The Adventures of Dollie (1908)
Director: D. W. Griffith
Cast: Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson, Gladys Egan
Synopsis: A small girl is kidnapped by a gypsy.
The revered D. W. Griffith’s first directorial effort is something of a dull affair, giving little indication of the man’s talent behind the camera. The story is of a small girl, snatched from her loving parents by gypsies then stuffed into a barrel to evade discovery before falling overboard into a river as the dastardly gypsies make their getaway. The acting is of the ‘exaggerated gesture’ school, with hands flung into the air and bosoms clutched, and most scenes last too long which means the excitement that might have been generated in audiences of a century ago fails to materialise today. Griffith’s (and perhaps the era’s) racist leanings – which would reach their height eight years later in Birth of a Nation – are clear in his depiction of the gypsies.
This one is of historical interest only.
(Reviewed 23rd February 2008)