Best Drama Movies of 1910
The Unchanging Sea
In this story set at a seaside fishing village and inspired by a Charles Kingsley poem, a young couple's happy life is turned about by an accident. The husband, although saved from drowning, loses his memory. A child is on the way, and soon a daughter is born to his wife. We watch the passage of time, as his daughter matures and his wife ages. The daughter becomes a lovely young woman, herself ready for marriage. One day on the beach, the familiarity of the sea and the surroundings triggers a return of her father's memory, and we are reminded that although people age and change, the sea and the ways of the fisherfolk remain eternal.
Over Silent Paths
In the heart of the American west, a miner toils day after day at his rocker box while his young daughter keeps his camp. His daughter persuades him to return to civilization, where they may enjoy the fruits of their labor. Both are happy in the anticipation of what seems a bright future. While she's away, a desert wanderer appears at the camp, and at the sight of the old man weighing his gold is seized with cupidity. He himself had toiled long in the wilds, but with no success, so he demands that the old man divide his gains with him. This, of course, the miner decries, and the wanderer uses force to obtain the old man's gold. The wanderer collapses in the desert, only to be rescued by a certain young woman: the miner's daughter.
A Christmas Carol
The day before the Christmas holiday, Ebenezer Scrooge, a hard-fisted miser, refuses to contribute to the Charity Relief Committee, and then rudely rejects his nephew Fred when he visits Scrooge in his office. When Scrooge returns home, he sees the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley, who warns him of the punishment he will suffer in the next life if he does not change his ways. That night, Scrooge is visited by three more spirits, who show him his past, the present, and the future that awaits him.
Based on Oscar Wilde's version of the story, what is noteworthy is the sheer luxury of the production, an attempt to capture the wild and weird Aubrey Beardsley illustrations that transfigure the work. The sets are elaborate, with stonework and palm trees and draperies. There seem to be dozens of dress extras, courtiers at Salome's dance and soldiers.
This is not the Faust which Méliès made, but another version. The last half of the film is missing. It is interesting to note how, in an effort to let the audience know what the actors were thinking, visions were used as here when the tapestry on the wall gives place to Marguerite’s memory of her meeting with Faust.
In the Border States
During the Civil War, a father living in a border state leaves to join the Union Army. After he leaves, Confederate troops forage on his property, where a soldier encounters one of his daughters. The father himself is wounded on a hazardous mission and must run for his life, pursued by Confederate soldiers.
The Girl Spy Before Vicksburg
The opening scene of our story shows a Union powder wagon making its way down the road convoyed by a company of mounted Union soldiers. The route of this wagon is reported to Confederate headquarters by one of its spies. Nan, a girl frequently employed by the department of the Confederate army, is called to headquarters and instructed to secure the destruction of the enemy's ammunition train just reported. Nan is fitted out with a Union uniform, mounted on a fast horse and sent on her journey, previously provided with a forged order supposedly signed by a Union general which authorizes her to pass through the lines.
Two Johns, a Confederate and an Union soldier, leave their families to go to the front. After a skirmish they end up separated from their respective sides, the Union soldier shoots the Confederate, but he has to escape and look for refuge in the house of his enemy.
White Fawn's Devotion: A Play Acted by a Tribe of Red Indians in America
A frantic child reports to the tribal chief that her father killed her mother. The tribe chases and captures the man, dragging him back for tribal justice.
Ramona, a young girl growing up on her adoptive mother's rancho in California, falls in love with the Indian lad Alessandro. When Ramona is denied permission to marry Alessandro, the two lovers elope, only to find a life of great hardship and unhappiness amidst the bigotry and greed of the white landowners.