This film is part of Free
Introduction to Silent Shakespeare
Discover why filmmakers in the silent era turned to the works of William Shakespeare for inspiration.
Short documentary 2016 9 mins
Why did the first filmmakers turn to Shakespeare for inspiration? How can his plays exist ‘without words’ in a silent medium? What could early cinema offer that theatre couldn’t?
With the help of Professor Judith Buchanan from the University of York and Bryony Dixon, the BFI’s silent film curator, this short film explores the unique world of Silent Shakespeare: its genesis, its innovations and its fascinating relationship with the Bard’s work.
Shakespeare on Film
Drama 1913 54 mins Silent
Johnston Forbes-Roberston gives his famous performance of Hamlet in this ambitious early Shakespeare feature
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1989 5 mins
Two virtuoso performances in one – Shakespeare's complete works presented in puppet form by a master of animation
Inside Film 1967 16 mins
Teenage actors discuss their work with Franco Zeffirelli on Romeo and Juliet.
Comedy 1910 11 mins Silent
Vitagraph’s charming 1910 interpretation features some notably lively performances.
Drama 1899 1 mins Silent
The first ever Shakespearean film - once thought to be lost - with Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the title role.
Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting Q&A for Shakespeare Lives Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting Q&A for Shakespeare Lives
Inside Film 2016 31 mins
The stars of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet are reunited on stage for the first time since 1968 as part of the BFI and British Council’s Shakespeare on Film.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902) Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902)
Non-Fiction 1902 3 mins Silent Location: Weston Park
A stroll in the park for civilised city-dwellers in Edwardian South Yorkshire.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.