Best Movies of 1908
The Thieving Hand
A one-armed street peddler notices that a well-to-do man has dropped his ring. He returns it to him. The wealthy man is very grateful and, to show his appreciation, takes the peddler to a 'Limb Store', where he buys him a new arm. The recipient soon discovers that this new arm has a will of its own - causing him considerable embarrassment.
The Invisible Fluid
Had the poor melancholy Dane, Hamlet, lived in this, the twentieth century, he would never have given voice to the remark, "Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew!" No indeed! He would have procured some of the mysterious fluid compounded by an erudite scientist by which things animate and inanimate were rendered non est, for ten minutes at least, by simply spraying them with it. In an atomizer, he sends a quantity, accompanied by a letter, to his brother. In the hope of his putting it on the market. The brother regards it as a joke, and, while toying with the atomizer, accidentally sprays himself. Presto! he is gone, to the amazement of the messenger boy who has carried the package thither. The boy reads the letter, and at once sees the amount of fun he can get out of it, so he nips it.
Experimental color film that shows a magician and his assistant making objects and people appear and disappear. Then they stack up some blocks and a moving picture of a little girl appears on them.
Dreams of Toyland
Arthur Melbourne Cooper's animation showing a boy's dream of his toys coming to life uses a live action framing device for the dream sequence which uses stop motion techniques to animate a child's toys.
Mr. Jones at the Ball
Mr. Jones at the Ball is a 1908 American silent short comedy film, part of the once-popular Biograph series centered around the titular Jones and his long-suffering wife. In this film, Jones rips his suit pants and chaos ensues.
The Taming of the Shrew
Based on Shakespeare's play. Petruchio courts the bad-tempered Katharina, and tries to change her aggressive behavior.
Rescued from an Eagle's Nest
A woodsman leaves a hut followed by a woman with their baby. Nearby some men chop down a tree. The baby is left outside the hut, but an eagle flies away with it.
The Dream of an Opium Fiend
The opium fiend is seen in a den, puffing on this terrible narcotic. He then falls fast asleep and dreams that he is at home with his wife. He asks for something to drink and he is given wine, which he does not care for, and he is finally given some bottled beer and a glass, but he complains that the glass is too small and he gets a very large sized glass receptacle, into which his wife and maid servant pour the contents of the bottle. As he is about to drink the glass passes from his hand mysteriously, sailing through the room and out of the window to the moon…
A Smoked Husband
After his wife receives an extravagant dress, a man find himself the victim of an attempted burglary; He hides in his fireplace, which is then fired. The police arrive and pursue the man, now covered in soot. He jumps onto the roof below his, landing two dandies into a trough of paint.
The Adventures of Dollie
On a warm and sunny summer's day, a mother and father take their young daughter Dollie on a riverside outing.
Long Distance Wireless Photography
Into a photography studio full of large fantastic machines steps an elderly couple. The bearded proprietor explains the equipment and gives them a demonstration: he starts machines whirring, and projects a painting of three women onto a large screen; suddenly the women begin to move. The customers are impressed. First the women sits in the special seat: she's projected onto the screen, and her good nature comes out in the laughing image. Then it's the man's turn, but the machine discloses a vastly different nature in him. Will his reaction threaten our proprietor's inventions?
Julius Caesar, an Historical Tragedy
Biographical drama, adaptation of Shakespeare's play.
There's a chemistry lab, in which one or two people ingest the wrong drug -- apparently -- and have a seriously bad trip. Then there's this wizard in his cave, and a fairy appears -- then there's this massive feast with about a dozen people. Then it ends.
The Sculptor's Nightmare
At a political club, the members debate whose bust will replace that of Theodore Roosevelt. Unable to agree, each goes to a sculptor's studio and bribes him to sculpt a bust of the individual favorite. Instead, the sculptor spends their fees on a dinner with his model during which he becomes so inebriated that he is taken to jail. There he has a nightmare, wherein three busts are created and animated from clay (through stop-motion photography) in the likenesses of Democrat William Jennings Bryan and Republicans Charles W. Fairbanks and William Howard Taft. Finally an animated bust of Roosevelt appears.
The Call of the Wild
George Redfeather, the hero of this subject, returns from Carlisle, where he not only graduated with high honors, but was also the star of the college football team. At a reception given in his honor by Lieut. Penrose, an Indian agent, the civilized brave meets Gladys, the lieutenant's daughter, and falls desperately in love with her.
