You are browsing the archive for Films: Drama.

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: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/07/the-redemption-of-saint-anthony/ Download from Internet Archive – Part of the wonderful and comprehensive George Méliès Collection. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN [...]

Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost (1901)

- December 10, 2012 in a christmas carol, charles dickens, christmas, collections, early film, Film: 1900s, Films, Films: Drama, Films: Fantasy, Films: Short, scrooge

Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost, directed by Walter R. Booth, is the oldest known film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol – featuring the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge confronted by Marley’s ghost and given by visions of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The film, “although somewhat flat and stage-bound to modern eyes,” according to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, “was an ambitious undertaking at the time,” as, “not only did it attempt to tell an 80 page story in five minutes, but it featured impressive trick effects, superimposing Marley’s face over the door knocker and the scenes from his youth over a black curtain in Scrooge’s bedroom.” It was presented in ‘Twelve Tableaux’ or scenes and is thought to contain the first ever use of intertitles in a film. (Wikipedia) Download from Internet Archive 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 add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Cleopatra (1912)

- July 18, 2012 in cleopatra, Films, Films: 1910s, Films: Drama, Films: Silent, helen gardner, non-article, Victorien Sardou



Cleopatra – a Romance of a Woman and a Queen – depicts Helen Gardner in the title role and as centrepiece to the series of elaborately staged tableaux which tell the story of her various love affairs, first with the handsome fisherman-slave Pharon, and then with Marc Antony. The film is created by the Helen Gardner Picture Players and was based on a play written by the French dramatist Victorien Sardou, the man who wrote La Tosca (1887), the play behind Puccini’s opera Tosca 13 years later.

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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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A Farewell To Arms (1932)

- April 30, 2012 in ernest hemmingway, Films, Films: 1930s, Films: Drama, Films: Talkie, gary cooper, non-article



Film directed by Frank Borzage, and starring a young Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes. The screenplay by Oliver H.P. Garrett and Benjamin Glazer is based on the 1929 semi-autobiographical novel by Ernest Hemingway set during World War 1 about a rebellious ambulance driver who falls in love with a nurse after drunkenly going AWOL.

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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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Passion and Death of Christ (1903)

- April 6, 2012 in crucifixion, easter, Ferdinand Zecca, Film: 1900s, Films, Films: Drama, Films: Silent, jesus, La Vie et la passion de Jesus Christ, Lucien Nonguet, non-article, passion, resurrection



From Internet Archive: La Vie et la passion de Jesus Christ is a 1903 French silent film directed by Lucien Nonguet and Ferdinand Zecca, and is believed to be the first feature film to have colorized sequences. Colorization was achieved using the Pathecolor/Pathechrome stencil-based film tinting process, which had been invented around 1903 by Pathe Freres, one of the most important and innovative film companies in history. The film itself is a straightforward telling of the story of Jesus Christ, but does include some events usually omitted in films about Christ, like the Transfiguration. La Vie is filmed using a single camera mostly kept still in front of the set and capturing the actors and action as it unfolds. The only known cast members are Madame Moreau as Virgin Mary and Monsieur Moreau as Joseph.

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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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