You are browsing the archive for Films: 19th Century.

George Méliès’ Temptation of St. Anthony (1898)

- March 8, 2013 in collections, Films, Films: 19th Century, Films: Clip, Films: Drama, Films: Fantasy, Georges Méliès, Temptation of St. Anthony

George Méliès’ short retelling of the temptation of Saint Anthony (La tentation de Saint-Antoine), with the temptations taking the form of the unexpected and persistent appearance of various scantily clad women. Although not as technically epic as his earlier masterpieces it nonetheless marks an advance in terms of subject matter, being one of the earliest films to tackle an explicitly religious theme. In this respect, as Film Journal comments, “Méliès proves himself the ancestor of Cecil B. DeMille and Franco Zeffirelli, whose own religious epics offer a similar blend of the solemn and the kitschy”. The supernatural temptations reportedly faced by Saint Anthony during his sojourn in the Egyptian desert, have been an often-repeated subject in the history of art and literature. Colin Dickey’s excellent article for The Public Domain Review explores how Gustave Flaubert spent nearly thirty years working on a surreal and largely ‘unreadable’ retelling of the story and how it was only in the dark and compelling illustrations of Odilon Redon, made years later, that Flaubert’s strangest work finally came to life. Read it here: Download from Internet Archive – Part of the wonderful and comprehensive George Méliès Collection. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN [...]

Horse Drawn Fire Engines (1896)

- February 8, 2013 in collections, edison, Films, Films: 19th Century, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, fire engine, horses

Four horse drawn fire engines roar up a snow-covered Newark, New Jersey, street while spectators watch from the sidelines. Until the mid-19th century most fire engines were maneuvered by men, but the introduction of horse-drawn fire engines considerably improved the response time to incidents. The first self-propelled steam engine was built in New York in 1841. It was the target of sabotage by firefighters and its use was discontinued, and motorized fire engines did not become commonplace until the early 20th century. (Wikipedia) Download from Internet Archive Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply [...]

Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

- September 27, 2012 in cinema, early film, Films, Films: 19th Century, Films: Clip, first movie, louis le prince, non-article, roundhay garden scene

Roundhay Garden Scene is an 1888 short film directed by inventor Louis Le Prince, considered to be the world’s first film ever made using a motion picture camera. According to Le Prince’s son, Adolphe, it was filmed at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom on October 14, 1888. It features Adolphe Le Prince, Sarah Whitley, Joseph Whitley and Harriet Hartley in the garden, walking around and laughing. It was recorded at 12 frames per second and runs for only 2.11 seconds. Le Prince later used his camera to shoot trams and the horse-drawn and pedestrian traffic on Leeds Bridge. These pictures were soon projected on a screen in Leeds, making it the first motion picture exhibition. After returning to France, in September 1890, Le Prince was preparing to go back to the UK to patent his new camera, followed by a trip to the US to promote it. Before his journey, he decided to return home and visit friends and family. Having done so, he left Bourges on 13 September to visit his brother in Dijon. He would then take the 16 September train to Paris, but when [...]

Rip Van Winkle (1896)

- May 12, 2012 in Films, Films: 19th Century, Films: Fantasy, Films: Short, non-article

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The first film adaptation of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle”, a short story about a man who awakes after a 20 year long sleep to a huge white beard on his face and a much changed world. In this footage, Joseph Jefferson, the actor most associated with the character on the 19th century stage, makes a series of short films recreating scenes from his stage adaptation.

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Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.

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