Over the Hills to the Poor House
The widowed elderly mother of three adult children, two sons and a daughter, wishing to relieve herself of the burden of care of her property, decides to divide it up among her children. To her son Charles, a wild but kind young fellow, she leaves a small amount, feeling that he will soon run through it. The good-hearted boy is perfectly satisfied, believing in the wisdom of his mother's actions. He assumes she will find a home with one of his siblings, who are married and settled. The old woman moves in with her married son, but is driven out by his wife over an argument about her young granddaughter. She is forced to move into a squalid apartment in a cheap tenement house, but is evicted for failing to pay her rent. Mack Sennett appears as a bartender in this film.
The Zulu's Heart
A Boer woman and her daughter are captured by Zulu warriors.
The central figure is an old miser, a Harpagon of sorts, who, like Frosine, stashes his ill-gotten money in a secret cellar. While the miser is at the bank, exchanging stolen notes for gold coin, a couple of thugs witness the transaction and see their opportunity-- It seems avarice grips the hearts of all those who'd possess the bag.
When Knights Were Bold
Two noblemen fight over a lady.
The Mischance of a Photographer
A family goes to a photographer. The photographer pushes the boy around, and no one seems to care. The boy gets his revenge.
The Bank Robbery
A gang of outlaws are planning a bank robbery. After making preparations, they commit the robbery and make their escape amidst a sharp exchange of bullets. They return to their meeting place, and then hurriedly continue onwards, with lawmen close behind them.
Romance of a Jewess
This early D.W. Griffith short shows the director's interest in Jewish ghetto life, portrayed here with sympathy and sentimentality. The melodramatic plot involves the conflict between generations in an immigrant Jewish family.
Where the Breakers Roar
Mack Sennett appears as a policeman in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
The Black Viper
A thug accosts a girl as she leaves her workplace but a man rescues her. The thug vows revenge and, with the help of two friends, attacks the girl and her rescuer again as they're going for a walk. This time they succeed in kidnapping the rescuer. The girl runs home and gets help from several neighbors. They track the ruffians down to a cabin in the mountains where the gang has trapped their victim and set the cabin on fire.
Father Gets in the Game
D.W. Griffith film about an elderly father who grows tired of seeing his son bring home beautiful women so he gets a makeover and heads out on the prowl.
Justinian's Human Torches
During an orgy, Emperor Justinian orders three people to be torched alive.
Vitagraph production of Shakespeare's Richard III.
An Awful Moment
After a judge (Harry Solter) does his job and sentences a man, a gypsy woman (Marion Leonard) erupts in vehement protests and has to be taken forcefully out of the courtroom. Later the gypsy follows the judge to his home and plots a vicious revenge on his wife (Florence Lawrence).
Humanity Through the Ages
An episodic narrative displaying examples of humankind's brutality, from the story of Cain and Abel through the Hague Convention of 1907.
The Man and the Woman
John and Tom Wilkins are brothers and most divergent in natures. John is a clergyman and a noble, upright fellow, while Tom is a scapegrace, wild, reckless and unscrupulous. Not having the parental guidance so essential in youth, his father being dead and his mother blind, he drifted into bad company, the contaminating influence deeply affecting his susceptible nature.
For Love of Gold
It is often said there is honor among thieves, but not so, as we shall see in this story. Two denizens of the underworld are seen in their squalid furnished room planning a robbery. Their intended victim is known to hold at all times in his safe at home a large sum of money and a wealth of jewels. Gathering together the tools of their nefarious calling, they start off, arriving at the house shortly after the master had retired for the night.
For a Wife's Honor
Irving Robertson, a successful playwright, has just received a message from out of town to witness the initial performance of one of his plays. As he is about to leave, Henderson, the manager, calls to pay a sum due him for royalties. At the same time, Frank Wilson, a friend of the family, drops in.
The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
L. Frank Baum would appear in a white suit and present his live actors, slide shows and films as a live travelogue presentation of his popular fantasies. Highlights include Dorothy being swept to Oz in various ways, such as with back-projection tornadoes and storms in a chicken coop. Lack of financial backing forced the show to fold after appearing in only two cities, despite being a critical and commercial success.
Mack Sennett appears as a waiter in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
The Test of Friendship
Mack Sennett appears as a guest and a man in the fight in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
Le corso tragique
When the father of high-born son refuses to let him marry the beautiful seafood seller, she and her brothers determine on a grisly vengeance.
