Excerpt from the 1912 “Richard III”

This 1912 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of the first American feature films, if not the first. This excerpt depicts the wicked duke’s seduction of Lady Anne Neville, the woman whose princely husband he had murdered. The story is expressed clearly without many intertitles, though Shakespeare without his wonderful poetry does always feel odd.

The acting is broad, very much of the Victorian stage. This is a sort of acting which would quickly die out in the cinematic world, to be replaced with the naturalistic styles of actors like Mary Pickford and Sessue Hayakawa.

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