| Short, Drama
King John does whatever it takes to keep himself on the throne of England, making enemies of the pope, France, and his nephew along the way.
The Biograph film package was shown at The Montgomery Hall, Sheffield, England, between 8-13 April, 1901. Its first screening on Monday, 8 April, 1901, was reviewed in "The Sheffield Daily Telegraph", a Sheffield daily morning newspaper, on Tuesday, 9 April 1901, under the subheading "The Biograph At The Montgomery Hall" (this review was reprinted, identically, the same day, in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph's evening edition, then known as the "Yorkshire Telegraph & Star"). The anonymous "Sheffield Daily Telegraph" reviewer wrote:
"A new departure from the usual views was seen in portions of scenes in "King John". Here the company are treated to a glimpse of the acting of Mr Beerbohm Tree and Miss Julia Neilson".
This statement further confirms the existence of Scene Two of "King John", "The Lamentation Scene". Beerbohm Tree's 1899 production of "King John" and Julia Neilson's role in it as Constance were too well known in England by 1901 for either the Scene or its actors to be mistakenly identified. As it is highly unlikely that Scene Two and Neilson's dominant role in it would be accompanied only by one or both of Tree's last two Scenes as the dying John, it must be assumed that all four Scenes were shown at Sheffield (and on the Biograph tour), beginning with John, Hubert and Arthur in "The Temptation Scene".
The "Sheffield Daily Telegraph" review is also notable for the reviewer's opinion that the inclusion of "King John" was "a new departure", contrasting it with "the usual views". A significant number of people, from various backgrounds, who saw "King John" were aware that it was something more than merely a film of "Scenes from Mr Beerbohm's Tree's latest production".
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert throw thine eye/ On yon boy: I'll tell thee what my friend,/ He is a very serpent in my way,/ And whereso'er this foot of mine does tread,/ He lies before me: does thou understand me?
Hubert de Burgh: And I'll keep him so,/ That he shall ...
Scene Three only [International distribution, 1899+]