Snow White (1916)

Film Review

SNOW WHITE

Release Date: 25 December, 1916

Studio: Famous Players Film Company

Director: J. Searle Dawlwy

Starring: Marguerite Clark, Creighton Hale

Synopsis

Princess Snow White, threatened by her stepmother Queen Brangomar, finds refuge in the cottage of the seven dwarves. The disguised queen tempts Snow White into biting the poisoned apple that puts her into a death-like sleep. Prince Florimond, who loves Snow White, and the dwarves think that she is dead. They carry her body to the castle and accuse the queen of harming her. At the castle, the piece of apple pops out of Snow White's throat, and she revives. The evil queen loses her beauty and goes away in shame. Snow White and Prince Florimond plan to marry and jointly rule their kingdoms.

Discussion

This charming film was the first feature version of the Snow White story. Marguerite Clark had appeared on Broadway in the play Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1912) on which the film is based. The stage origins of the scenario are obvious in the film adaptation. Clark, a delicate beauty, is a lively and delightful Snow White. She began her career on Broadway in 1900 and Snow White was one of her final stage appearances. She entered films with the rise of features in 1914. She married in 1919 and retired in 1921. Few of her films are known to survive. Creighton Hale, who played Prince Florimond, also entered films in 1914. Prominent in silent films, his career continued into talkies, mostly as an uncredited extra. He made his last appearance in 1959. Walt Disney was 15 years old when he saw this film, and it may have impressed him enough to influence his choice of the story for his first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released 1937.