Best Movies of 1911
Cartoon figures announce, via comic strip balloons, that they will move - and move they do, in a wildly exaggerated style. Also known as "Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and His Moving Comics".
The Lonedale Operator
A young woman takes over her sick father's role as telegraph operator at a railway station, and has to deal with a team intent on train robbery.
Old film of New York City in the year 1911. Print has survived in mint condition. Slowed down footage to a natural rate and added in sound for ambiance. This film was taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to America.
A silent short film telling the classic story of Becky Sharp.
Greater Love Hath No Man
Short film by Alice Guy about a Western love triangle.
The Miser's Heart
Thieves decide to steal the money an old miser has hidden away. He refuses to open the safe for them, so they threaten to kill a little girl who lives in his building.
Stop-motion animation of putty modeling itself into faces.
The setting is the Mexican Revolution and friends Pedro and Alvarez get a message to transport some weapons across the border.
The Rose of Kentucky
A farmer takes in a young orphan after her mother's death and sends her off to school. After she's grown, he encourages her to consider his younger brother as a husband. When the younger brother proves to be a coward, she chooses the older brother instead.
Billy and His Pal
Billy and His Pal, released on February 16, 1911, is about a cowboy, Jim (Francis Ford), who is idolised by young Billy (actress Edith Storey in drag). When Jim runs afoul of a gang of Mexican thieves, it’s up to Billy to rescue his hero. Billy and His Pal is short on plot but long on local atmosphere with the director (probably William Haddock) and cameraman William “Daddy” Paley making the most of the starkly beautiful Texas countryside.
After the Civil War, an ex-soldier and his family settle in the Dakota Territory. The son quarrels with the father and leaves home. Riding in the hills, he spots a band of Indians attacking a neighboring homestead, and he races back to warn his family as the Indians chase him.
By a Woman's Wit
Captain Jasper, a Union officer, is sent on a secret service mission to the Confederate headquarters. Safe through the lines Captain Jasper, disguised as a Commissary Supply Agent, meets old friends who are Northern sympathizers. Visiting Confederate headquarters, information is supplied him by an ally. Suspicion is eventually aroused against the Captain and he is arrested. Pamela, a Southern girl with Northern sympathies, decides to aid the Captain's escape.
The Automatic Motorist
A robot chauffeur takes a newly married couple on their honeymoon to the planet Saturn and then on a trip under the sea.
One of the best looking of the hand-stenciled films: a documentary showing some of the sites around Burgos.
Banks of the Nile
With a dual motion a cruise ship and a fishing boat pass one another on the Nile and butlers in turbans set up a wooden gangway. Thanks to a rope and pulley system cows climb skywards then disappear into the hold of the sailing vessel. On the bank, black-haired women rock back and forth, bursting out laughing and showing the first signs of going into a state of trance. Never-before filmed gestures and faces of the people of the Nile succeed one another, uprooted to an unknown, magical world. The Banks of the Nile is one of the first experiments of film in colour that uses the Kinemacolor process.
Pretty Ann, and Joe, the hostler, one day chance to meet. Strong is Joe, and simple, and Ann is shy and sweet. As man and maid have done before, they love, and marry, too. And live happy ever after? Ah, this tale is new to you! Yes, the tale is drear, prosaic; and so poetry won't do. A baby boy comes to bless the union. Joe is working in the stables when they tell him of his joy: his heart is gay and happy, and he tells the horses so. Then, it might be the angels were jealous of such mortal happiness; it might be the devil, seeing the stage so set, entered to play the leading role.
A loutish husband neglects his patient, loving wife to enjoy a night on the town. When he comes home drunk and irritable, he mistreats her. Then he falls asleep, and has a dream that causes him to reconsider the way that he treats his wife.
The Last Drop of Water
A wagon train heading west across the great desert runs out of water, and is attacked by Indians. One man -- their last hope -- is sent out to find water.
Her Crowning Glory
A widower becomes infatuated with his daughter's governess, to the displeasure of the child and her nurse.
A Tale of Two Cities
A condensed silent film version of the Charles Dickens classic about the French Revolution and its subsequent Reign of Terror.
