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1898-1919

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La Fuite en Égypte
France, 1898

Directed by Alice Guy

  

Alice GUY, a pupil of Louis Gaumont, is considered to have been the world's first female director and a pioneer of french cinema. The biblical La Fuite en Égypte ("the Flight into Egypt") is one of her early works. After marrying cameraman Herbert Blaché in 1907 they together moved to the USA, where they founded the pioneering film company Solax.

Cléopâtre
France, 1899

Jeanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès
Directed by Georges Méliès

  

A man with diabolical intent hacks the Queen's mummy to bits, then resurrects the woman from a smoking brazier.

This first mini-epic Cleopatra ever, 2 minutes long, was filmed by one of the giants of the early French cinema, Georges Méliès (1861-1938), only 4 years after he saw the Lumière Brothers' presentation of the first ever projected film screenings in late 1895. The film was considered lost for a long time, until it was rediscovered in a 'secret depot' in France in 2005. The film has, however, so far remained unavailable to the public. English title: "Cleopatra's Tomb". US-release: "Robbing Cleopatra's Tomb".

The Haunted Curiosity Shop
UK, 1901

Directed by Walter R. Booth

  

An antiquarian is confronted by a several bizarre characters emerging from a cupboard including the top half of an old lady followed by her bottom half, a living mummy whose wrappings fall away to reveal an ancient Egyptian. Then slowly the flesh melts away and only the bare skeleton remains. Three gnomes then emerge and after doing a dance they join to become one. The last appirition is pushed into a jar whereupon a cloud of smoke arises, and through the smoke a head seems to grow larger, causing the old man to flee in terror.

Le Monstre
France, 1903

Directed by Georges Méliès

  

In ancient Egypt, a prince requests a dervish to revive his dead wife who is now a skeleton, but he is horrified when the neck of the woman covered by a sheet grows to strange proportions and dances about. After a time the woman seems to return to normal, but when the prince embraces her and lifts the sheet he finds only her skeleton.

English title: "The Monster".

L'Oracle de Delphe
France, 1903

Directed by Georges Méliès

  

A thief breaks into an Egyptian temple and steals some treasure, but then a ghostly oracle appears who orders the return of the goods. The thief is apprehended by a pair of sphinxes and as punishment his head is magically turned into a donkey head.

Early work by film pioneer Georges Méliès.

Joseph Vendu par ses Frères
France, 1904

Directed by V. Lorant Heilbronn

Joseph is sold by his brothers and taken to Egypt, where he finally lands in jail. There he explains to his fellow prisoners their dreams. The one will gain his liberty while the other will hang. His predictions come true. It was at that time that the King has some dreams which he wanted to have explained. Learning that Joseph could do this, he has him brought before him. Joseph explains his dreams and is appointed Governor.

Silent biblical film by Pathé Frères in 5 parts: "1.Sale - 2.In Captivity - 3.Tempted by Potiphar’s Wife - 4.Explanation of Pharaoh’s dreams - 5.Triumph of Joseph & Apotheosis".

La Vie de Moïse
France, 1905

Silent biblical production by Pathé Frères in six parts: "I. Moses drawn out of the water. 2. The burning bush. 3. Passing through the Red Sea. 4. The Hebrews in the wilderness. 5. Upon Mount Sinai 6. Worship of the golden calf. This very beautiful film shows us the whole life of Moses, from his very infancy to the moment when he delivers the Ten Commandments to his people. The story of Moses is too well known to be repeated and we assure our customers that this film is the truest reproduction possible, its photography being superb. We feel convinced that this subject will soon reach the same high standards as our world-known ‘Life and Passion of Christ." (Lubin publicity...)

The Prophetess of Thebes
USA, 1907

Directed by Georges Méliès

  

Early work by film pioneer Georges Méliès. The setting is a painting of an egyptian tomb in front of which a ghost appears, more dressed as a Greek than as an Egyptian woman. (source: H. Verreth)

The Princess in the Vase
USA, 1908

D.W. Griffith
Directed by Wallace McCutcheon

  

In ancient Egypt, a vision incriminates a princess' adulterous affair. In contemporary Egypt, an Egyptologist dreams that the cremated Egyptian princess is reincarnated from her own ashes in a shattered vase.

Early acting work by D.W. Griffith, who had turned to cinema after an unsuccessful career a as stage actor and writer. He appeared in a number of early films, and in 1908 joined The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in New York finally as a director. He made over 400 one- and two-reelers (15-30 minutes in length). These were typically mostly westerns, romances, comedies, melodramas, historical epics, and adventure tales. In many of these short films, he experimented with early lighting and camera techniques and systematized their use. As such he is considered the greatest American movie pioneer of all time.

