ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1903)
Article 4023 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Cecil M. Hepworth and Percy Stow
Featuring May Clark, Cecil M. Hepworth, Blair
What it is: Lewis Carroll adaptation
Alice falls down the rabbit hole and has adventures.
Being only about eight minutes long, it can’t tell much of the story; however, the story, which is pretty episodic and meandering, isn’t really the main attraction of the book to begin with. However, since I find the primary appeal of the books is the verbal banter, the movie, being a silent, can’t really capture that either. That gives us the middle ground of the visuals, and it looks like the movie has some scenes that seem modeled directly off the Tenniel illustrations which are pretty charming. It also gives the filmmakers a chance to play with some special effects, especially during the “Eat me/Drink me” section of the story where Alice keeps changing size. This was clearly an ambitious undertaking; I just wish my copy wasn’t it such poor shape, but that’s about the best we can expect from some of these old silents; we’re lucky they still exist at all.