Category Archives: 1910s

Richard III (1912)

*. I made a lot of comparisons to this film in my notes on Frank Benson’s 1911 adaptation of Richard III. Some of these had to do with the way both films start out with showing us Richard murdering Henry VI, which isn’t actually in this play (it comes at the end of Henry VI Part 3, and was introduced as a prologue to Richard III by Colley Cibber at the beginning of the eighteenth century). I think this helps make the point that Richard is a really bad guy, especially when we see him here killing Henry, then leaving to join the crowd cheering Edward’s entry into London, then going back into Henry’s cell to stab his corpse twice more before disdainfully wiping off his blade.
*. What I really love about this scene isn’t its display of pointless cruelty but the wonderful way we move from Richard killing Henry to his exiting onto the balcony to show him welcoming the glorious summer of the sun/son of York. That’s an incredibly smooth transition for 1912, and it works so well in presenting us with information necessary to the plot while underlining the theme of Richard’s public vs. private face. It’s a terrific sequence, and well ahead of its time. I can’t think of another film this early having such an effective passage achieved mainly through editing. The Birth of a Nation was still a few years away and Griffith is usually considered to be the one who really took the next big step in dramatic editing.

*. The other comparison I made between this movie and Benson’s had to do with the latter being studio-bound while this one has a number of scenes filmed in the great outdoors. There’s even a shot of Richmond’s ship arriving in England that’s a real ship with knights on board. It’s a dull shot, but still impressive. This is a production that must have cost a bit of money.
*. In fact, I’ve heard this described as the oldest surviving American feature-length film (it runs just short of an hour), and the first feature-length Shakespeare adaptation ever made. If true, that makes it an even more notable achievement. And we’re lucky to have it, as it was considered lost and only discovered in 1996.

*. Even if you don’t care about its place in history, this Richard III is still a must-see for Shakespeare fans as well as anyone interested in early film. In addition to that great transition at the beginning, note the strong diagonal in the scene where Anne holds the sword to Richard’s breast in the wooing scene. Or the later scene where she is poisoned, which seems borrowed from Fuseli’s The Nightmare. The young princes are associated with puppies and ponies and are mostly just pathetic, though the movie does manage to fit in the business, easy to miss, where they mock Richard’s deformity at court. There’s also a gloriously mustachioed Richmond that raises a smile.

*. One thing that surprises me a bit is that neither this film nor the 1911 version chose to make anything out of Clarence’s dream of drowning. I can only imagine Georges Méliès jumping at the chance to dive to the bottom of the sea, but here they don’t try to represent it at all. Given how disappointing the ghosts are it may be that the director, André Calmettes, just wasn’t that interested or confident in the use of special effects.

*. Richard is played by Frederick Warde, who is also seen in modern dress at the beginning and end. As was often done at that time, Warde would travel with the film and give lectures on the play before each screening, a practice that this is an awkward nod to. Warde, who would go on to star in a King Lear directed by his son in 1916, is quite good. He doesn’t overplay the role in the manner that was usual in silent film, even choosing to minimize Richard’s deformities. Olivier’s Richard would be more of a grotesque in 1955, which may have been closer to the Vice figure Shakespeare intended. Warde, however, is restrained.
*. Of course it’s far from a polished piece of modern filmmaking. There are a number of overly static shots, like that of the sailing ship I mentioned. The battle scenes are well performed for the time, but still very limited. Editing is sometimes used to bring us closer to the action by a step, but there’s nothing like a true close-up. But for 1912 this is as good as it gets, and I think it’s a movie that’s still worth tracking down as an essential bit of Shakespeare on film.

Richard III (1911)

*. Richard III is Shakespeare’s second-longest play after Hamlet (the longest if you only compare the Folio versions), and it’s usually cut pretty severely in production. But to do it all in 20 minutes? That takes a lot of hustle.
*. What makes it even more constrained is the way the story begins here with Richard killing Henry VI, which is something that I think was introduced by Colley Cibber in his 1699 adaptation. It’s how David Garrick performed the play as well in the eighteenth century, but aside from the 1912 film version starring Frederick Warde I don’t know of any other productions that have followed this lead.
*. But I actually like starting things off this way. It provides some necessary background that Shakespeare’s own audience might have had in mind based on the earlier trilogy of Henry VI plays. You might compare it to someone trying to jump into a later entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe without knowing anything about what had gone before.
*. Despite Richard III being a very theatrical performance piece, I’ve always had difficulties with there being so many characters and so much historical material to get through. How do you keep all the widows and their grievances straight, and the different court parties and players like Buckingham and Hastings and Catesby and Ratcliffe? I have a lot of trouble following the political maneuvers no matter how well I know the story or how many times I’ve seen or read the play.