Antony and Cleopatra
USA, 1908

Florence Lawrence, Maurice Costello, William Ranus
Directed by James Stuart Blackton, Charles Kent

  

"Scenes: Antony’s meeting with Cleopatra. Rome and Caesar forgotten. Love at first sight. Caesar hears of Antony’s love for Cleopatra. Antony returns to Caesar. Caesar’s anger at Antony. They are reconciled by Antony’s marriage to Caesar’s sister Octavia. Cleopatra’s wild jealousy on hearing of Antony’s marriage. Longing for Cleopatra, Antony leaves Octavia and returns to Egypt. Antony’s Defiance to Caesar. The battle lost, Antony asks Eros to kill him. Cleopatra dies by the sting of the deadly asp.” (source: The Bioscope)

A Vitagraph production.

The Egyptian Mystery
USA, 1909

  

A pendant found in an Egyptian tomb causes any object touched by those who wear it to disappear.

1-reel silent film.

La Momie du Roi
France, 1909

Directed by Gerard Bourgeois

The mummy of the King of Ramsees is brought to life by a professor.

Short silent film. English title: "The Mummy of the King Ramsees".

The Life of Moses
USA, 1909

Patrick Hartigan, William Humphrey, Charles Kent
Directed by J. Stuart Blackton

  

Silent biblical serial by Vitagraph. According to IMDb shown in four successive parts: The Persecution of the Children of Israel by the Egyptians (1909), Forty Years in the Land of Midian (1909), The Plagues of Egypt and the Deliverance of the Hebrews (1909) and The Victory of Israel (1909). After its serial run, it was later shown as a feature, which makes this the oldest surviving American feature. (source: IMDb)

Joseph Vendu par ses Frères
France, 1909

Louis Delaunay, Philippe Garnier, Jacques Guilhène

  

Silent biblical production by Le Film d’Art/Pathé Frères. "A satisfactory and clear interpretation of this old story. Every child knows it, and it is here presented in the beauty of Oriental color. One need not repeat it, but one may commend it as an adequate representation of a subject which appeals to all who read the Bible. The story is closely followed, since it is sufficiently dramatic in itself to hold interest without the necessity of resorting to rearrangement or additions. The whole narrative is reproduced, and so graphically is it done that a stronger impression than the mere reading was capable of producing is made upon the audience. [...]" (source: The Moving Picture World, 12 March 1910)

Cleopatra’s Lover
USA, 1909

  

“In this reel from the Vitagraph workshop the exceptional attractiveness of the Sorceress of the Nile is strikingly depicted and the cold indifference of this same passionate woman is clearly reproduced as the dawn approaches and she hastens the death of her crazed peasant lover in causing him to drink the poisoned cup and fall dead at her feet, as she rises to meet Antony returning. It is a strong film and the story is strong, exerting a peculiar effect upon those who watch it, an effect which is exhilarating, without being altogether pleasant.” (source: The Moving Picture World)

A Vitagraph production.

Wanted, a Mummy
UK, 1910

Directed by A.E. Coleby

  

A man pretends to be a living mummy.

Short silent film produced by Cricks & Martin.

Le Roman de la Momie
France, 1910

Jeanne Grumbach, Romuald Joubé, Jeanne Brindeau, Louis Ravet
Directed by Albert Capellani, Henri Desfontaines

  

While in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Queen, egyptologist Lord Evandale falls asleep and dreams that he is romantically involved with the Queen during her reign. When he awakes he meets a girl whose features are similar to those of the beautiful ancient ruler.

Based on the story " Le Roman de la Momie" (1857) by Theophile Gautier.

Au Temps des Pharaons
France, 1910

Jacquinet, Stacia Napierkowska, Georges Wague
Directed by Gaston Velle

  

The title suggests this film plays in the 'time of the pharaohs', but no further details are known.

Giuseppe Ebreo
Italy, 1910

Alfredo Bracci, Gianna Terribili-Gonzales, Emilio Ghione

Early hand-coloured silent version of story of Joseph in Egypt produced by Cines.

Isis
France, 1910

Léontine Massart, Fernand Rivers, Jeanne Bérangère, Jane Dumontil
Directed by Gaston Velle

  

Produced by Serie d'Art / Pathé Fréres. "An Egyptian drama representing the moon goddess in a love complication. For a goddess she engages in a very commonplace lover’s quarrel, but eventually the differences are all solved and everybody is satisfied, including the goddess, who reascends her pedestal and changes back to stone". (source: Moving Picture World, 10 December 1910)

Cléopâtre
France, 1910

Madeleine Roch, Stacia de Napierkowska
Directed by Henri Andréani, Ferdinand Zecca

  

“We see Antony come in the glory of conquest to Egypt; we watch Cleopatra go forth to meet the subduer of her people, that she may see his face; we behold the mighty warrior, invincible in the battlefield, fall a victim to the passion of love, and we see his final surrender of country and honor when he decides to remain by the side of Cleopatra in Egypt. Caesar then sets forth to be revenged upon the lover-traitor. He overcomes the Egyptians; and in a poignant scene Antony stabs himself, paying in his life-blood for the glory of his love. Last comes the tragic end; where Cleopatra, the incomparable queen, consummates her passion also by death, holding to her breast the stinging asp, while the Romans batter at her gates and trample outside upon the body of her lover.” (source: The Bioscope)

A Serie d'Art / Pathé Fréres production.

