Skip to comments.First Charles Dickens Film Found 111 Years After it Was Made (First Dickens Film)
Posted on 03/12/2012 6:56:23 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The earliest surviving Charles Dickens film has been found in the BFI's archive after sitting on a shelf for more than 50 years.
The Death of Poor Joe, a one minute-long silent film based on an episode in Dickens' novel 'Bleak House', was filmed in Brighton in 1901.
It is thought to be the work of the pioneering Brighton filmmaker G.A. Smith, a view that is backed up by the his wife's appearance in it. Smith was married to the stage actress Laura Bayley, who appeared in many of his films and plays the role of the young boy 'Jo' in this short. Bryony Dixon found the film in February, the day after the world celebrated the 200th anniversary of Dickens' birth. Her research revealed this to be the earliest film made featuring a Dickensian character.
"It's wonderful to have discovered such a rare and unique film so close to Dickens' bicentennial. Not only does it survive but it is the world's earliest Dickensian film. It looks beautiful and is in excellent condition. This really is the icing on the cake of our current celebration of Dickens on Screen," said Dixon. The BFI said that the picture would have been shot in one take with a 17.5mm film.
Smith was fond of fairytales and comedy, and went on to make adaptations of 'A Christmas Carol', 'Scrooge, or Marley's Ghost' in 1901 also.
According to the BFI, the film came to their collections in 1954 as part of a group of films from a collector in Brighton who had actually known G.A. Smith.
It was wrongly filed in their database under an alternative title of Man Meets Ragged Boy, and dated c1902.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
His wife....um.....played the role of the young .....boy....
I’m a-guessin’ wifey was no Mae West. Ahem.
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Thanks nickcarraway.The Death of Poor Joe, a one minute-long silent film based on an episode in Dickens' novel 'Bleak House', was filmed in Brighton in 1901.Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
Always glad to hear when some supposedly-lost, historical film is unearthed. Many of the really early American films (1900-1910) of this vintage survived because copyright laws required paper prints made of each frame. But this was dispensed with by the 1910s, and films’ survival rates actually grew considerably worse for a while. Feature films of the late-1910s/early-1920s have a pretty bad track-record of survival.
Bleak House in one minute? Now there’s something I have to see!
Here is the Foutainhead in 5 seconds...
Spoil it for me, why don’t ya!
I love watching this old Market street from 1905, before the earthquake...
Ping to read with AM coffee!