One way to look at the early development
of films is to look at the progression of the length of films presented.
However, there are many oddities and problems such as film speed. There
was no set rate of frames per second so time would vary greatly depending
upon the exhibitor. This is why early silent film was measured in linear
measurements instead of time. To help calculate, 1000 ft would be about
15-17 minutes. Here's a chart of progression with each a commercial film
that took the record for length at that time:
|Death of Nelson
|Sloper's Visit to Brighton
|Our New General Servant
|Alice in Wonderland
|Incidents in Life of Lord Nelson
|Life of Charles Peace
|Dick Turpin's Ride to York
|Romeo and Juliet
|Martyrdom of Adolf Beck
*Oliver Twist was the first feature film in the UK
to go over an hour. This was a Hepworth Production of 4 reels starring ex-beauty
queen Ivy Millais as Oliver Twist and John McMahon as Fagin. It was released
2 months after Vitagraphs version in the US.
The Christian in 1915 held the record in film length
until 1923 when The Prodigal Son was released at 18454 ft which was the
longest silent film released in the UK.