Le Caprice du Vainqueur
France, 1910

Mlle Rianza, Gabriel Moreau, Delphine Renot
Directed by Ferdinand Zecca, Henri Andréani

  

“Caesar one day beholds Tsit, a daughter of Tagra, as she is drawing water by the Nile, and her beauty so excites his admiration that he commands that she shall appear before him in his palace. After much delay she does so, and there dances to him so wonderfully that he rises in his seat to clasp her in his arms. But at this moment scarlet tongues of fire leap from between the pillars, rapidly making their sinuous way across t he ceiling until the whole place is in flames. The Egyptians, unable to endure tyranny any longer, have revenged themselves, and the last picture of all shows the smoking ruins of Caesar’s palace, standing for the token of their victory over the Romans.” (source: The Bioscope)

Caesar in Egypt
France, 1910

  

While in Egypt, the Roman general Julius Caesar falls in love with the beautiful Tsit, one of the daughters of Tagra. This is much to the dismay of the Egyptians, who set fire to his palace. It soon becomes a burning furnace, the glowing walls fall and crush the hitherto victorious Romans, while the Egyptians save Tagra and her daughters.

French production by Pathé Frères. Original French title unknown.

The Passions of an Egyptian Princess
USA, 1911

Julie Meijer
Directed by Theo Frenkel

  

Story about the passions of Cleopatra. One of 54 movies produced in Kinemacolor, an early colour motion picture process used commercially from 1908 to 1914. It was a two-color additive color process, photographing and projecting a black-and-white film behind alternating red and green filters. This process was never a success, partly due to the expense of installing special Kinemacolor projectors in theaters.

The Mummy
USA, 1911

A professor dreams that an ancient mummy comes to life.

Short silent film produced by Urban.

The Mummy
USA, 1911

William Garwood, Harry Benham

  

An electric current accidentally brings a female mummy back to life with decidedly romantic inclinations, much to the surprise of a young Egyptologist and his less than understanding fiancée. (source: IMDb)

Short silent film produced by Thanhauser.

She
USA, 1911

Marguerite Snow, James Cruze, Viola Alberti
Directed by George Nichols

  

The story follows adventurer Leo Vincey who receives a mysterious legacy from his father. He goes to Africa to search the truth behind the death of an ancestor called Kallikrates. This Kallikrates was an Egyptian priest slain by an ancient sorceress queen Ayesha, She-Who-Must-Be Obeyed, a 2000-year-old ruler of the Lost World of Kôr. With his friends Leo travels through dangerous regions and reaches catacombs of the Kingdom of Kôr. There they encounter She, the white Queen of the Amahagger people.

Silent film produced by Thanhauser (approx. 24 minutes). The first film version of H. Rider Haggard's classic adventure story "She" from 1887, a magnificent Victorian tale about an expedition to a far-off locale shadowed by magic, mystery, and death. Haggard was also responsible for adventure story's like "King Solomon's Mines" and "Allan Quartermain".

Moïse Sauvé des Eaux
France, 1911

Jean Jacquinet, Madeleine Roch
Directed by Henri Andréani

  

Early silent biblical film by Serie d'Art / Pathé Fréres. "This film deals with Moses’ birth and adoption. For three months the parents conceal the child, laying him in masses of straw when the soldiers, acting on Pharaoh’s edict to destroy all the newly-born male children, enter the house, and thrust their spears through the pillow. Later the mother takes the babe down to the banks of the Nile, and leaves it amongst the reeds, where it is found and adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh, who accepts the services of the mother to nurse the child.” (source: The Bioscope, 12 January 1911)

La Sposa del Nilo
Italy, 1911

Fernanda Negri Pouget, Orlando Ricci, Gastone Monaldi
Directed by Enrico Guazzoni

Ranses, a young Egyptian, tells his betrothed Amebi that the streets of Thebes are crowded with people waiting for the Nile to flood the country and give fertility to the soil. Prayers are offered up and offerings made at the Temple, including two doves presented by the young lovers. Isis responds that a young virgin should be consecrated to her in the Nile. Amerbi joins the throng of virgins circling the image of the goddess and to her lover’s dismay, it is she who is chosen to be sacrificed. She is borne away into an inner sanctum. Stricken with anguish, Ranses seeks his friends who advise him to remove her by force. The attempt is made, but in vain; the lovers are arrested. Amebi is carried back into the temple and Ranses is ejected with a curse. Later Amebi is arrayed as a bride and led forth to her doom. At the bank of the Nile she faints on the ground. The High Priest lifts her and the cruel decree of Isis is fulfilled as she is flung into the water. (source: BFI)

Produced by Cines.

