King Lear (I) (1910)

Short, Drama

An aging King invites disaster when he abdicates to his corrupt, toadying daughters and rejects his one loving, but honest one.


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19 November 2018 | boblipton
| As the Director, I Think should Wave My Arms More As An Actor
I'm not going to synopsize KING LEAR in this review, because if you look at this early screen version, the titles will do that for you. Yes, it's the Illustrated Text method of film-making, sometimes moving backwards into the slightly more antique Chapter Heading school, except the titles are so long.

That may be because I looked at an English language print. There is none of Shakespeare's lush language, just long, discursive explanations of what we are about to see. Certainly there's no way to figure out what's going on: just director-actor Giuseppe de Liguoro waving his arms around and declaiming something for a minute at a time.

On the positive side, there are great costumes and sets and Ligouro's beard is very impressive. The print was extensively and beautifully hand-tinted, except for the scene where Lear regains his sanity, and that is sepia, and the rest of the movie is untinted. The copy also had extensive chipping.

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Short | Drama


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