100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

“From The Manger To The Cross” Movie Premieres In Great Britain

The 1905 “The Life and Passion Jesus Christ” was from French film company Pathé It was largely a filmed stage pageant in the Catholic tradition done in France. Sidney Olcott was a film actor with the Biograph Studios in America. Within a short time he was directing films and became a general manager. Olcott was lured away by the Kalem Company for $10 dollars per picture, one, one-reel picture of about a thousand feet every week. After making a number of very successful films for the Kalem studio, including Ben Hur (1907) with its dramatic chariot race scene Olcott became the company’s president.

Film technique had improved greatly. Olcott had made the first American films abroad when he made some Irish films in 1910. Olcott wants to film the story of Jesus with a more Protestant slant in the Holy Land. It will cost $35,000, a large amount for a motion picture. It will film in Egypt (Cairo, the Pyramids), Palestine (Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tiberias, and Bethlehem.

On October 3, 1912 Olcott releases FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS in London, a 5 reel behemoth coming in at 70 minutes, a unheard of length at the time. It will be released soon in New York and Paris. There had been some controversy for some religious Christians felt that Christ should not be depicted in film.


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