Alice In Wonderland

I thought it might be an idea to start regularly searching Youtube for “Silent Film” & randomly choose one film/clip to post here. Not sure how long this strand of the blog will last, it could just be me being a bit of a keeno with a new blog an all. If that turns out to be the case enjoy it while it lasts.

There’s a surprising number of contemporary silent films on Youtube, perhaps inspired by smart phone Apps like Silent Film Director (for which there’s a separate Youtube channel and, indeed, an international competition (for which entries have now closed)). Anyway, I think it would be more appropriate for us to concentrate on proper old school proper silent films.

Here’s the first, like I said, chosen totally at random:

Alice In Wonderland (1903)

Here’s what BFI wrote about it after uploading it:

The first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll’s tale has recently been restored by the BFI National Archive from severely damaged materials. Made just 37 years after Lewis Carroll wrote his novel and eight years after the birth of cinema, the adaptation was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, and was based on Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations. In an act that was to echo more than 100 years later, Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen, and he himself appears as the Frog Footman. Even the Cheshire cat is played by a family pet.

With a running time of just 12 minutes (8 of which survive), Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film’s original colours for the first time in over 100 years.

Music: ‘Jill in the Box’, composed and performed by Wendy Hiscocks.

This restoration was supported by The Headley Trust and The Pilgrim Trust.

To find out more about the film, visit http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/974410/

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  1. #1 by James Harrison on August 31, 2011 - 6:14 pm

    Great film!! I have footage of a really nice interview with May Clark (or Mabel Clark as some others name her; including Hepworth himself in his autobiography) which was filmed back in the late 1960s for a BBC doc which was about the work of the director of the film Cecil M. Hepworth.

    It’s worth noting that the White Rabit is played by Mrs Hepworth AND (as Screenonline states) the an early appearance by the family dog, Blair, who would become famous as the star of Rescued by Rover (1905).

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