This film is part of Free
The first ever Shakespearean film - once thought to be lost - with Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the title role.
This is the first ever Shakespearean film, long thought to be lost - its nature previously the subject of much speculation. It derives from the Her Majesty’s Theatre production of King John, which opened on 20 September 1899 with Herbert Beerbohm Tree, actor-manager of the theatre, in the title role.
Once believed to show the Magna Carta scene, it in fact shows King John’s speech from final scene of the play (‘Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room’). The cast is understood to include (as well as Tree as King John), Dora Senior as Prince Henry, F.M. Paget as Bigot and James Fisher as Pembroke. This surviving fragment contains only one scene, although the original presented four scenes and ran four minutes in duration. It was filmed in September 1899 at the film company’s open-air studio, using a 68mm camera that lends a ‘widescreen’ effect which would have wowed audiences of the day.
Comedy 1900 1 mins Silent
A copper pursues a cheeky beggar who can't possibly escape justice - or can he?
Comedy 1898 1 mins Silent
A museum visitor takes an interest in a nude sculpture - to his wife's annoyance - in a sadly incomplete early film comedy
Trick film 1900 1 mins Silent
A terrifying first-person brush with death at the hands of a dangerous driver
1900 0 mins Silent
Dare you watch this footage of larger-than-life spiders - one of the earliest nature films of its type?
Drama 1900 1 mins Silent
An impressive early film special effect
Comedy 1897 1 mins Silent
How many faces can one man pull while drinking one glass of beer? Far more than you might think
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.