When, in 2004, I bought the British Film Institutes freshly released DVD Silent Shakespeare and watched it for the first time I had very mixed feelings. Admittedly, I found Judith Buchanans introduction and commentary both lucid and to the point. However, Beerbohm Trees wild gesticulations as King John in his death throes and Frank Bensons occasionally frantic interpretation of Richard III reminded me not so much of Shakespeare as of 1920s American slapstick films, which, during my childhood in the 1970s and 80s, were an enjoyable but silly component of German television fare. In addition to that, obviously Shakespeares words were conspicuously absent. Thus, at first glance, it seemed easy to agree with Jack J. Jorgens, who wrote about those movies: Mercifully, most of them are lost (Shakespeare on Film. Bloomington / Indiana 1977 [repr. Lanham / Maryland 1991], p. 1).