The Stolen Jewels
It would have taken more than the wonderful powers of deduction of a Sherlock Holmes to have dispelled the mystery that shrouded the disappearance of a case of jewels at the home of Robert Jenkins, a wealthy stockbroker, and although they were eventually brought to light, it was through a most remarkable accident.
Robin Hood and His Merry Men
The outlawed Earl of Huntington took to the woods, as we say in America, and with his merry archers had a good time in Sherwood Forest with winsome Maid Marian and jolly Friar Tuck. The adventures of Robin Hood makes an attractive subject for a pretty film. The first appearance of Robin Hood on the screen.
Der Mann mit den drei Frauen
Two singers do not enter and take up their position in the center of the stage. Instead, the camera discovers them, the woman on her balcony and the man just outside, whereupon they launch into the duet "Liebchen Komi In Mein Stubchen".
Les inconvénients du cinématographe
In this picture we see how the artists engaged to pose for the pictures make the scene so realistic that they get themselves into all kinds of trouble in the city where people are not familiar with their mode of doing things. The first picture shows the camera set to take a picture of a tragic hold-up. The manager gets the people in position, and when they are ready, a woman and girl are seen walking along the street, when three men spring out from behind a wall, and, after stabbing them, go through their pockets, relieving them of all their valuables.
A Woman's Way
The pretty daughter of a French-Canadian backwoodsman incites the love of a trapper who is so smitten with the beauty of this wood nymph that he purchases her into marriage from her father. The transaction meets with repugnance from the girl. She was entirely contented with conditions, a child of nature, carefree. However, she finds her pleading of no avail, and so pretends to accept the situation. The trapper and Canadian go into the cabin to seal the bargain with a drink, and while inside the girl closes and fastens the door on them and makes her way through the woods to escape.
A Christmas Carol
Scrooge goes into his office and begins working. His nephew, along with three women who wish for Scrooge to donate enter. However, Scrooge dismisses them. On the night of Christmas Eve, his long-dead partner Jacob Marley comes as a ghost, warning him of a horrible fate if he does not change his ways.
The Vaquero's Vow
Mack Sennett appears as a man in the bar and in the wedding party in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
The Pirate's Gold
Young Wilkinson is leaving his dear old mother for a journey to seek his fortune in a foreign clime. Now, the little cottage is situated near the coast. The waters of the sea have been infested with a band of gold-thirsty pirates, who pillaged every ship that came their way. Having successfully perpetuated one of their nefarious exploits, they are struck by a storm and forced to put out from their floundering vessel in a small yawl, in which they place a chest of valuables, for the shore.
Dans le sous-marin
A submarine coming into port is seen gliding smoothly on the water and the little rowboat which is to bring the captain of the vessel to his post is seen leaving for shore. We see the dashing young officer bidding his love adieu, and then seating himself in the frail craft is soon once more on duty at the wheel. Away they go, and reaching the wide sea the ship gives a lurch and disappears under the water.
Prolog aus Bajazzo
Sigmund Liban sings forty second from the prologue to PAGLIACCI in this early sound film.
In this interesting picture we are given a vivid idea of the principal incidents connected with the Dreyfus case, which caused such a stir in military circles in the year of 1894. Alfred Dreyfus, an officer on the general staff, was charged with selling secrets to a foreign power. He was tried and judged guilty on flimsy evidence, and sentenced to imprisonment on Devil's Island, where he remained for eight years, until his influential friends, who took up his case in earnest, proved it was a plot formed by other officers, who subsequently confessed to having forged the documents.
St. Kilda, Its People and Birds
Scenes of islanders and seabirds on the remote island of St. Kilda.
The Bandit’s Waterloo (The Outwitting of an Andalusian Brigand by a Pretty Senora)
A gang of lawless freebooters who terrorized the country and made travel in the mountains a hazardous pastime hold up a stylish landau in which are seated an old gentleman, a duenna, and a pretty young Senora. The inevitable happens; all are relieved of their valuables, and while the gentleman and duenna are sent on their way, the girl is held a prisoner.
The Fatal Hour
This one-reeler has been regarded as a classic example of a Griffith thriller. It engages with the Chinese White slave traffic from the perspective of a female detective, played by Marion Leonard, whose assignment is to expose and break the traffic ring. A fragment is widely available.