AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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From the Manger to the Cross
Alternate Title: From the Manger to the Cross; or Jesus of Nazareth
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Release Date:   1913
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Robert Henderson-Bland (Jesus, the man)  
    Percy Dyer (Jesus, as a youth)  
    Gene Gauntier (Mary)  
    Alice Hollister (Mary Magdalene)  
    Samuel Morgan (Pilate)  
    James D. Ainsley (John the Baptist)  
    Robert G. Vignola (Judas)  
    George Kellog (Herod)  
    J. P. McGowan    

Summary: The life of Christ is depicted in scenes including the Annunciation, the flight of Joseph and Mary into Egypt, the period of Jesus' youth, the heralding of Christ by John the Baptist, the calling of the disciples, the miracles, Christ's last days, the last supper, and his crucifixion and death. 

Production Company: Kalem Co.  
Distribution Company: State Rights  
Director: Sidney Olcott (Dir)
Producer: Frank J. Marion (Prod)
Writer: Gene Gauntier (Scen)
Photography: George K. Hollister (Cam)
Art Direction: Henry Allen Farnham (Art dir)
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Kalem Co. 23/10/1912 dd/mm/yyyy LU56
Kalem Co. 2/12/1912 dd/mm/yyyy MP20

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Historical
Subjects (Major): Jesus Christ
Subjects (Minor): Bethlehem (Israel)
  John, the Baptist, Saint
  Joseph, Saint
  Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint

Note: The film was shot in Egypt and Palestine, sometimes in actual locations mentioned in Biblical literature. According to the copyright entry and an ad for the film, the full title of the film was From the Manger to the Cross; or Jesus of Nazareth . One review of the film referred to it as The Life of Christ . The film was shown on 3 Oct 1912 in London at Queen's Hall to an audience of clergy. The film had its premiere in New York at a special screening, also to an audience of clergy, on 14 Oct 1912 at Wanamaker's Auditorium. The film's first public exhibition was in Jacksonville, Florida in either Jan or Feb 1913.
       The Vitagraph Co. of America acquired Kalem's properties in Feb 1919 and, according to a modern source, released a six reel re-edited version of the film. According to a modern source, the film was re-issued in 1938 with a musical score and narration, and with the addition of faked close-ups.
       Louis Heck, the U. S. Consular Representative in Palestine, assisted the company. According to producer Frank J. Marion, the company hired nine or more English players for the films they made in the Middle East, including Robert Henderson-Bland, Percy Dyer, and Montague Sidney. Marion mentioned that the costumes were based on Tissot (James Joseph Jacques Tissot's Vie de Notre Seigneur, Jesus Christ , studies for a series of 300 watercolors exhibited in 1894). According to NYDM , the temple scenes were designed "in accordance with the great works of Dr. Schick." Sidney Olcott and Gene Gauntier left Kalem in Dec 1912 to form the Gene Gauntier Feature Players. Most of the titles in the film are quotations from the Bible. The following information comes from modern sources: The cast included Helen Lindroth as Martha, Jack J. Clark as John, J. P. McGowan as Andrew, Sidney Baber as Lazarus, and Montague Sidney as Joseph. Gene Gauntier and Jack Clark were married in Palestine during the filming. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Motog   12 Oct 12   p. 298.
Motog   15 Mar 13   p. 194.
MPW   20 Apr 12   p. 208.
MPW   22 Jun 12   pp. 1119-20.
MPW   12 Oct 12   pp. 121-24.
MPW   19 Oct 12   p. 233.
MPW   26 Oct 12   p. 324.
MPW   1 Mar 13   p. 866.
NYDM   23 Oct 12   p. 28.
NYDM   18 Dec 12   p. 34.
NYDM   1 Jan 16   p. 26.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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