Pirates of 1920
A band of futuristic cutthroats terrorize the skies on board their powerful airship. After bombing a liner and stealing gold bullion from its hold, the ruffians try to escape, facing only Jack Manley, a valiant naval officer, and Marie Thompson, his sweetheart. (The surviving print lacks the story resolution, which apparently ends when the hero and the police rout the pirates and rescue the kidnapped heroine.)
The Show Girl
Audrey, a charming actress, but classed among the show girls, is invited with some of her stage companions, to have lunch with an old friend, by the name of Dr. Renfrew. The doctor and Audrey, eating together, talk over old times and renew their friendship; she takes his attentions seriously and becomes very much impressed with his pleasant companionship. Night after night the doctor attends the performance in which she appears as the "headliner," and never fails to greet her with generous applause and a bouquet of flowers as marks of admiration. To emphasize his friendship or infatuation he sends her a string of pearls, begging her to accept it as a souvenir of happy days gone by. Through a member of the company in which she is playing, she learns that Dr. Renfrew is married, and at her friend's suggestion redirects his note back to his wife.
The Ranchman's Vengeance
Lorenz Pedro, a Mexican half-breed, owns a small sheep ranch, and lives happily with his wife Marie and little daughter Lois. One exceedingly hot afternoon, Tom Flint, riding across the ranch looking for work is overcome by the heat, and Pedro, acting the part of a good Samaritan, takes him to his home, where Marie, through careful nursing, soon has him quite himself again. Pedro is out daily with his flock, leaving Marie and Flint together, offering an opportunity which Flint ungratefully takes advantage of, resulting in his completely winning Marie's love. Manuelito, Marie's father, is suspicious and comes upon them while Flint is declaring his love.
Union soldiers march off to battle amid cheering crowds. After the battle turns against the Union Army, one soldier runs away, hiding in his girlfriend's house. Ashamed of his cowardice, he finds his courage and crosses enemy lines to bring help to his trapped comrades.
The Coffin Ship
A love story filmed in Long Island Sound with a stowaway and a shipwreck.
The Manicure Lady
The manicure lady spurns the barber and dates a rich cad instead.
The Romantic Story of Margaret Catchpole
The story is founded on fact. In a village on the south coast of England, young Margaret Catchpole is being courted by two rivals, Will Laud, a smuggler, and Lieutenant Barry of the coast guards. She favours Laud, and when he escapes from custody after a government raid on the smugglers, Margaret steals a horse and tries to join him. In a fight with the coast guards, Laud is killed an Margaret is arrested for horse-stealing and transported to Botany Bay. Only part of the film survives today.
Swords and Hearts
A poor girl is secretly in love with a wealthy young planter.
When a Man Loves
Mr. Bach, a wealthy man, visits the scenes of his boyhood days in his auto and meets farmer Brown, his boyhood friend. Brown is the father of a very pretty daughter named Tessie. Bach becomes deeply smitten with the artless little country lass, and secretly hopes to win her. Tessie, however, has a host of admirers in the little village, the favored one being John Watson.
A Doll's House
Based on the play by Henrik Ibsen.
The Ballet Dancer
The ballet pupil Camilla Favier makes for a quick success and falls for the author Jean Mayol. She discovers a love letter to him from a rich married woman and is devastated. In revenge she reveals the secret love story for the cuckolded husband and his guests at a big party. Later she finds a new love message from the wayward wife and brings it to the husband, who gets furious, grabs a pistol and incites the climax of the story.
Manhattan Trade School for Girls
This is a non-fiction film about the Manhattan Trade School for Girls. In 1911, few women got education beyond primary school (especially in the big cities that were full of immigrants). Because of this, women were very limited in their employment options and received very low wages. The idea of this one year trade school was to help these young ladies get a leg up on a variety of trades. Oddly, much of what you see in the film does not seem that related to job skills--such as physical education
Broncho Billy's Christmas Dinner
It's Christmas, and a young woman is on her way to celebrate the holidays with her parents. A group of drunk cowboys startle her horses making her wagon, with the woman on it, speed off. By chance Broncho Billy saves her life and the grateful girl invites him over for Christmas dinner. Little does he know that the young lady is the Sheriff's daughter…
The story of how Lady Godiva came to ride naked through the streets of Coventry.
