TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Mark Dawidziak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Nov 2010 14:47:49 -0400
text/plain (41 lines)
     This might not directly answer your question, but here are a few 
paragraphs from a "Mark Twain on Screen" study by that noted Clemens 
cinema scholar,  R. Mark Rasmiak (actually a joint effort -- and a low 
joint, at that -- by Kent Rasmussen and Mark Dawidziak):

If Twain took notice of the four short silent film adaptations released 
in his lifetime, he left behind no scraps of what certainly would have 
been valuable early examples of movie criticism. The first of these, /A 
Curious Dream/, a Vitagraph production based on Twain's 1870 sketch 
about a complaining skeleton, and a highly condensed /Tom Sawyer, /were 
released in 1907.

Was Twain aware of the burgeoning movie business? Given his fascination 
with inventions and patents, one suspects that he gave at least passing 
thought to the commercial possibilities for these flickering images. We 
know that near the end of his life, Mark Twain, dressed in his white 
suit and puffing on a cigar, paraded before a motion-picture camera set 
up at Stormfield -- maybe with Thomas Edison himself behind the camera. 
We also know that, in 1909, the Mark Twain Company allowed the Edison 
Company to make a film version of /The Prince and the Pauper /for a 
permission fee of $150. And Twain is reported to have made a brief 
appearance as himself in Edison's /The Prince and the Pauper, /a lost 
film. That same year, Biograph released /The Death Disc: A Story of the 
Cromwellian Period, /directed by D.W. Griffith and based on the story 
published in 1901. It was followed in 1910, the year of Twain's death, 
by Edison's /A Mountain Blizzard, /based on Chapters 32 and 33 of 
/Roughing It./

On 11/4/2010 12:02 PM, Lawrence Howe wrote:
> Does anyone have knowledge of Twain's thoughts on cinema? =A0In "Italian Wi=
> thout a Master" he includes a newspaper listing of Florence attractions whi=
> ch include 2 "spectacoli Cinematagrafici" -- =A0"Quo Vadis" which was playi=
> ng at the Sala Edison, and "Don Chisciotte" playing at Ciematografo. =A0 Si=
> nce he met Edison and was later filmed by him, I suspect that he had scene =
> film at some point, especially in Europe. =A0 Any help?
> Thanks,=A0
> --Larry