*. But the intro helps, both here and in the 1912 version. After killing Henry the film takes us through all the big scenes: Richard wooing Anne, Clarence being killed (though both here and in 1912 they pass on trying to represent his prophetic dream, and neither has a butt of Malmsey standing around), the murder of the Princes in the Tower (only described in the play, but unavoidable on screen), Richard being upbraided by the mourning women, and finally Richard’s night of bad dreams before the battle of Bosworth (with Richmond’s dreams, as usual, elided).
*. Those are the highlights, and they play well even if it’s impossible for anyone not versed in the history of the period to know exactly what’s going on. Richard is the connecting thread, even though he only indirectly causes most of the action, for example ordering the murders of Clarence and the princes instead of doing it himself. This is another way presenting his murder of Henry at the beginning of the film helps underline his malignity even more. It won’t do for us to think he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty himself. He has to be shown enjoying that side of things.
*. Frank Benson directs and stars as Richard (with little evidence of deformity). Benson was a celebrated actor-manager with his own theatre company, specializing in Shakespeare. This Richard III, however, is the only film that survives of one of his productions.
*. It’s a remarkably clean print, but much as I enjoy Benson’s performance I don’t think he was much of a film director. This is very much a filmed play. The camera stays in position, which is right in front of the stage. And it’s obviously a stage, with painted backdrops and a rug pulled over the clearly evident floorboards even when we’re supposed to be outdoors.
*. That’s fine, and no different from what a lot of filmed plays looked like at this time. What’s more disappointing is how often Benson fails to frame a scene properly, having the main action occurring to either side. On stage this works because the audience is all around, but in a movie like this there is only one point of view. I’m not sure Benson really understood this.
*. So an interesting historical artefact with an excellent lead performance. Just the next year, however, Richard III would truly jump onto the big screen in a production that would make this seem old fashioned even for its time.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912)

*. You’d be forgiven for assuming a 12-minute adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would be a fairly radical abridgement. Actually, most of the familiar moments are here, including the little girl being knocked down at the beginning (however quickly). These are familiar only in the backward-looking sense of our knowledge of the tradition of screen adaptations of the story though, which is just as much based on a stage adaptation by Thomas Russell Sullivan as Stevenson’s book.
*. The big change in Sullivan’s version of the story is to give Jekyll a fiancée, which is something most film adaptations held on to. Sullivan also plays down Jekyll’s own culpability in his degeneration. In Stevenson he’s an ambiguous figure, carrying within himself the seed of evil even before he begins taking the magic potion, someone who is drawn to the dark side. In the movies he’s more of a fallen angel.
*. Jekyll’s motivations, however, can’t be developed much here. Indeed, one wonders how great a scientific breakthrough he is making since “his theory” (as it’s called on a title card) is apparently drawn straight from the pages of a chemistry textbook, Graham on Drugs.
*. You shouldn’t expect much in the way of dramatic transformations, though I think they’re very well handled. We get to see the first two (from Jekyll to Hyde and back again), and they are achieved by simple cuts. Hyde is a hunched, darker figure with what look to be fangs. The later transformations, however, are very nicely handled. They happen offscreen while cutting between different locations and each is dramatically perfect. Jekyll runs away from his fiancée, feeling a change coming on. We see her sitting alone, then cut back to a now transformed Hyde. In another scene Jekyll enters one doorway and comes through the other side as Hyde. For 1912 it’s very fluidly done, and in terms of the editing I don’t think could be improved on much today. A tip of the hat to director Lucius Henderson.
*. I think it’s usual in most versions of this story, most notably John Barrymore’s 1920 film, Frederic March’s 1931 version, and the Spencer Tracy 1941 movie, to have the dead Hyde revert to being Henry Jekyll, just as a final reveal for the benefit of the other players in the drama as well as the audience. That doesn’t happen here, even though I think we expect it, again by virtue of that rear-view mirror. As in the novel, Hyde stays Hyde even in death and one presumes the police and others remain none the wiser.
*. James Cruze plays Jekyll and I believe is also Hyde in most scenes (though apparently Harry Benham stood in some of the time). Assuming it’s Cruze in both roles I think he does a good job selling the different characters just through their mannerisms. It’s not only that Hyde is a hunchback but it’s also the excessively erect way Jekyll carries himself. He often seems to be stretching himself up. That must have been a conscious way of playing up the difference between the two.
*. For a one-reeler from the early days this may not be that exceptional a movie, but I think it’s very good, quite capably put forward in every department. The editing in particular really moves the action along well with a fast-paced, strong sense of narrative in need of few title cards. It’s as neat a little production as you’ll find from this period.

