by the same name, written by Kate L. McLaurin. It is one of the few films starring Minter which are known to have survived.
Julia Deep is a young woman working behind the exchange desk at a department store. She usually serves as the clerk of wealthy and eccentric widows, such as Mrs. Lowe. She feels very lonely in the big city, until she notices books in the apartment of the star lodger in the building she lives in. The lodger, Terry Hartridge is the son of a wealthy man who is using his father's fortune to blaze a trail across the white lights of the city. He is spending his money carelessly and doesn't put any time in paying the bills, much to the dislike of the department store owner Timothy Black. These bills are delivered by the nobly Lottie Driscoll of the Robin Stock Company.
After a while, Terry's money spending takes its toll. He finds out he is broke and turns home depressed, trying to shoot himself. Meanwhile, Julia secretly went into his apartment to read books when he was out. She hides at first, but reveals herself when she catches him trying to kill himself. She tries to stop him and offers to be his business manager to help him spending money the right way. He takes her advice and with the help of Black, he lands into a low paying job at the department store. He neglects his job to flirt with Julia. Black discharges her, saying Terry has a career future and can't afford to go out with a shop girl.

Julia and Terry don't stop seeing each other at their building. Terry proposes, but Julia declines, explaining it would ruin his career. Soon, Terry is promoted to a foreman on a ship. Mrs. Lowe is angry to find out her favorite clerk has been fired and visits her. She offers her to be her personal secretary at her home, but Julia doesn't want to leave Terry and refuses the job offer. Later that day, Lottie sees Terry and Julia at the park and becomes jealous. After Terry has left, she starts to play an act she can't live without Terry and pretends she is trying to kill herself. Julia believes her and promises her she will give her relationship with Terry up if she doesn't kill herself.
Julia goes to live with Mrs. Lowe to serve as her secretary. Terry is swept away with her disappearance and visits her at Mrs. Lowe's mansion. She explains her reason of leaving him. Terry sees through Lottie's act and takes her to the theater, where Lottie is performing the same act on stage she performed at the park. She realizes what happened and reunites with him. They decide to elope, but are stopped by Mrs. Lowe and Black. They fight over who has the fault and are noticed by the local sheriff. He is fed up with their kibbering and decides to arrest the four of them.
They are locked into a room, where they eventually apologize. Julia and Terry escape, but the sheriff's help notices and runs after them. Meanwhile, it is revealed Mrs. Lowe and Black were once lovers. They reunite and escape as well to get married. In the ending, the sheriff realizes they don't belong in jail. After Mrs. Lowe and Black get a marriage license, they promise to give Julia and Terry a fancy wedding.
Mary Miles Minter as Julia Deep
Allan Forrest as Terry Hartridge
Alice Wilson as Lottie Driscoll
George Periolat as Timothy Black
Ida Easthope as Mrs. Turner
Eugenie Besserer as Mrs. Lowe Carl Stockdale as Simon Plummet

Review Summary
Produced for the American Company in Santa Barbara, California, this quaint melodrama is one of only two or three Mary Miles Minter films to have survived. Minter was the breathtakingly beautiful but somewhat inert actress, whose name will forever be linked to that of murdered director William Desmond Taylor, with whom she was reportedly in love. Minter's Julia Deep, however, is surprisingly potent, and the actress is actually quite good as the supervisor of a department store's exchange department who falls in love with a handsome but irresponsible playboy (Allan Forrest). The girl's all consuming passion is so strong that it literally prevents the young man from committing suicide. It has long been accepted that Mary Miles Minter was forced out of films because of her connection with Desmond Taylor's 1922 murder; in reality, however, the likely reason for Mary's disappearance was probably that she had turned 21 and was thus free of her (stage) mother's iron grip. She herself once said that she was only in films for the money. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

Musketeers of Pig Alley - 1912

Judith of Bethulia - 1913

The Mothering Heart - 1913