Aida
USA, 1911

Mary Fuller, Marc MacDermott, Miriam Nesbitt
Directed by Oscar Apfel, J. Searle Dawley

  

"It seems scarcely necessary to repeat the story, the scene of which is laid in Egypt, and begins when Aida, the Ethiopian princess, who is a prisoner in the hands of the Egyptians, is given as a slave to Amneris, the daughter of the Egyptian king, and wins the affection of Radames, lover. The story ends with the death of Radames, who is buried alive?Amneris for treason, in disclosing to Aida the plans for an Egyptian campaign against Ethiopia. When he enters the stone tomb which is to be sealed up with him inside he finds Aida already awaiting him there, proving her great love, by choosing to die with him. There are numerous interesting scenes reproducing life at the ancient court of Egypt." (source: The Moving Picture World)

A 12 minute film by Edison. The film premiered May 6, 1911 with live Aida music. Contemporary critics thought it a magnificent reproduction of the opera.

Aida
Italy, 1911

Bianca Lorenzoni, Rina Agozzini Alessio, Virgilio Frigerio

  

Il Film d’Arte Italiana / Pathe Freres production.

Cleopatra
USA, 1912

Helen Gardner, Pearl Sindelar
Directed by Charles L. Gaskill

  

Ventidius, a Roman soldier, issues Cleopatra, the sovereign of Egypt, an order to meet Mark Antony at Tarsus to answer charges of conspiracy. Antony, bewitched by Cleopatra, remains with her until he receives news of his wife Flavia's death. In Rome Antony marries Octavia, the sister of Octavius, for political reasons. Although infuriated with her unfaithful lover, Cleopatra rushes to Actium when she learns that Antony's fleet there is under siege. Because Cleopatra's navy ultimately deserts him at Actium, Antony is defeated; he nonetheless rouses his forces to defend her from Octavius in Egypt. Antony, again suffering defeat, stabs himself, and Cleopatra, rather than be displayed in Rome as Octavius' prisoner, presses an adder to her breast and dies. (source: AFI)

Early attempt to use ancient history as the inspiration for a film drama. Helen Gardner and her troupe filmed a stage production, typical for the time. The plot is adapted from Victorien Sardou's 1890's play "Cléopâtre", which on the stage in Paris starred the legendary Sarah Bernhardt.

The Mummy
UK, 1912

Directed by A.E. Coleby

  

A man poses as a revived mummy to fool his sweetheart's father.

L'Anneau Fatal
France, 1912

Jean Aymé, Renée Carl, Jean Devalde
Directed by Louis Feuillade

  

An Egyptian tomb is excavated under the supervision of Napoleon Bonaparte, but one soldier steals a cursed scarab ring from the mummy that causes anyone who possesses it to die. The soldier's sweetheart dreams of a mummy and is then killed by a burglar; an antique dealer obtains the ring and dies with blotches on his arms and a man who buys the ring is shot. An Egyptologist returns the ring back to the mummy causing the ancient's eyes to glow.

When Soul Meets Soul
USA, 1912

Francis X. Bushman, Dolores Cassinelli, Fred Wolf
Directed by J. Farrell MacDonald

  

The mummy of an Egyptian princess is acquired by her reincarnated lover.

15 minutes silent film.

The Mummy and the Cowpuncher
USA, 1912

Ruth Roland, John E. Brennan, Otto Lederer

  

This early western movie is said to feature an Egyptian mummy, though this could as yet not be verified.

La Rosa di Tebe
Italy, 1912

Francesca Bertini, Amletto Novelli, Ignazio Lupi
Directed by Enrico Guazzoni

  

King Ramsete hears talk about the beauty of Selime, called 'The Theban Rose'. Curious, he goes to have a look at her in disguise. He comes under her spell and, making sure she is kidnapped and taken to his palace, falls desperately in his love with her. Swears and prayers leave Selime's heart untouched though. She loves Efraim, the shepherd, who, raging with jealousy, tries to kill the king but ends up in prison. Now Efraim's fate is in Selime's hands. If she yields to Ramsete, Efraim will be free. But she refuses, despising the king, who looses every hope of love. Thus he orders that the shepherd is to pick his 'Theban Rose' and that the wedding festivities are to take place with great solemnity. When the married couple are invited to the palace, Selime is handed a jewel box, the wedding present from the king. When Efraim opens it he finds in it a dagger covered in blood. It is the weapon with which Ramsete had stabbed himself in the heart.

Silent production by Cines.

Rameses, King of Egypt
Italy, 1912

A sole reference to this film by the Italian film company Cines is found in Jon Solomon, "The Ancient World in the Cinema" (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001), but no other info is known. Also the original Italian title is unknown.

La Momie
France, 1913

Paul Manson, Marguerite Lavigne, Henri Gallet, Madeleine Guitty
Directed by Louis Feuillade

  

Joseph Fils de Jacob
France, 1913

Directed by Henri Andréani

  

Early silent version of story of Joseph in Egypt produced by Andréani Film/Pathé Frères.