Twelfth Night (1910)

*. Twelfth Night, an attempt at the full play and not just highlights, in just under 11 minutes?
*. Surprisingly, it works pretty well. They manage to pack a lot into the short running time by stacking the frame and giving the proceedings a sense of naturalistic flow. Our introduction to Olivia’s court, for example, begins with Sir Toby Belch, Maria, and the Clown all attending Sir Andrew as he presses his fruitless suit. This isn’t in the play, but it does get everyone on stage together. And then later we’ll see Viola/Cesario wandering distractedly through the garden just before Maria, Toby, and Andrew arrive to place the false letter on a bench. That’s an example of the flow I mentioned, and again it’s put in just for the film.
*. The title cards are there to keep things moving. They just break down what’s happening in the story and don’t give us any lines from the play. The exception comes in the note that Maria leaves for Malvolio to find, and even this adapts the note in the play quite a bit (explicitly identifying itself as being by Olivia and addressed to Malvolio).
*. Alas, poor Feste. In the play the Clown is one of the main characters, but he’s a creation of his language, all word-play and song. Since this is a silent film he’s reduced here to doing a cartwheel at the end and that’s about it.
*. The twins are played by two women: Viola (Florence Turner) and Sebastian (Edith Storey). I think that might have been progressive. In their wigs and costumes I couldn’t tell them apart.

*. Malvolio is played by Charles Kent, who was also the co-director. I don’t think that’s the reason it’s Malvolio’s movie though. The gulling of Malvolio has always been the main draw in Twelfth Night, and seeing as it’s both the most familiar part of the play and the one that works the best in performance it’s no surprise it takes precedence here.
*. A lot of the word play in Shakespeare goes over our heads today. It’s hard enough to pick up on when you’re reading his plays, and on stage it can be impossible. I guess it’s not too surprising then how much fun this one-reeler is. For 1910 it also has a nice sense of how to arrange space and move the narrative. Even today I don’t think you could do much better with the same technical limitations.

Cymbeline (1913)

*. I don’t suppose there are many people today who know the name Florence La Badie but she was a big star in the early days of film, before there really were stars, or a star system anyway. She died in 1917 as the result of a car accident, and her Wikipedia entry remarks that she was “the first major female film star to die while her career was at its peak.” I cite Wikipedia. In the venerable Film Encyclopedia (ed. Ephraim Katz) her birth date is given as 1893 and it’s said she died at the age of 23. Wikipedia says she was born in 1888 and died when she was 29. Alas for the authority of print, I’m inclined to believe Wikipedia.
*. In any event, I don’t think she’s a household name today. She deserved her celebrity in the 1910s though, as she’s quite a presence. I think she gives a great performance here. A lot of it is done with her eyes instead of the grand gesticulations you’d expect. Even watching what looked like an unrestored print in poor condition I was mesmerized by her face. Look at her as she’s watching the battle, or as she changes from moping to cheerful when her brothers escort her from the cave. That’s star power. You’re not paying attention to anything else that’s happening on screen.
*. Aside from her there isn’t much to get excited about. Cymbeline has a complicated plot that is necessarily streamlined quite a bit here by the Thanhouser Company, who specialized in these literary adaptations at a time when film was seen as having a highbrow audience. There is no Jupiter descending in the dream of Posthumus, for example, which might have been fun but probably would have broken the budget. This is a film that looks done on the cheap, with tatty costumes and sets that don’t seem to have had much work put into them. Even the big battle scene is just a handful of actors banging swords on shields.
*. Also downgraded are the villains, with the Queen and Cloten greatly diminished. I’m not sure what happens to them at the end. I think they just got dropped (the actor playing Cloten isn’t even credited). Iachimo, however, is a credibly slimey piece of work, and there are hints of something special happening with the lighting in the scene where he sneaks out of the trunk in Imogen’s bedroom. But only hints. It was 1913 and as I say, the surviving print isn’t in the best shape. SoCal also doesn’t look much like Wales. Yes there are hills, but they aren’t very green.
*. It’s not a play that’s produced very often. I don’t think there was a major film version until 2014, over a hundred years later. It may take us as long to see another.

