• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Monday, March 22, 2021

    Silent Henri Andréani Films Online

    I've decided to start posting more general Bible film news on here in addition to the reviews. I already post some stuff like this on Twitter, but it's increasingly hard to find stuff there again and it's nice to keep this site ticking over. 

    Over the years I've posted quite a bit about the series of biblical shorts Henri Andréani directed for Pathé in the real golden era for biblical films, 1908-13. However, while many of his films based on the Hebrew Bible have survived, most of them remain locked away in archives. 

    The good news is, though, that three of these films are now available either to watch online or download from Harpodeon for just $5. The three films are David et Goliath (1911) one of its three sequels, Absalom (1912) and Le sacrifice d'Abraham also from 1912. 

    I have seen the first of these films before in the BFI archive's Joye collection and interestingly, this is a different print from the version I saw where the colour was far more impressive. In fact, as there's also a plain black and white version of this film on YouTube and there are also some frames from another version available to view online in the Eastman Museum Collection. then there are at least four extant prints of this film, three of which are in (differently) stencilled colour. I wrote about this film for my David chapter in "The Bible in Motion" as well as a long blog post about it here (which includes a transcript/translation of the German intertitles). 

    As for the other two, however, I've not yet seen them, but I plan to review them shortly. In the meantime you might be interested to read Fritzi Kramer's review of Absalom at Movies Silently. 

    Harpodeon have a number of other biblical silents available as well, including the 1907 Ben-Hur, Judith of Bethulia (1914) and Nazimova's Salomé (1922).

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