Marcantonio e Cleopatra
Italy, 1913

Ida Carloni Talli, Bruto Castellani, Matilde Di Marzio
Directed by Enrico Guazzoni

  

“Superb scenes are the fall of Alexandria before Octavius; his triumphant entry afterwards at Rome; the landing of Roman troops in Egypt by moonlight, the long and silent march to Alexandria; the Alexandrian pageants in which Antony and Cleopatra participated, and the great interior scene in the royal palace on the night that was to be forever remembered. What terrific battle scenes are shown on the lofty flight of steps leading up to the royal palace entrance, and on the Nile within the city. ?Signora Gonzal­es is graceful and possesses a beautiful and expressive face. Her acting at all times shows keen intelligence and a fine grasp of the situation in hand. The death scene, which is admirably done, is stately and affecting.” (source: The Moving Picture World)

Nel Regno dei Faraoni
Italy, 1913

As the title reveals, this short silent movie plays in the 'times of the pharaohs', but the exact content is not known.

Joseph in the Land of Egypt
USA, 1914

James Cruze, Marguerite Snow, John Lehnberg
Directed by Eugene Moore

  

Joseph of Canaan is sold into slavery by his brothers who are jealous of their father's affection for him. They dip his coat into goat's blood and tell the grieving old man that Joseph was slain by a wild beast. After many years, Joseph has become prominent in the pharaoh's house because of his gift for prophesy and dream divination. Because Joseph has foretold a seven-year famine, Egypt has prepared by setting aside stores of grain, but Canaan is struck hard by the blight. Joseph's brothers go to the pharaoh's steward seeking aid, unaware that Joseph is their benefactor. In return for his help, Joseph insists that they bring their youngest brother Benjamin to him, and then, during the visit, Joseph hides a valuable cup with him. The brothers are then seized for theft, after which Joseph reveals himself and proclaims his love and forgiveness for his family. (source: AFI)

Also known as "Joseph and His Brethren" and "Joseph, Son of Jacob".

The Egyptian Mummy
USA, 1914

Constance Talmadge, Billy Quirk, Lee Beggs
Directed by Lee Beggs

  

Connie and Billy are young and in love, but Connie's father does not approve. Billy's contrivances make no headway until the mummy of Ramses III is delivered to the house of her father! (source: IMDB)

Short silent film.

Oh! You Mummy
USA, 1914

Pearl White, Vivian Prescott, Charles De Forrest
Directed by Phillips Smalley

  

A still photo of actress Pearl White on a camel in front of the sphinx exists, but whether this has a relation to the film "Oh! You Mummy" is still unclear.

The Last Egyptian
USA, 1914

Joseph F. MacDonald, Howard Davies, Jefferson Osborne
Directed by L. Frank Baum

  

"A Thrilling Oriental Romance Full of Love and Adventure"

Kara, the last descendent of the pharaohs, promises his dying grandmother Hatatcha that he will avenge her rape by Lord Roane, an Englishman living in Egypt. In Cairo, Kara becomes rich and powerful, and then, when he meets Roane, he offers to cancel the Englishman's gambling debts if Roane will offer his daughter Lady Aneth in marriage. Wanting to save her father, Lady Aneth agrees to the marriage, not realizing that Kara has planned a mock ceremony. Before the marriage is consummated, however, Lady Aneth is saved by Winston Bey, her English lover, who hides her on his yacht. Later, Aneth is taken prisoner by Tadros and his gang, who refuse to surrender her to Kara until a ransom is paid. Kara plans to use a treasure hidden in a hidden tomb for this purpose, but Viscount Consinor, Aneth's brother, seals the Egyptian in the tomb and then is slain himself by a slave girl who mistakes him for Kara. Finally, Aneth is rescued by British troops and reunited with Bey. (source: www.afi.com)

Short silent fantasy adventure based on the novel "The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile" by director L. Frank Baum. Baum wrote many books for children and is best known for "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". The only known copy of the film, consisting of three of the five reels, is currently held by the Museum of Modern Art.

Naidra, the Dream Worker
USA, 1914

Mignon Anderson, Riley Chamberlin, J. Morris Foster
Directed by George Kleine

  

A thief steals a mummy's necklace only to find that he can't get rid of it.

Short silent film.

Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors
USA, 1914

Emile La Croix, John St. Polis

  

Incidents depicted in the life of Joseph of Canaan include: the conspiracy of his brothers to sell him into slavery and strip him of the coat of many colors given to him by his father Jacob; Jacob's grief upon seeing the torn coat and hearing from the brothers that Joseph died under a lion's claw; Joseph's hardships as a slave; his arrival in Egypt; his life as a slave in the house of Potiphar, an Egyptian official, whose wife Zelikah tries to seduce Joseph; his imprisonment; his prophecy, which comes true, telling of life for one fellow prisoner and death for another; his interpretation for the pharaoh of the dream of the seven lean and seven fat kine; the seven years of famine in Egypt; and the reconciliation with his father, brothers, their wives and children in Egypt. (source: AFI)

Early silent version of story of Joseph in Egypt produced by Sawyer. Re-released as "Joseph and his Brethren" in 1915 by Dormet Film Co.

