Cecil M. Hepworth – Alice in Wonderland (1903)

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Feature film 1903 UK

This was the very first film version of “Alice” and encapsulated much of the “Wonderland” story into a short ten minute feature. Despite the infancy of the film-making process, the production included some creditable special effects and Alice grew and shrank to good effect. The film is preserved by the British Film Institute, although two of the sixteen scenes are missing.
“The History of the British Film: 1896-1906” by Rachael Low and Roger Manvell (distributed in the USA by R.R. Bowker, 1948, 1973) offers this description: (see above right)
“The film is composed of sixteen scenes, dissolving very beautifully from one to another, but preceded, where necessary for the elucidation of the story, by descriptive titles.”
The book proceeds to describe the 16 scenes in considerable detail and also offers a brief entry on the Hepworth Manufacturing Company and its founder, Cecil Hepworth (born 1874).
“The British Film Catalogue 1895-1970: A Guide to Entertainment Films” by Denis Gifford (David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1973) offers the following credits:

May Clark : Frog
Cecil Hepworth : Alice
Mrs Hepworth : White Rabbit/Queen
Norman Whitten : Fish/Mad Hatter
Stanley Faithfull : Card
Geoffrey Faithfull : Card
Screenplay : Cecil Hepworth
Directed by :Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow

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Language(s):Commentary in english
Subtitles:Intertitles in english

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