MovieChat Forums > The Adventures of DollieĀ (1908) Discussion > Was the little actress in danger (spoile...

Was the little actress in danger (spoilers)

I saw this film for the first time this week with an assortment of other 1908 films at the Motion Picture Academy. This was the most memorable. It was a simple story shown with long takes acted in the exaggerated style of the day.

What I wonder is about one of the lasts takes of the film where little Dolly is rescued from inside a sealed barrel. At the end of the film, the barrel is found floating on the river, pulled ashore, opened by Dolly's father and out pops Dolly. ALL IN ONE TAKE, no cutaways. So when they shot the film, the little actress was sealed in the barrel and floated on the river to be rescued for the cameras. They didn't cut to a close up of someone's face then back to the barrel.

I'm sure the river wasn't very deep and there were lots of people around but it seems dangerous, something that would never be allowed today.


You're right. The insurance companies would go mad. Although I've never seen this film, the scene you describe reminds me of a clip I saw from one of the silent Lilian Gish films where she was lying on a floating iceberg in a river with her hand in the water and is rescued at the last moment. Apparently, she left her hand in the water too long and suffered permanent nerve damage. Actors in the early days did amazing things to bring these tales to the screen. Lucky we still have a few of them left to enjoy (and see on TCM).