Through the Centuries
USA, 1914

Harold Lockwood, Mabel Van Bueren, Henry W. Otto
Directed by Fred Huntley

  

Two archaeologists discover an ancient Egyptian princess who has been in suspended animation for 2000 years in a tomb. The Princess is revived and the archaeologists learn that they are reincarnations of the two men who were rivals for her love.

The Necklace of Rameses
USA, 1914

Miriam Nesbitt, Rex Ingram
Directed by Charles Brabin

  

The Dust of Egypt
USA, 1915

Antonio Moreno, Edith Storey, Hughie Mack
Directed by George D. Baker

  

After returning home late and drunken from his engagement party, Geoffrey Lascelles is put in charge of an Egyptian mummy by his friend Simpson, an amateur archaeologist. Geoffrey falls asleep and dreams that the mummy revivifies as Amenset, a demanding princess who invades Geoffrey's apartment and then his life. At the home of Geoffrey's fiancée, Violet Manning, Amenset not only wreaks havoc with the butler, Billings, but her jealousy of Violet causes problems as well. Battling the confusion of telephones, matches and other modern inventions, Amenset becomes angry with Simpson and threatens to poison him, but Geoffrey wisely takes the princess back to his apartment before damage is done. Once returned, Geoffrey wakes, thankful to find his adventure nothing but the dust of Egypt. (source: www.afi.com)

From the play by Alan Campbell.

When the Mummy Cried for Help
USA, 1915

Lee Moran, Eddie Lyons, Victoria Forde
Directed by Al Christie, Horace Davey

  

A man disguises himself as a mummy.

His Egyptian Affinity
USA, 1915

Victoria Ford, Eddie Lyons, Lee Moran
Directed by A.E. Christie

  

A revived 3000 year old Princess meets her reincarnated lover, but they are pursued by the reincarnated son of a sheik.

The Live Mummy
UK, 1915

  

A man poses as an Egyptian mummy in order to fool a scientist.

15-minutes silent film.

Mumiens Halsbånd
Denmark, 1915

Valdemar Psilander, Frederik Jacobsen, Ingeborg Spangsfeldt
Directed by Robert Dinesen

  

The owner of an ancient Egyptian necklace has trouble keeping hold of it as she is pursued by thieves.

The Egyptian scenes were filmed on location among the sand dunes of Denmark's Atlantic coast.

Sfinxens Hemmelighed
Denmark, 1915

Thorleif Lund, Alma Hinding, Valdemar Psilander
Directed by Robert Dinesen

The Avenging Hand
USA, 1915

Dorothy Bellew, Douglas Payne, Sydney Vautier
Directed by Charles Calvert

  

An Egyptian princess goes to London looking for the hand cut off by marauding archaeologists.

The first, full length horror feature produced in Britain. Also known as "The Wraith of the Tomb".

Filibus
Italy, 1915

Giovanni Spanoi, Cristina Ruspoli, Mario Marian
Directed by Mario Roncoroni

  

Baroness Troixmonde, also known as Filibus, uses a state-of-the-art zeppelin to steal some priceless artifacts, including an ancient Egyptian onyx cat statue with hypnotic powers. Detective Hardy tries to stop her, but to no avail.

The Modern Sphinx
USA, 1916

Winifred Greenwood, Edward Coxen, Robert Klein
Directed by Charles Bennett

  

An ancient Egyptian girl is placed in suspended animation for 3,000 years by her astrologer father, and awakes in the present to have a tragic love affair and commit suicide, but she finds herself alive and unharmed back in ancient Egypt.

3-reel silent film.

The Perils of Pork Pie
UK, 1916

Billy Merson, Charles Cohen
Directed by W.P. Kellino

  

A man dreams that he buys a museum in which an Egyptian mummy comes to life and crowns him pharoh of Egypt.

The Man from Egypt
USA, 1916

Larry Semon, Hughie Mack, Jewel Hunt
Directed by Larry Semon, Graham Baker

  

A Vitagraph picture based on Norma Lorimer’s "There Was a King in Egypt".

A Terrible Tragedy
USA, 1916

Oliver Hardy, Billy Bowers, Jerold T. Hevener
Directed by Jerold T. Hevener

  

Reporter Emile Scribbler discovers a gang of subversives, but they capture him and imprison him in a box. Later when some of the gang members come to retrieve the box they go to the wrong address and steal a professor's Egyptian mummy.

Early Oliver Hardy film, here 24 years old, who was not to team up with Stan Laurel until 1927.

Christo
Italy, 1916

Alberto Pasquali, Leda Gys, Amleto Novelli
Directed by Giulio Antamoro

  

This film about the life of Jesus contains several scenes which seem to have been shot on location in Egypt, which was still exceptional in 1916. In one we see the adult Jesus preaching amongst the archaeological remains at Karnak.

