Uncle Tom's Cabin (1914)

Genres - Drama, Historical Film  |   Run Time - 54 min.  |  
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There had been several film adaptations of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin before 1914, but this effort from the World Film Corporation was the first feature-length version. The film retains all of the familiar characters, situations and setpieces of the original novel (the persecution of Uncle Tom by the wicked Simon Legree, the death of Little Eva, the comic relief of slave child Topsy et. al.), as well as the legendary "Eliza crossing the ice scene" -- which figured not at all in the Stowe book but was added years later for the first stage production of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Irving Cummings, later a producer-director of note, headed the "adult" cast in the blackface role of freed slave George Harris. The important role of Little Eva was essayed by Mary Eline, better known as the "Thanhouser Kid" (a nod to her home studio of Thanhouser. Though somewhat stiffly produced, Uncle Tom's Cabin holds up reasonably well when shown today.