5.1/10
387
5 user 1 critic

Uncle Tom's Cabin (1903)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama | September 1903 (USA)
Based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Eliza, a slave who has a young child, pleads with Tom, another slave, to escape with her. Tom does not leave, but Eliza flees with her child. ... See full summary »

Director:

Edwin S. Porter (uncredited)

Writer:

Harriet Beecher Stowe (novel)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A fireman rushes into a carriage to rescue a woman from a house fire. Breaks the window glasses and he goes down with the woman. After dangerous and uncertain moments, the fireman save the woman' s son, too.

Directors: George S. Fleming, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Edwin S. Porter, Vivian Vaughan, Arthur White
Short | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of the famous fairy tale story of Jack and his magic beanstalk. Borrowing on cinematographic methods ... See full summary »

Directors: George S. Fleming, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: James H. White, Thomas White
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The fiend faces the spectacular mind-bending consequences of his free-wheeling rarebit binge.

Directors: Wallace McCutcheon, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Jack Brawn
Crime | Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A well-dressed woman leaves her home and takes a carriage to a department store. While she is in the store, she steals several items, and is caught by store employees. Meanwhile, a poor ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Aline Boyd, Phineas Nairs, Jane Stewart
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In this brief "trick film" two clowns assemble an enormous magic lantern which first projects moving images, then emits dancing girls.

Director: Georges Méliès
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A religious woman seeks to save her people from destruction by seducing and murdering the enemy leader, but her plans get complicated once she falls for him.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Mae Marsh
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A woman being fitted for shoes exposes her ankle to the shoe clerk, who is intrigued. He kisses her, but her chaperone hits him with her umbrella.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Edward Boulden
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A black and white silent film based on Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel documenting the life and times of Uncle Tom.

Director: William Robert Daly
Stars: Sam Lucas, Walter Hitchcock, Hattie Delaro
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Animated intertitles help tell the tale of how a skinflint and his wife cheat their suburban neighbor at cards.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Reveals the most important stages of life, through one couple.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

PART I. The incidents of this story are some of those preceding and lending up to the Civil War in 1861 and the Declaration of Emancipation. The central figure in the drama is Uncle Tom, a ... See full synopsis »

Director: J. Stuart Blackton
Stars: Florence Turner, Mary Fuller, Edwin R. Phillips
Edit

Storyline

Based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Eliza, a slave who has a young child, pleads with Tom, another slave, to escape with her. Tom does not leave, but Eliza flees with her child. After getting some help to escape the slave traders who are looking for her, she then must try to cross the icy Ohio River if she wants to be free. Meanwhile, Tom is sold from one master to another, and his fortunes vary widely. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1903 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Slavery Days See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is posted online to the Library of Congress' National Screening Room. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Stagy Story
5 February 2010 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

The Edison Company's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" represents an outdated, stagy and tableau style of film-making, which especially suffers in comparison to contemporary and more cinematically innovative story films, such as Edwin S. Porter's "Life of an American Fireman", which he made before this film, and "The Great Train Robbery", which he made later. It's more theatrical than even the fairy films of Georges Méliès, without any deviation from the tableau series of stationary shot-scenes filmed from the proscenium arch (except for maybe the miniature models in the ship race scene). A theatrical troupe was hired to perform this staple of the American stage for the Edison camera, with the resulting carryover of the projection and gesticulation from the actors, which was typical of the theatre back then. The minstrel dancing (which is interestingly comparable to Méliès's use of dancing girls in his films) and employment of white actors in blackface also came from traditions in stage versions of the novel. Additionally, the Edison Company's simple and cheap decors with painted backdrops and occasional props painted on the walls may have made for an exceptionally expensive motion picture for 1903, but it, nevertheless, allows for some poorly-staged scenes and very confined spaces, with no depth or even much lateral spacing.

A title card introduces every shot-scene, which, according to Charles Musser ("Before the Nickelodeon"), was adopted from G.A. Smith's "Dorothy's Dream" (1903). It's one of the earliest films to use title cards. (By the way, some of the titles are illiterate, especially in the use of apostrophes.) Besides the titles, the filmmakers and exhibitors would rely on live lecturers and audiences' preexisting knowledge of "Tom plays" to understand and follow the not-entirely self-contained narrative in this film. The style of storytelling used by Porter and the Edison Company for "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had been used in other early screen adaptations, such as the British films "Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost" (1901) and "Alice in Wonderland" (1903), to name a couple that I've seen. The style of a series of stationary shot-scenes also largely continued as late as in some of the earliest feature-length filmed plays, such as "Queen Elizabeth" (1912).

This film uses superimposed images of Eva and angels, as do later screen adaptations of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", including the 1914 and 1927 films. There are also superimposed images of the Civil War, Lincoln and emancipation of the slaves in the final tableau of Uncle Tom's death, to help place the story within a larger context.

The Lubin Company made an imitative remake of this film shortly after its release, and then Lubin sold his movie for cheaper than the Edison film, thereby stealing part of the market and potential profit from Edison.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed