Snow White (1916)

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Kitty
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Snow White (1916)

Post by Kitty » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:01 pm

I watched Snow White with Marguerite Clark, which is the film that inspired Walt Disney to make his famous animated feature. I loved it! Marguerite is so sweet in it, and it was a total joy to watch. I watched this on Youtube, and the music sounds really nice with it.
The movie starts in today's world where Santa comes and magics the tree into existence. He then proceeds to put pretty dollies on the table for a little girl who lives there. Suddenly the dolls turn into the characters of the Snow White story, and the tale begins.
It's the story we know, except it is closer to the Grimm fairytale. A queen pricks her finger sewing and shakes the blood out to the snow. The beauty of the red next to the white makes her wish for a baby with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as dark as the ebony frame of her window.
Alas! Her wish comes true, and this princess is so beautiful that the Queen's main lady in waiting, Brangomar, (Dorothy G. Cumming) gets jealous and wants to be more beautiful than she. The lady in waiting goes to a witch named Witch Hex (Alice Washburn) who gives her a mirror and makes her beautiful in exchange for a heart. She gives a prophecy: Within the year the Queen will die, and she will be so beautiful that she will then become Queen.
This prophecy comes true, and the new Queen makes Snow White a scullery maid. Snow White stays bright and cheery and so lovely throughout all of this, and takes everything in stride. Marguerite Clark shines in her role. What is it with silent film actresses that made them light up the whole screen with their bright smiles and kind-looking eyes? I guess that was acting! They had faces then.
Snow White has a friend, the huntsman, Berthold (Lionel Braham) who has three adorable children. She goes over there to retrieve some ducks for dinner, and accidentally runs into the prince, Prince Florimond (Creighton Hale). He instantly falls in love with her. Back at the castle, he dances with her, not knowing that she is Snow White. The Queen thinks that he has come to ask for her hand in marriage, but to her disappointment he says he is in love with another. It is Snow White! In anger, the queen says they must wait a year and a day to get married.
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The two are distressed, and in one of the most heartwarming lines in all silent film history, Prince Florimond says....
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Of course, Snow White is not really going to a boarding school for backwards princesses, for the Queen has something more sinister in mind. She sends the huntsman to kill his little friend. He can't do it, and instead presents a heart of a pig to the Queen.
With the aid of a brown bird, Snow White finds the seven dwarves' house, and they all are very happy for a time. One day the queen disguises herself as an old woman and tries to kill her with a comb. The dwarves come just in time to save her. The queen's second attempt is successful with the poison apple.
This film has some great special effects, and still looks amazing, despite having to have been watched on Youtube. The music is interesting, and sounds really good through bass headphones. It does a loop, but changes as the mood changes, so it isn't too distracting. The only thing I'd criticize about the music is they play It Came Upon A Midnight Clear more than once. It makes sense in the beginning because of the Christmas scene, but should have been replaced the other times.
One other criticism I have is that some of the titlecards are hard to read. They tried to get fancy with the story cards, and the font is terrible.
I think we may have missed some minor parts. I only say this because when I read the synopsis by Moving Picture World, it mentions things that I didn't catch when viewing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0007361/plo ... _=tt_ov_pl
Here it is:

Snow White is a motherless princess, who arouses the jealousy and hatred of Mary Jane, her mother's former lady-in-waiting, who is the ugliest woman in the kingdom, but aspires to the throne. She gives her heart to the witch, Hex, in return for which she becomes beautiful and wins the love of the king. While hunting, the king falls from his horse and is killed, leaving Mary Jane, who has been rechristened Brangomar, upon the throne. Brangomar forces Snow White to work in the kitchen and takes her lovely clothes away from her. When Snow White accidentally meets a young hunter she becomes interested in him and he is fascinated, though neither has any idea who the other is. So they are dumbfounded when he comes to Snow White's castle and presents a letter to the queen, asking for the hand of Snow White, for he is the Prince Florimund, who has been sent to ask for the hard of the little princess, whom he has never seen. Brangomar, who believed that the prince was coming to sue for her hand, is furious. She decides to kill the little girl and forces old Berthold, a hunter, and Snow White's devoted slave, to promise to kill the child. He is to bring her the heart of Snow White as proof of his act. Berthold takes Snow White into the woods and tells her what he has been forced to promise and she tells him to kill a pig and take its heart back to the queen. While he is doing this, a bird leads Snow White to the cabin of the seven little dwarfs, where she wins their undying gratitude. When the queen discovers that Snow White has escaped her, she tries to kill her with a magic comb and then inveigles her into biting a poisoned apple. Snow White falls prostrate and is discovered by the dwarfs, who carry her body in state to the palace, where the queen rejoices until the furious Prince Florimund threatens to kill her. In the excitement the dwarfs drop the casket, in which there lies the body of Snow White, and she awakens. The apple had stuck in her throat and she had not swallowed it. The witch turns Brangomar into a peacock and all ends happily.

I really loved this film. This is the best version on Youtube that I could find. I liked the black and white better than the sepia toned. It looks better. Other versions have no music, so that doesn't help at all.
Rating: 8/10
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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donnie
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Re: Snow White (1916)

Post by donnie » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:58 pm

Good review! I'll have to check this one out.

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Kitty
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Re: Snow White (1916)

Post by Kitty » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:12 pm

donnie wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:58 pm
Good review! I'll have to check this one out.
Please do! I forgot to mention that the copy I watched on YouTube has about 20 minutes extra, but it's just parts of the film over again. Not sure how the happens so much on YouTube.
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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