Alice in Wonderland (1903)
Director: Cecil Hepworth, Percy Stow
Cast: May Clark, Cecil M. Hepworth, Blair
Synopsis: While sleeping in in a garden, Alice is awakened by a dithering white rabbit in waistcoat with pocket watch.
A copy of this film can be found on YouTube, complete with a commentary by Simon Brown for the BBC. I imagine Brown’s commentary adds immeasurably to the entertainment value of this the first film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s tale. The film itself assumes that the audience is familiar with the story. For its time it is an incredibly detailed interpretation, even though it really just provides snapshots from the story with no coherent narrative to speak of. The quality of the print – the only one in existence – is extremely poor, but still good enough to give the audience a positive impression of the effort British film pioneer Cecil Hepworth obviously put into it.
(Reviewed 7th December 2008