January 2, 2017


Cecil Hepworth (1874-1953) b. London, England.

Cecil Hepworth

A major pioneer of the British cinema, Hepworth invented a type of arc lamp for Robert Paul in 1895, assisted Birt Acres in the following year and in 1897 wrote the first book on the cinema, Animated Photography. He began making shorts in the following year, and later established his own company at Walton-on-Thames, which by the turn of the century was producing over a hundred short subjects a year. Among them was the most famous early British film, Rescued by Rover (1905). After the British industry slumped around 1910 Hepworth led its resurgence, introducing the star system to Britain, and directing many full-length features himself, which, although old-fashioned in style, attracted considerable prestige. But he could not escape eventual bankruptcy, and many of his films were lost after 1923 when his company was liquidated.

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