Intolerance, Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages
USA, 1916

Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron
Directed by D.W. Griffith

  

This three-and-a-half hour innovative piece of the Silent Era addresses mankind's persistent intolerance through the ages in four parallel storylines situated in ancient Babylon, Judea, the French Renaissance and modern America. Contemporary reviewers praised the film for its historical accuracy, but looking back the historical details are quite poor. The storyline has nothing to do with ancient Egypt, but the film does feature a number of Egyptian elements as integral part of Mesopotamian culture: the Babylonian king Belshazzar walks about with a large Ankh, the statue of the goddess Ishtar has Isis-like features, the 'Princess Beloved' in some scenes wears an Egyptian headdress and eye makeup, and in a court girls can be observed performing a typical 'walk like an Egyptian' dance'. The film did not do well at the box-office and Griffith ordered parts to be reused for later movies. As a result, in 1919 the Babylonian section of the film was released separately under the title "The Fall of Babylon".

Cleopatra
USA, 1917

Theda Bara, Fritz Leiber, Thurston Hall, Alan Roscoe
Directed by J. Gordon Edwards

  

Leading his conquering forces into Egypt, Julius Caesar falls madly in love with Cleopatra and the two rule Egypt jointly. When Caesar is assassinated after having returned to Rome to be crowned king of the civilized world, Mark Antony journeys to Egypt to secure Cleopatra's submission to the ruling triumvirate in Rome. Although Antony and Cleopatra are passionately in love, Antony returns to Rome and marries Octavia, sister of Octavius, to cement the triumvirate politically. When he discovers that Cleopatra still loves him, Antony joins forces with her but is vanquished by the forces of Octavius at Actium. Antony stabs himself, and when Cleopatra learns of his death, she applies a venomous asp to her breast and dies. (source: AFI)

No copy of this film survives. The film is, however, legendary for Theda Bara playing the famous part. Said to have been born in the shadow of the pyramids (no doubt a studio promotional stunt), she was one of the most successful and glamorous stars of the 1910s. Of more than 40 films she made between 1914 and 1926 only three remain. Her stage name, Theda Bara, is said to be an anagram of 'Arab Death'.

The Undying Flame
USA, 1917

Olga Petrova, Mahlon Hamilton, Edward Mordant
Directed by Maurice Tourneur

  

In ancient Egypt a Princess is loved by a simple Shepherd, to the great displeasure of the King, who orders the offending lover be buried alive, for he had promised his daughter to the builder of the Temple. Breaking a double scarab in two, the shepherd and the Princess each keep a broken half and pledge that their souls will be reunited in death. Centuries later Capt. Harry Paget of the English garrison at the Sudan is enchanted by Grace Leslie, the daughter of Sir Hector Leslie, commander of the garrison. Mrs. Harvey, the wife of another officer, is also in love with the captain, and lures him to a meeting on the desert, causing him to miss a surprise drill. Grace, learning of the drill, rushes to inform Paget in time, thus interrupting the illicit meeting. Because of his disgrace, Paget volunteers for duty in a desert outpost and Grace, after learning the truth from Mrs. Harvey, falls into the captain's arms and announces that she will go to the desert with him, when it is discovered that each possesses a piece of the broken scarab. (source: www.afi.com)

The Image Maker
USA, 1917

Valda Valkyrien, Harris Gordon, Inda Palmer
Directed by Eugene Moore

  

While on a visit to Florida, Marion Bell, a young actress, and John Arden meet and find themselves strongly drawn to each other. They fail to understand the force propelling them together until they discover a volume of the Royal Romances of Egypt and realize that they are reincarnated counterparts of Prince Isa and Ashubetis, the "image maker". Thousands of years earlier, the pharaoh, the father of Prince Isa, who had planned a royal wedding, is enraged at his son's love for the lowly image or pottery maker and orders her thrown to the crocodiles. The modern day lovers, also objects of parental opposition, find themselves forcefully separated when Marion must go to Egypt to join a film company. Arden follows, and on the anniversary of the prince's death 5,000 years before, the couple meet at the prince's tomb and vow never to be parted again. (source: www.afi.com)

Produced by Thanhouser.

Thais
USA, 1917

Mary Garden, Hamilton Revelle, Crauford Kent
Directed by Hugo Ballin, Frank Hall Crane

  

Paphnutius, a wealthy young citizen of ancient Alexandria, is captivated by the beauty of the famous courtesan Thais. While leaving her house, he is attacked by a rival whom he slays in self-defense. Paphnutius, who has studied the doctrines of the early Christians, is overcome with remorse and flees to the desert to join a Christian colony. Later, he imagines that it is his heaven-sent mission to revisit Alexandria and reclaim Thais. Her former love for him, enforced by his eloquence and determination, persuades Thais to foresake her wicked ways and follow him into the desert where she becomes one of the nuns. Haunted by visions of her former luxurious life, however, Thais resolves to return to it. She starts alone across the desert, drops exhausted and repents. Found by the nuns, she is pronounced purged of sin and is taken back to the Christian retreat. Meanwhile, Paphnutius, who has yielded to his old earthly passion for Thais, regrets that he has taken her from her life of luxury. He finds her dying and confesses his sin in prayer as she dies. (source: AFI)

Based on the novel by Anatole France (1844-1924). Produced by Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn using a combination of both last names to create the name. Seeing an opportunity, Samuel Goldfish then had his name legally changed to Samuel Goldwyn. He merged the company with movie theater magnate Marcus Loew and his Metro Pictures Corporation giving the "Leo the Lion" trade mark to their new entity. When Metro Pictures acquired Louis B. Mayer Pictures, it resulted in a new studio with the legendary name Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). From the end of the Silent Film Era through World War II, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the preeminient motion picture studio in Hollywood, with the greatest output of all of the studios.

