Silent Shakespeare

The seven films in this unique collection - from Britain, Italy and the USA - are created from the only known surviving materials, nitrate prints preserved by the BFI's National Archive. They have survived for almost a century, and include beautiful examples of hand stencilling and tinted prints. There is a magical version of A Midsummer Night's Dream containing some remarkable special effects, a charming five-minute film of The Tempest, and the very first Shakespeare film ever made, King John, in 1899. This unique and fascinating record shows us the exuberance, invention and conviction of these early film-makers and demonstrates the possibility of the Shakespearean text.

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