The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. 1895. USA. Produced by The Edison Co. Cinematography by William Heiss. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. Under 1 min.
“This ruthless little Edison film was made for the peep-show or kinetoscope, but in February 1894 (American showman) Jean A. LeRoy succeeded in projecting it on screen. After 1895, films were commonly shown on screens.”
Wash Day Trouble. 1896. USA. Directed by Edmund Kuhn. Silent, with musical accompaniment. Under 1 min.
“Film could do more than record and recreate; it could invent new stories. Comic incidents like this were improvised from the earliest days, and developed later into slapstick comedy.” 35mm subject printed twice on reel
Le voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon). 1902. France. Directed and story by George Méliès. With Bluette Bernon, Méliès, Depierre. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. 16 min.
“A Trip to the Moon was made when most films were only three minutes long. It displays the richness of Méliès invention and humor: his zooming close-up of the face of the moon is masterly and the whole film is charmingly unrealistic and gay.” Courtesy Flicker Alley, Lobster, Blackhawk Films
The Great Train Robbery. 1903. USA. Written and directed by Edwin S. Porter. With George Barnes, “Bronco Billy” Anderson, A. C. Abadie. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. 10 min.
“This short story in cinematography created a sensation upon its appearance and has become a classic of the screen. The whole feeling of the film is definitely cinematic, movement is employed towards and away from the camera as well as horizontally in front of it. Once or twice, the camera is even swung to follow the action.”
Faust [excerpt]. 1910. France. Adapted and directed by Georges Fagot, Henri Andréani. Based on the poem by Goethe. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. 10 min.
“This is not the Faust which Méliès made, but another version. The last half of the film is missing. It is interesting to note how, in an effort to let the audience know what the actors were thinking, visions were used as here when the tapestry on the wall gives place to Marguerite’s memory of her meeting with Faust.”
Les amours de la reine Élisabeth (Queen Elizabeth). 1912. France/Great Britain. Directed by Louis Mercanton. With Sarah Bernhardt, Lou Tellegen. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. 36 min.
“Sarah Bernhardt’s prestige surpassed that of any player now living: she could do no wrong, and the fact that she had consented to act for the films did much to diminish prejudice against the movies. The success of this film and of the Italian spectacle Quo Vadis (1913) helped to establish the longer feature.”