The Fatal Ring
USA, 1917

Werner Oland, Pearl White, Earle Foxe
Directed by George B. Seitz

  

A ring found in Egypt renders the wearer invisible. Owner Pearl Standish finds herself at odds with some thieves who want to steal it and a High Priestess and her accomplices who want to take it back to Egypt.

Mercy, the Mummy Mumbled
USA, 1918

Mattie Edwards
Directed by R.G. Philips

  

A comedy with a predominantly black cast produced by the white-owned, Chicago-based Ebony Film company. Such films were primarily destined for black-owned theaters across the country. Whether the mummy mentioned in the title is actually Egyptian is not yet known.

Die Augen der Mumie Ma
Germany, 1918

Emil Jannings, Pola Negri, Margarete Kupfer
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

  

The painter Albert Wendland is traveling in Egypt when he happens upon a beautiful but shy young Egyptian girl fetching water. Back at the hotel in Cairo with a group of European visitors, Prince Hohenfels expresses interest in visiting the burial tomb of Queen Ma; he is warned against it, since another European went and returned mad. When Albert attempts to question the victim, the man cries out, "The eyes are alive!" Disregarding the warning, Albert visits the tomb; there he meets Radu, an Egyptian who offers to give him a tour. When Wendland sees the living eyes (actually a person standing behind a door), he attempts to open the door but Radu tries to stand in his way. In the ensuing struggle Radu is shot. Behind the door Albert finds the frightened Ma, the same girl he saw fetching water; she tells how she was abducted by Radu and made his slave. Albert takes her with him to Europe. In the meanwhile, Prince Hohenfels finds the wounded Radu in the desert and takes him to Europe as well. Radu vows to find Ma, who is currently living with Wendland and performing as a dancer for a variety show. It is only a matter of time before Radu spots her and plans for a fateful confrontation. (source: www.tcm.com)

English title: "The Eyes of the Mummy". An early film from Ernst Lubitsch, whose success story after his emigration to Hollywood is responsible for some of the better American musicals and comedies.

The Silent Mystery
USA, 1918

Francis Ford, Rosemary Theby, Mae Gaston
Directed by Francis Ford

  

A jewel stolen from an Egyptian mummy is cursed as an invisible force pursues those responsible.

Cleopatsy
USA, 1918

Armando Novello, Dora Rogers

  

This short with Armando Novello, who plays Toto the Clown, is a parody on the romance between Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. Novello played Toto in a series of 18 shorts with Hal Roach Studios, until he suddenly quit in 1918 and was replaced by Stan Laurel who continued for another 5 productions. The comedy about Toto and Cleopatra was remade in Italy in 1963 as part of a new Toto series, this time with Neapolitan actor Antonio 'Totò' de Curtis.

The Cook
USA, 1918

Buster Keaton, Roscoe Arbuckle
Directed by Roscoe Arbuckle

  

This 22 minute film by Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton was presumed lost until 1996. Set in a restaurant, it contains a sequence where an exotic dancer in an Arabian costume is performing for the customers. Although Buster is in the midst of waiting tables the music inspires him to participate and perform a pseudo-Egyptian 'snake dance'. Back in the kitchen Roscoe, the cook, manages to top him when he joins in, transforming common kitchen items into a Cleopatra costume.

Romans and Rascals
USA, 1918

Larry Semon, Madge Kirby
Directed by Larry Semon

  

In ancient Rome, 'king Seezer' is feeling down after a row with his mistress. His Egyptian doctor can't find anything physically wrong with him. When one of his advisors tells him to get out more, he immediately offers a wandering minstrel (played by the same actor) to switch places. That is, until the minstrel gets a little too familiar with the king's mistress.

One-reeler Vitagraph short of about 9 minutes where the Roman setting provides ample opportunity for a very high concentration of gag titles, many of which derive their humor from the ancient Romans using a lot of hip 1918-era slang. Listed here because of the small role of the Egyptian doctor.

The Beetle
UK, 1919

Leal Douglas, Fred Morgan, Maudie Dunham
Directed by Alexander Butler

  

A beetle is possessed by the soul of an ancient Egyptian princess, who is determined to get her revenge on a member of the British Parliament. (source: IMDb)

The Trail of the Octopus
USA, 1919

Howard Crampton, Neva Gerber, Ben F. Wilson
Directed by Duke Worne

  

A private detective investigates attempts by criminals to get a hold of an ancient Egyptian artifact known as "The Devil's Trademark".

Film serial from 1919 consisting of 14 episodes totaling 7 hours.

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