The Portrait (1915)

*. Nikolai Gogol’s story “The Portrait” runs for just over 60 pages in my English translation and this film is only eight minutes long. There are a couple of explanations for this. In the first place, it’s reportedly all that survives of what was originally a 45-minute feature. In addition, it’s the most filmable part of the story, representing the sole dramatic highlight.
*. In the story a struggling artist buys a haunting portrait of a man in a second-hand shop. When he brings it home it magically comes to life, with the man stepping out of the painting and counting rolls of gold coins, one of which the artist grabs.
*. This is all we have left in what survives of the film, and it works quite well. We don’t even need title cards to explain what’s happening, and there is no dialogue. Gogol’s story goes on to describe the rise and fall of the artist, who has sold his soul to the devil by taking the gold. He becomes a rich and famous artist and then goes mad. Then in a long epilogue some of the back story of the painting is filled in. This part of the story is more thematic in nature, and more involved in making an argument. I could see it working in a silent film, but it would have been a challenge. As it is, I think the best reel survived, and probably not by accident.
*. Stripped of any musings about the nature of creativity, what it means to make sacrifices for one’s art, and the ambiguous blessings of fame, what we’re left with is the scene where Sadako comes crawling out of the television set in Ringu. Early filmmakers had played similar tricks with paintings coming to life, but I can’t think of any who give it the same creep factor. And even though it’s necessarily limited, I think it does a nice job of suggesting the dream/nightmare of the portrait’s transformation by its placement above the painter’s sleeping head.
*. It’s not the kind of film I’d immediately associate with the name of Wladyslaw Starewicz, best known today for his inventive stop-motion shorts involving insects. Then again, it’s not a typical Gogol story either. As we have it it’s hard to evaluate, being only a scene cut from a larger whole. As fragments go, however, it’s one of the most haunting we have.

The Tramp (1915)

*. In 1915 Charlie Chaplin became “the most famous man in the world.” It was an achievement both rapid (just over a year earlier his name would have been unknown outside the music hall circuit) and well prepared for. The Tramp, for example, wasn’t his first appearance as a tramp character. He’d been in development for years. But this film is often said to be the first where the Little Tramp was fully formed, and as such it marked (in the words of Peter Ackroyd) “the apotheosis of Chaplin’s early style” and “a defining moment in his career.” He’d just signed on with Essanay Studios, with a deal whereby he would have creative control and his films would be released as an “Essanay-Chaplin Brand.”
*. That paradox of hard-won, overnight success is also reflective of how Chaplin’s early films were made. They were both improvised and driven by inspiration as well as the product of endless rehearsal. Ever a perfectionist, some of the gags in this film had to be repeated as many as forty or fifty times before Chaplin was satisfied. This was tightly controlled chaos.
*. I’ve said before that I’m not a real big fan of Chaplin, but in a work like The Tramp you can see what made him so successful. There’s pathos at the end, but not as overdone as his late, major works. Instead we get a basic set-up (the dude on the farm, unaware of how cows give milk) and a standard repertoire of gags: a funny walk, lots of pratfalls, the sort of broad physical humour that was made for silent film. This simple stuff still charms, where the more involved set pieces in later films leave me cold. David Thomson: “Their jokes [those in the early shorts] are corny and repetitive, but Chaplin’s attempt to charm the viewer is masterly.”
*. What also works, and what was a revelation for me seeing a nicely restored version of this film, is Chaplin’s face. I don’t think I’d ever seen it as clearly before in one of these early pictures, and seeing it really makes a difference. Without Chaplin’s play of expressions the Tramp would remain a sadistic imp (he’s even armed with a pitchfork this time out!). But there’s more going on than just that. He has the face of a man in pain, even when he’s the one dishing it out.
*. All of which is to say I’d rather watch this movie than Modern Times or The Great Dictator again any day. Work like this showed Chaplin at or approaching his best, while at the same time indicating his limits. Already he seems about to overplay his hand, particularly in his direct appeals to the camera. Maybe the Little Tramp is a figure I can only handle in small doses. He’s an iconic figure, but you can only take so much of an icon. There are times I think he might have played better as someone’s sidekick. It worked for Sancho Panza and Falstaff, after all. But Chaplin was always a — or the — star.

