JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1912)
Article 4150 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by J. Searle Dawley
Featuring Gladys Hulette, Miriam Nesbitt, Harry Eytinge
What it is: Fairy tale
Jack sells the family cow for a hatful of beans, from which grows a beanstalk that takes him to a giant’s castle.
This is a fairly straightforward version of the story with one quirk; an opening scene establishes that Jack and his mother had previously been residents of the castle, but were thrown out by the giant. About the only reason I could think of for this odd plot change was to take away the questionable moral taint of a story about a man who breaks into another man’s abode, steals his belongings, and then kills him. At least the movie does one thing right; the giant is handled with special effects rather than by casting a really tall guy in the role (I’ve seen that happen several times, and I’ve always hated that.). Overall, this is a fairly standard take at the story, and it’s nothing really special.