Two Dickens film snippets from 1901

I haven’t got time to write a full posting tonight, but will just give links to a couple of fascinating very early Dickens adaptations, really just fragments, both dating from 1901. The first is thought to be the very earliest Dickens film in existence, and was recently rediscovered in the BFI’s archive in London after having been wrongly labelled in the past. Entitled The Death of Poor Jo, and only a minute long,  it shows the death of the crossing sweeper from Bleak House. Thanks to Gina from Dickensblog for reminding me about this clip!

The second is Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost, a very early version of A Christmas Carol – only about half of the film survives, making three-and-a-half minutes of footage, but it covers quite a lot of the story through a series of brief scenes. I was impressed to see that even in 1901 the adaptation includes some special effects, such as Marley’s face appearing in the door knocker, and the spirits standing between Scrooge in the foreground and the scenes from Christmas past appearing in the background.

3 thoughts on “Two Dickens film snippets from 1901

  1. Pingback: Wagner and Me, The Central Park Five, Hitler’s Children and Edward Scissorhands on Monday Morning Diary (December 10) « Wonders in the Dark

    • Thank you! I was very impressed with those effects – a shame we don’t have the whole film, but great that this section has survived.


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