May Clark, Cecil M...
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Alice in Wonderland (1903)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is a novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, known under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. Lewis Carroll's character is arguably a bit questionable concerning his relationship with Alice Liddell for whom many believe he wrote the the "Alice" and the "Through the Looking Glass" stories.
A lot of work went into the making of this film. Costumes were based on the original drawings of Sir John Tenniel Ė Carrollís original illustrator for the book. And Hepworth and Stow devised some innovative "trick shots" especially for the film.
Read about the painstaking restoration of the last surviving print by the BFI here. According to Bryony Dixon of the BFI, it seems to have been one of the oldest colour (or at least, tinted) films in British Film history.
The BFI notes for the film state:
This is the first movie version of Lewis Caroll's novel "Alice in Wonderland", directed by Cecil Hepworth. The copy is bad, but - in some degree - watchable. There is only one known copy of this film remaining (except, of course, the BBC re-issues from 1966) so the British Film Institute are unable to restore the missing parts. Parts of the movie are lost but what remains is available as a bonus feature on the 1966 BBC DVD.
In its initial release to the public, the film was popular, and at a staggering eight minutes in length, it was the longest movie to date.
There are good special effects for the early 1900s of Alice shrinking and growing in the doll house. This was a ground breaking film for its time, cameraman Geoffrey Faithfull being credited for the work, which demanded some new ideas to make the special effect work.
The production featured local schoolchildren.
Alice in Wonderland (1903) was filmed in the grounds of Mount Felix house in Walton on Thames. Mount Felix, which has long since been mostly demolished, was just across the road from the Hepworth Studios in Hurst Grove, in a beautiful location beside the river and Walton Bridge.