December 16, 2015
Snow White (1916).
Review #768: Snow White.
Marguerite Clark (Snow White), Dorothy Cumming (Queen Brangomar), Creighton Hale (Prince Florimond), Lionel Braham (Berthold - the Huntsman), and Alice Washburn (Witch Hex) Directed by J. Searle Dawley.
While this is not the Snow White film everyone thinks about, this was the earliest feature adaptation, made 20 years before Walt Disney's version. Fittingly, this film was released on Christmas Day, so that's (technically) another reason to watch right around now. This was adapted from the 1912 play (which also had Clark as Snow White), which had been inspired from the classic tale by the Brothers Grimm written in 1812. It's interesting to see a movie made in 1916 (a year not previously covered here) and the ways that films were made, with regards to editing, effects, and even storytelling. The effort to make a movie is always impressive, but it also is impressive when it was made in a era where features weren't quite the norm they are now. The acting is much like a filmed stage play, which makes sense given the history. The inter titles are relatively well paced (when they aren't switching typefaces. One of my favorites come from the dwarves: "It's a Girl. I saw one once."). I especially love the names of the seven (Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick, and Quee). This film was considered lost until 1992, when it was found (with Dutch inter titles) and restored by the George Eastman Museum. While the movie may not be as notable as the Disney film, it did have one notable viewer: Walt Disney, who was inspired enough by this film that he made it the subject of his own version of Snow White 21 years later. The movie takes a while to get going, but it is well paced at about 60 minutes, so I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a different Snow White to watch around the Holidays.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.