Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Duel Scene from Macbeth (1905)

TitleDuel Scene from Macbeth
Release LocationsUSA
MediumBlack & white video
Play ConnectionsMacbeth (scene(s))


Of historical interest because of its status as one of the earliest attempts in the United States to put Shakespeare into moving images. This clip was a part of a series called "Fights of Nations," which was evidently designed to document various styles of combat. The cameraman was the famous Billy Bitzer (1872-1944), a longtime associate of D.W. Griffith. Bitzer is credited with the technical achievements in such classics as Birth of a Nation and Broken Blossoms. Somehow Shakespeare's play got entangled in the Fights of the Nations series. But in those wonderful days all kinds of things surfaced in the movies

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Company Overview

Producer American Mutoscope and Biograph Company

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell