British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Real Thing at Last, The

Synopsis
A burlesque of Macbeth which imagines how the play would be adapted and filmed by an American producer. The New York Times critic, reviewing the London screening, noted ‘The drama ends happily with a touching reconciliation between Macbeth and Macduff, and Macbeth embracing his wife, while the piano plays "Life’s Too Short to Quarrel."
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Black-and-white / Silent
Year of release
1916
Recording date
8 Mar 1916
Duration
Unknown
Availability
Presumed a lost film

Credits

Director
L.C. MacBean
Screenplay
J.M. Barrie
Cast
Edmund GwennRupert K. Thunder (Macbeth)
Nelson KeysLady Macbeth
Godfrey TearleMacduff
Owen NaresGeneral Banquo (Banquo)
A.E. MatthewsMessenger
Frederick VolpeMurderer
Gladys CooperAmerican witch (Witch)
Leslie HensonWilliam Shakespeare
Leslie HensonA Page
Norman ForbesKing Duncan

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Plays
Macbeth
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
satire; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); United States of America; burlesgues

Notes

Notes
The typescript of the Barrie screenplay is held by the Beinecke Library, Yale University.
General
Barrie’s contention was that picture theatres had been ignored by the committee which had the Shakespeare tercentenary celebrations in hand, so the actors have a celebration of their own. The contradictions in evidence for the cast of some minor roles are outlined by Ball p223-4.
History
THE REAL THING AT LAST was first shown at a Royal Command Performance at the London Coliseum on March 7 1916 as part of a charity show to provide funds for concerts for British troops.
Reviews
Ball, Robert Hamilton. Shakespeare on Silent Film: A Strange Eventful History. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1968 (p.223-6, 360-1).

Production Company

Name

British Actors Film Company

Record Stats

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