Friday, September 14, 2012

Historic 1911 Silent Film David Copperfield
Released on DVD Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Dickens


The Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. (Portland, OR) and the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino, Italy, recently announced the release on DVD of the 1911 silent film version of David Copperfield in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

The most ambitious Thanhouser Company effort since its first release in 1910 came with David Copperfield. Thanhouser released the film over the course of three weeks, consisting of one 1,000-foot reel per week, which was based upon Charles Dickens’ 1850 immortal story of an English lad’s tribulation-filled journey to adulthood. The film was photographed in and around New Rochelle, New York, including scenes along the New York Long Island sound. The film was praised by a reviewer in the September 20, 1911 issue of Motion Picture World: “The best ideals and fondest expectations of both the friends of the moving picture and the readers of Dickens have been realized.”

Thanhouser also distributed the film in Europe and a copy of the Italian release of the film was acquired and preserved by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema film library in Torino, Italy in 1955. A new restoration was undertaken in 2012 and a high-quality video transfer was made available to Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. for this DVD release. This is the first time the film has been made available to the public on DVD.

The DVD also includes an optional commentary track by Dickens scholar Professor Joss Marsh and an additional bonus film, Thanhouser’s 1912 production of Nicholas Nickelby, based upon Dickens’ 1838/1839 serialized novel.

The DVD is $19.95 plus shipping and can be purchased online at or directly from Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc., 8770 NY Kearney Street, Portland, OR 97229. For additional details on this DVD, background on Charles Dickens, Thanhouser’s film realization of David Copperfield, and the restoration by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, please visit Thanhouser’s website at  

1 comment: