Biblical and ancient scenes depicting a gladiator, martyrs, Daniel with the lions, and Belshazzar's feast in four different segments.
Christian Martyrs (1905)
Original title: Martyrs Chrétiens
(Original) Martyrs Chrétiens
(Country Spesific) Màrtires Cristianos
(Alternative) Les Martyrs Chrétiens
(USA, 1907) S. Lubin
CategoriesAncient Rome Angels Anthology Film Babylonian Empire Belshazzar Biblical Characters Biblical Drama Black and White Daniel Drama Early Christianity Early Christians Emperor Nero Gladiator History King Balthazar Lion Martyrdom Old Testament Roman Empire Short Silent Film Slavery The Book of Daniel DramaHistoryShortAncient Rome, Angels, Anthology Film, Babylonian Empire, Belshazzar, Biblical Characters, Biblical Drama, Black and White, Daniel, Early Christianity, Early Christians, Emperor Nero, Gladiator, King Balthazar, Lion, Martyrdom, Old Testament, Roman Empire, Silent Film, Slavery, The Book of Daniel
Various scenes from New Testament and Old: Christian martyrdom under Roman rule, Daniel in the lion’s den, and Belshazzar’s vision of a floating hand spelling the end of his rule.
Lubin distributed these films as four scenes under the heading "Biblical Scenes" in their 1907 Catalog. "Christian Martyrs", "Ancient Gladiator", "Daniel in the Lions' Den" and "Belthazar's Festival". Since this contains two scenes from the old testament, it is strange to call it "Christan Martyrs", but as an Anthology film, it probably takes the title from the first scene rather than distributing them as three(or four) different movies. "Daniel in the Lions' Den" and "Belthazar's Festival" are both a first in film history. Henri Bousquet tells us that in the scene where lions are eating the man from the cross, the man was substituted with a dummy consisting of horse meat, so it looks real.
Dramatic and realistic film in 3 scenes
The earliest movie I've seen with real lions, although it seems a bit more like a circus act than a gladiator story. The Christian Martyr first part is very anonymous, but the part with the lion eating the man is actually quite amazingly done. To show the colosseum and persecution of Christians at the time, I suppose it does that with the limitations in the early film format. There is no real story. The second film, Daniel in the Lion's den, is a first in history and not often depicted - and it is pretty simple although it tells the story. Daniel is bound to a pole with lions, they do not touch him, and an angel comes and frees him from the chains. The third scene I was surprised to see as chosen for an early biblical film, the scene where "mene, mene, tekel, upharsin" is written in the wall to Belthazar - maybe it's chosen to keep within the book of Daniel? Anyway, all in all, it's an entertaining film from this age that is pretty well made even though it lacks in a lot of aspects. It's not longer than it needs to be, and the different color tints help divide the films into parts that belong together.