Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


1908 was a classy year for Vitagraph Studioes.  In that one year the studio released one-reelers of some of Shakespeare's most famous plays, albeit in shortened versions.  Othello, Macbeth, romeo and Juliet, A Comedy of Errors, Richard III, the Merchant of Venice, and Anthony and Cleopatra -- as well as Julius Caesar -- were all churned out by the studio in truncated form and presaging The Reduced Shakespeare Company by a good many years.

Julius Caesar starred distinguished stage actor Charles Kent who made his film debut with that year's Macbeth.  He would go on to be featured in another 145 films before his death in 1923 at age 70.  

The role of Cassius went to William V. Ranous, who co-produced and co-directed the film.  Ranous appeared in 63 silent films and directed 32.  Today happens to be the 162nd anniversary of his birth so in his honor I am featuring this film today.

I don't know how much of Shakespeare's play you can truly appreciate in fifteen brief scenes from the stage play, featuring a bunch of guys in togas waving their arms and mouthing words.  Nonetheless, just keep saying to yourself, "It's culture"...

and enjoy.

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