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The Sealed Room (1909)

Directed by D.W. Griffith

The Sealed Room was released on September 2nd 1909 and is just eleven minutes long. It is a tale of revenge and the script was written by Frank E. Woods, who took his inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s short story  "The Cask of Amontillado" and also from, Honoré de Balzac’s "La Grande Breteche". Both stories are about someone being imprisoned behind a brick wall and left to die, but Balzac’s story would seem to have exerted a stronger influence on The Sealed Room than Poe’s story did.

In both stories a character is interred alive and left to die a horrible death, but in Poe’s story the exact reason for such a drastic revenge is never revealed. In Balzac’s story, however, the reason is very specific: infidelity.

The Sealed Room has quite a large cast for such a short film, but the main characters are the king, his queen, and a court minstrel who decides to make a little music with the queen every time the king turns his back.

At the beginning of the film the king has his masons construct a little room where he and his lady should be able to spend some quality time together. It has no windows and there is only one door, with a curtain in front for some extra privacy. When he returns unexpectedly and cannot find the queen he becomes suspicious and sneaks a peak behind the drawn curtain. The queen and the minstrel are too preoccupied to notice him. When the king orders his masons to brick up the doorway, the couple are still oblivious to the danger they are in and only discover thier predicament when the minstrel pulls back the curtain to leave.

CAST

Arthur V. Johnson
Marion Leonard
Henry B. Walthall

Linda Arvidson
Mary Pickford 
Gertrude Robinson 

William J. Butler
Verner Clarges
Owen Moore
George Siegmann  

George Nichols
Anthony O'Sullivan 

Mack Sennett
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The KIng
The Queen
The Minstrel

A Lady-in-Waiting
A Lady-in-Waiting
Gertrude Robinson

Nobleman at Court
Nobleman at Court
Nobleman at Court
Nobleman at Court

Workman
Workman

A Soldier

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