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This selection of short, early silent adaptations of Dickens' works includes the first version of the oft-filmed A Christmas Carol and two films from the great cinema pioneer D.W. Griffith.
Almost fifty short films were made from Dickensian sources before feature-length productions became the norm. This selection from those which still exist includes the first version of the oft-filmed A Christmas Carol, notable for its dissolves and early use of captions. Though D.W. Griffith continually expressed his debt to Dickens, the impressive version of The Cricket on the Hearth featured here is his only direct adaptation, though Brutality shows the reforming effect of Dickens' works.
Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost (Walter Booth and R.W. Paul \ UK 1901 \ 3 min.)
Oliver Twist (J. Stuart Blackton \ USA 1909 \ 9 min.)
Brutality (D.W. Griffith \ USA 1912 \ 15 min.)
A Christmas Carol (dir. unknown \ USA 1910 \ 10-17 min.)
The Old Curiosity Shop (Barry O'Neill \ USA 1911 \ 10 min.)
A Tale of Two Cities (William Humphrey \ USA 1911 \ 30 min.)
Nicholas Nickleby (George Nicholas \ USA 1912 \ 20 min.)
Please note that the short film "Dotheboys Hall", scheduled to screen as a part of our Dickens Silent Shorts programme on Monday December 31 at 12:00 PM has been cancelled due to print availability.
- William O'Meara
William O'Meara has accompanied films for the Toronto International Film Festival, the Ottawa International Silent Film Festival, the National Gallery of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Goethe Institute, the Picolo Spoleto Festival (Charleston, South Carolina), Toronto Film Society, Cobourg Vintage Film Festival, Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver), the Elora Festival, the Toronto Theatre Organ Society, and for the world's largest festival of silent films: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (Pordenone, Italy). He was also the piano accompanist for Cinematheque Ontario screenings at Jackman Hall. William is also accompanist for many choirs in Toronto including Toronto Choral Society, Victoria Scholars and the choirs of St. Michael's Choir School.