L’Inferno (1911)

*. I suspect it’s true that most people who set out to read Dante’s Commedia only read Inferno. While scholars and Dante aficionados will insist that the Purgatorio and Paradiso are equally as interesting and rewarding, for popular tastes nothing quite beats a tour of sinners being tortured in hell. So it’s understandable that this film, which might have been the first part of a trilogy, had no sequels, despite being a big box office success.
*. The fact that Inferno has rarely received this kind of epic treatment — this film took three years to make and was the first feature film to be shown in its entirety in one screening, which allowed theatres to boost ticket prices — suggests the difficulties involved. But in 1911 these weren’t insurmountable. A long movie could be nothing more than a series of vignettes with only a loose narrative structure, since all the audience really came to see was hell’s greatest hits.

*. The visuals didn’t have to be wildly original. In fact they leaned heavily on the popular nineteenth-century illustrations of Gustave Doré, which is what the audience would have been expecting. Given its reception I think people who went to see L’Inferno in 1911 probably felt they got their money’s worth. Viewing it today, can we say the same?
*. The general structure works. Dante’s hell is a theatrical sort of place, with Virgil taking the pilgrim from stage to stage or level to level, presenting him with various tableaux of the damned. So it doesn’t matter that it looks stagey, as all the underworld’s a stage anyway. And the framing of many of these scenes, with the use of arcs and vanishing lines and other theatrical tricks is surprisingly effective. This looks like Doré come to life, those writhing naked bodies as much a part of the landscape as the rocks and pools.

*. Somewhat surprisingly, the big spectacle moments and monsters are the weakest links. The three beasts who confront Dante in the first canto are a silly-looking leopard and lion and a positively playful she-wolf (a friendly and unthreatening dog). Perhaps the rule that you should always avoid working with animals hadn’t been learned yet. The pack of hounds in the forest of suicides also seem as though they’re just looking for a good time (or some treats). But given the primitive stage of creature effects they didn’t have a lot of options.
*. Otherwise, Minos is just a fat guy with a tail, Cerberus a puppet, and Geryon is only briefly seen as a model being lowered on a string. The giants Plutus and Antaeus come off the best, with the giant effects being reasonably well handled by split screens and false perspectives. I appreciate their trying to represent the most CGI moment in Dante’s poem, the transformation of the thieves into snakes and lizards (and vice versa), but that part is not very impressive.

*. Where L’Inferno really scores is with the human-scale renderings of pain and suffering. Somewhat oddly, the longest episode we have is the tale of the suicide Pietro della Vigna (a story I couldn’t even remember from the poem). His blinding is one of the highlights, a moment whose violence still has the power to disturb. Also effective are the mutilated bodies amond the sowers of discord, like Muhammad with his chest torn open and Bertrand de Born carrying his own head like a lantern. And only the film’s eschewing of close-ups (not remarkable at the time) makes Ugolino’s gnawing of Archbishop Ruggieri’s skull while stuck in a skating rink up to his chest less shocking.

*. One of the reason Dante’s poem has survived so long is because of its low and high-brow appeal. It’s a complex work of massive learning and a freak show written in the vernacular. As a blockbuster the effect here is definitely more of the latter, though credit must be given for what is a remarkably faithful adaptation of the poem.
*. As with a lot of movies from this period the question of what has held up is coloured by how much you enjoy the silent-film aesthetic. I find these movies charming, even to the point where corruptions in the film only add to the effect, like the pops and hisses that were a part of old vinyl recordings. In fact, there are scenes here where some of the artifacts on screen do seem an aid to the effects, making the storms seem worse and hell more hellish generally.
*. Obviously the state of the art at the time it was made limited what they could do, and what you should expect. Really there’s not much acting here aside from the usual oversize silent-film gestures. Sweeping arm motions and the like. That does, however, fit with the rest of the presentation, where Virgil seems always to be saying “Lo!” and “Behold!” to the pilgrim (and to us).
*. But perhaps what surprises and impresses the most is how it was borrowed from so often by later movies for its depictions of hell while Dante’s poem was never again attempted on this scale. Either the vision or the ambition may have been exhausted, as much as they were made obsolete.

Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)

*. If you’ve heard of this movie at all it’s likely because it’s usually held to be the first appearance on film of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp.
*. Historians can argue over that one. What I find interesting is the way Chaplin looks like the Tramp, but he’s not the Tramp character yet. The Tramp as we came to know him was a subversive, anti-authoritarian figure, but here he’s more brazen, surly even. He doesn’t just want to survive, he wants to take over. And while we like the Tramp, can we say we like this guy?
*. Peter Ackroyd: “He [the Tramp] sets up a direct relationship with those who are watching him, both mocking and conspiratorial. He does not care that the auto-races are a public and communal occasion; he is absurdly solipsistic, as if to say that only he matters. Only he is worth watching. Chaplin would maintain these sentiments for the rest of his film career.”
*. It’s a curious dynamic. Why does the Tramp here want to be filmed? He’s not really performing, though he does do some comic bits like lighting a match off his shoe. He doesn’t have to perform. Instead, he precociously understands that the audience or crowd at the race isn’t what’s important. The only thing that matters is the camera. What’s important is what the camera sees and records. What’s important is the camera’s ability to transform you from a shabby-genteel comic figure into a king, or The Most Famous Man in the World (which is what Chaplin would become in under a year).
*. And so this is a short film about filmmaking. Not the technical aspects of filmmaking, but what it does to people, how it makes them behave. Because what would you do to be a star? Would you shove children out of the way? Would you take a beating and keep coming back for more? And most of all, how would you feel toward this new medium? Would you court it? Of course. But you’d hate it too. You’d hate it for the power it has. For what it could turn you into.

Bucking Broadway (1917)

*. Watching a movie like Bucking Broadway today makes you (or at least it made me) wonder how it was that film advanced so quickly — not just as a narrative medium but as an art.
*. In 1917 there wasn’t much to build on. We were just a few years removed from stationary cameras filming theatrical spectacles or the presentation of simple magic tricks. And yet in this early work by John Ford we have a remarkably polished piece of work that would be at home, visually, with much later films.
*. I think the fast pace of the evolution was driven mainly by individual talent. When discussing the woodcut prints of Albrecht Dürer in his book/television series Civilisation, Kenneth Clark remarks on how, “as usual the invention coincided with the man.” You can see the same thing happening in the case of John Ford.
*. Bucking Broadway was one of the first films Ford directed and I don’t think he had the opportunity to learn all of the skills he puts on display here. He always claimed to be a natural when it came to things like composition and I think he must have been. When we see that shot of the old farmer standing in the doorway I don’t think that’s something Ford was taught, it’s something he brought to the table because it was always in him. It’s also there in the play of shadow on Gladys’s face, and the placement of the candle when Harry has his heart-to-heart with Helen’s father.
*. The same goes for the editing. Note the subtle way that as we cut back to Helen and Thornton sitting on the fence we keep drawing in closer as the two of them get closer to each other, or the dissolve into the shot of Harry sitting meditatively on his horse in front of the herd. This is powerful editing that carries narrative and thematic weight but is also mostly invisible as editing. Again, a huge advance in the art is being driven by a talent that must have been almost entirely instinctual.

*. If the presentation is modern, we can’t say the same for the story. Bucking Broadway is a broad melodrama about outraged and rescued virtue, a beautiful damsel being saved by a man on horseback. It’s also a film that highlights how the Western mythically operates as a form of pastoral, with its explicit or implied contrast between the more natural lifeways of the cowboy and the decadence of the East.
*. One telling difference or adaptation of the pastoral vision is how cowboys always smash things up. I wonder when the battle royale or saloon brawl became a staple of the Western. I think it’s a particular innovation of film, as I don’t think it was a big part of Western literature before this time, though I don’t know since I’m no expert on the subject.
*. Bucking Broadway was a lost film until discovered in a French archive in 2002. I’m glad we found it not just because it’s a fun little film and in surprisingly good shape but because it illustrates so well that moment of the birth of film as a narrative art.