A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)

Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 11 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Filmed entirely outdoors by Vitagraph company founder J. Stuart Blackton and character actor Charles Kent, this charming, silent Shakespeare adaptation features several of the era's greatest stars, including Maurice Costello, one of filmdom's first matinee idols; Florence Turner, the highly publicized "Vitagraph Girl"; and, as fairies, Maurice's young daughters Dolores Costello and Helene Costello. Most charming of all is little Gladys Hulette as Puck, darting about and making her special brand of mischief with the zest she apparently always brought to her often quaint characters. Typical of the early silent era, the film's titles are purely descriptive and precede the action rather than comment on it. Although Vitagraph was usually deferential to Shakespeare, the addition of the character of Penelope to the detriment of Oberon remains unexplained.