Monday, April 17, 2017

On the Sixth of Lionel, my true love gave to me...

...De Last Van der Sterkele!

Or, The Strong Man's Burden, (1913) version from the Dutch EYE Institute. There are only 7 title cards of any type in it, so I translated with some googling and other help those seven and inserted captions on the cards themselves in English. The first card was missing for some reason, but I had the Dutch words that should have been on it, so the first title "card" is a fade-in one. The link to watch it is right above the film poster below.

Lionel Barrymore plays "John", or the Strong Man/ Policeman son of a dying elderly lady played by Kate Bruce. Harry Carey plays the feckless and weak "Bob", a petty thief. William J. Butler as the doctor and Claire McDowell as the old woman's nurse round out the cast. It is a fifteen minute drama which finds John and Bob at odds, but then John is in a conundrum (the "Strong Man's Burden") involving his brother and his mother's impending death.  It's a nice short film, in which Mr. B looks big and strong and acts rather morally but also surprisingly.  Many of his later physical acting habits and tics (like Jack Barrymore's odd head tilt/swivel) are already apparent here.  He also looks older than his years, apropos of the big brother.  Harry Carey is good as the ne'er-do-well Bob, who really is a bounder, nay, a cad even! I wondered when watching it if at times Lionel wanted to smack Jack upside the head for his little brother's shenanigans!

There are outdoor shots and a measure of intense action. Directed by Anthony O'Sullivan, it's a worthy 15 minutes.

 The Strong Man's Burden (with English captions)

Lithograph made in the UK of (one of) the film's posters.
Post four of Lionel's Birthday Blog Bash. You're welcome.

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