This film is part of Free

Through Three Reigns

A look back at history as recorded by the cinematograph

Documentary 1922 56 mins Silent


An early example of film nostalgia. This lengthy programme put together by filmmaker Cecil Hepworth, largely from films in his own collection, is a look back at history as recorded by the cinematograph. In the industry's early days, films were treated as commodities that were used until their disintegration. If a film was particularly popular it might well be re-staged and re-shot, rather than duplicated. The standardisation of copyrighting practices early in the 20th century stemmed this practice, and gave rise to the primacy of the original film.

Compilations such as this sometimes prove to be the means by which otherwise lost films manage to survive. This is the case with Hepworth's 'Musical Ride by Ladies' (1899), which features early in the first reel but did not survive in any other form.