The Colleen Bawn
A young Irish boy has fallen in love with a poor girl and wants to marry her, but his mother will stop at nothing, including murder, to see that he marries his rich cousin.
Railroad Raiders of '62
Union raiders infiltrate Confederate territory by train. Early film version of the Civil War incident on which Buster Keaton's The General and Disney's The Great Locomotive Chase was based.
She was the first attempt in film to depict the story of H. Rider Haggard's 1886 novel She: A History of Adventure.
Cupid the Conqueror
A young artist, in love with a society girl, finally induces her to consent to pose for him. In a picture which he believes will be his masterpiece, and his confidence is increased when he finds just the child he wants for Cupid, to be in the painting with his lady fair.
Get Rich Quick
An investment plan that tells potential investors they can "get rich quickly" turns out to be a swindle, and investors are in danger of losing all their money.
A Confederate officer is called off to war. He leaves his wife and daughter in the care of George, his faithful Negro servant. After the officer is killed in battle, George continues in his caring duties, faithful to his trust.
Troublesome Secretaries, or How Betty Outwitted Her Father
This is basically a two practical-joke comedy. Bunny is a businessman father and Mabel plays Betty, his lovable daughter. The first practical joke is Betty getting her girlfriend to be daddy's secretary. The secretary sprays perfume on all his papers and tries to make out with him. The second practical joke has Betty getting her boyfriend to put on a wig and old man's outfit and apply for the job of daddy's secretary.
The Primal Call
A young woman who is engaged to a millionaire she doesn't love meets and falls in love with a rough sailor.
Alkali Ike's Auto
Alkali Ike and Mustang Pete are both wooing the same woman. Ike hopes to take her for a horseback ride, but she chooses instead to go with Pete, who has a horse and carriage. Ike trades his horses for an automobile, hoping to win her over that way, but things do not work out as planned.
Based on the story of the real-life 17th Century Irish rebel and the eighteen century ballad about him, this one-reeler is one of the Kalem pictures shot by Olcott and his company on their second trip to the Emerald Isle.
The Cowboy Coward
Henry and Steve, two "bunkies" on the "LL" ranch, are in love with Katie, their employer's daughter. While she likes Steve the best, she feels she cannot accept him because of his craving for gambling. Cash Wilkins, a bully, insults Steve, whereat he receives a good thrashing, and Wilkins, to get even, insults Katie and steals a small revolver that she carries with her. He then sends a note to Katie, that if she wants the gun back to send Henry for it. Henry is afraid of the bully and frightenedly tells Steve that he is afraid he must lose Katie as he can never face Wilkins. Steve looks pityingly at the coward, and taking the note, goes to Wilkin's cabin, and after another thrashing, makes Wilkins write a note of apology to Katie, and a promise to leave the country forever. Steve gives the note and the girl's gun to Henry and tells him to take them to Katie. The girl never suspects and Steve, realizing that "two's company and three's a crowd," packs his clothes and leaves.
The League of Mercy
Helen, an heiress and the ward of Martin Talbot, is interested in charity and rescue work; she is vice president of the League of Mercy. Talbot's son makes love to her and her riches. In her visitations among the sick and poor she finds a young girl with a child. She takes the young mother to her home, aid and comforts her; tries to restore her to health. While she is thus engaged young Talbot, to whom she becomes affianced, enters. The young mother recognizes him as the father of her child. Helen gives back her engagement ring, denounces him and orders him from her home. The sick woman falls back dead. Helen adopts the child and brings it up as a member of her own household.
A love story filled with amusing complications, but the contest is won by Dick because he believes that all is fair in love and manages to circumvent the fates which often decree otherwise. The fortune teller prescribed the mirror test for the girl saw to it that the test was in his favor.
His Trust Fulfilled
Continuing where His Trust (1911) leaves off, George takes care of his deceased master's daughter after her mother's death. He sacrifices his own meager savings to give the girl a good life, until the money runs out and he tries to steal money from the girl's rich cousin.
The Abernathy Kids' Rescue
A short adventure film. Two boys ride through the woods on horseback and are chased by wolves. They climb up a tree and are rescued by their father, who captures the wolves. In real life as well, this man was a well-known wolf-trapper.
Little Red Riding Hood
A little girl walks through the woods to deliver food to her sickly grandmother, only to discover a wolf in her stead.