The Passion Play of Oberammergau (1898)

USA, 1898
2,200 feet
35mm film, black and white, 1.33:1

An American religious fantasy film directed by Henry C. Vincent. It was shot during December 1897 and January 1898 and featured 23 scenes depicting various aspects of Christ’s life including his death and resurrection. It was made by Richard Hollaman, the president of the Eden Musée, an amusement centre at 55 West 23rd Street in Manhattan where it was one of the first venues to show film in the city. They were sued over this film by Thomas A. Edison who was then distributing a very similar film, The Horitz Passion Play (1897) and Hollaman was forced to hand over the negatives to Edison who subsequently distributed the film himself. It was believed to have been lost for many years until a 16mm reduction print of an edited version of the film was found at the George Eastman House film archive.

Plot Summary

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Directed by: Henry C. Vincent
Produced by: Richard Hollaman
Based on the Passion Play by: Salmi Morse
Photography: William Paley

Frank Russell (Jesus Christ)


Edison Motion Pictures, 1890-1900 by Charles Musser p.373-374 – illustrated credits