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David Copperfield (1911)

Not Rated | | Drama, Short | 17 October 1911 (USA)
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.


Theodore Marston


Charles Dickens (novel)




Cast overview:
Flora Foster ... David Copperfield as a Boy
Marie Eline ... Em'ly as a Child
Anna Seer Anna Seer ... Davids Mother
Ed Genung ... David Copperfield as a Man
Florence La Badie ... Em'ly as a Woman
Frank Hall Crane
Alphonse Ethier
Maude Fealy
Mignon Anderson ... Dora Spenlow
William Garwood
Harry Benham
Viola Alberti Viola Alberti ... Aunt Betsey Trotwood
Justus D. Barnes ... Ham Peggotty (in part one)
William Russell ... Ham Peggotty (in part two)
James Cruze ... Steerforth
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(Reel One) The film starts with the time Aunt Betsy, an eccentric spinster, flattens her nose against the windowpane before she enters the Copperfield home, over which the stork is hovering. Aunt Betsy, in anticipation of a birth, had set her mind on a girl, because she abhors boys. When it is therefore announced that the stork has brought a boy, she vanishes from the house "like a discontented fairy." David's mother is a helpless young woman, impractical and unassertive. She married an elderly gentleman, who dies before David is born. Eight years after David's birth, she is flattered by the attentions of Edward Murdstone, who is ardent in his courtship because the widow's money is such a tantalizing incentive. David shows his dislike for Mr. Murdstone. His mother marries, however, while he is absent on a trip with Peggotty to her brother's house at Yarmouth. Here he meets hearty fish folk, among whom he finds little Emily. With the marriage of his mother to Murdstone begins a series ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short


Not Rated

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Recent research points to George Nichols as director. See more »


Version of Love and the Law (1910) See more »

User Reviews

Taken as a whole, the three reels are very much worthwhile
12 May 2016 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

Such a picture as this depends largely on characterization, and also on the atmosphere that is given by costumes and settings. In both, the Thanhouser Company has been very successful and is worthy of high praise. The story is well acted and made clear; how could it help being interesting? It is a masterpiece. Perhaps Aunt Betsy is most praiseworthily pictured, but all of the parts are well done. (Second part) This, of course, is a seaside picture. It has the good qualities of the first film. It is a sadder story and was harder to act convincingly. It is, however, very successful and effective. Some of its scenes are very highly commendable. Little Em'ly is charming, and the other characters are very well portrayed. (Third part) A very great deal of matter is crowded into this part. It doesn't grip quite so powerfully as the first two parts, but that isn't saying that it is weak. It is very interesting and good. Taken as a whole, the three reels are very much worthwhile. The novel has been done before. No comparison is needed. Spectators may prefer this character as portrayed in one and that character as portrayed in the other. But most will be very much pleased and delighted with these other motion pictures of our best novel. - The Moving Picture World, November 4, 1911

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Release Date:

17 October 1911 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Early Life of David Copperfield See more »

Filming Locations:

New Rochelle, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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