Top of page

Film, Video The slave

About this Item


  • The slave


  • In ancient Rome, the beautiful Nerada is courted by Deletius, a wealthy patrician, but she marries the sculptor Alachus instead. Several years later, the sculptor's family is in dire straits, their child dying of starvation. Desperate for money to buy food, Nerada decides to sell herself as a slave while Alachus sleeps, exhausted and hungry. Meanwhile, Deletius is still pining for Nerada, and his servants can do nothing to please him. His secretary goes to the slave market to look for a girl to distract the master, and, seeing Nerada, purchases her. Alachus, learning of her plans, rushes to the market to stop her, but he is too late. He returns to their home in despair, only to find that the child has died. When Nerada is presented to Deletius, he is overjoyed to have won her at last, but soon realizes what a noble sacrifice she has made, and determines to return her to her husband. They arrive to find Alachus mad with grief, and when Nerada learns of her child's death, she too collapses in sorrow. But reunited, husband and wife face their future with hope and courage.


  • Griffith, D. W. (David Wark), 1875-1948, direction
  • Bitzer, G. W., 1872-1944, camera
  • Lawrence, Florence, 1890-1938, cast
  • Kirkwood, James, 1875-1963, cast
  • Solter, Harry L., 1874-1920, cast
  • Walthall, Henry B. (Henry Brazeale), 1878-1936, cast
  • Powell, Frank E., 1877- cast
  • Sennett, Mack, 1880-1960, cast
  • Paget, Alfred, 1880-1925, cast
  • Bruce, Kate, 1858-1946, cast
  • Pickford, Mary, 1892-1979, cast
  • Johnson, Arthur V., 1876-1916, cast
  • Moore, Owen, 1886-1939, cast
  • Pickford, Lottie, 1895-1936, cast
  • Siegmann, George, cast
  • Butler, William J., 1860-1927, cast
  • Biograph Company
  • Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : Biograph Co., 1909.


  • -  Sacrifice--Drama
  • -  Mothers--Drama
  • -  Poverty--Rome--Drama
  • -  Slaves--Rome--Drama
  • -  Rome--Social conditions--Drama


  • Melodramas (Motion pictures)
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Fiction films


  • -  J129866 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: Biograph Co.; 30July1909; J129866.
  • -  Florence Lawrence, James Kirkwood, Harry Solter, Henry B. Walthall, Frank Powell, Mack Sennett, Alfred Paget, Kate Bruce, Mary Pickford, Aruthur Johnson, Owen Moore, Lottie Pickford, George Siegmann, William J. Butler.
  • -  Camera, G.W. Bitzer.
  • -  LC copies lack interior titles.
  • -  Photographed June 22-23, 1909 in the Biograph studio in New York City.
  • -  Part of summary from The Griffith project, v. 2.
  • -  Biograph production no. 3598.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 2750) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
  • -  Sources used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 301; The Griffith project, v. 2, program sequence no. 168; Biograph production logs; Biograph bulletins, 1908-1912, p. 111; Christel Schmidt's The Search for a Film Legacy: Mary Pickford (1909-1933) WWW site, viewed September 28, 2015; Moving picture world, v. 5, p. 133.
  • -  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.


  • 1 video file (digital, MPEG-4) (ca. 10 min.) : si., b&w.
  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (374 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (374 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 1,000 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 5703 (viewing print)
  • FRA 2535 (dupe neg pic)
  • Box 0605A (paper pos)

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2015600217

Access Advisory

  • Restricted: video files available on-site only. Access by appointment.

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright or other restrictions in the vast majority of motion pictures in these collections. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse.

In rare cases, copyrighted motion pictures are made available by special permission to the Library and may be used only for educational purposes. For example, the Gershwin home movies fall within this category. Rights assessment is your responsibility. No registration information exists for some titles, and reproduction of some titles may be restricted by privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Additionally, some works may still be protected by copyright in the United States or some foreign countries. The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. You should consult the catalog information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding item and may assist you in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items for their desired uses. You should also consult restrictions associated with donations to the Library.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Camera, Florence Lawrence, James Kirkwood, Harry L Solter, Henry B Walthall, Frank E Powell, Mack Sennett, et al. The Slave. directeds by Griffith, D. W. , Ection United States: Biograph Co, 1909. Video.

APA citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Lawrence, F., Kirkwood, J., Solter, H. L., Walthall, H. B., Powell, F. E. [...] Paper Print Collection. (1909) The Slave. Griffith, D. W., dir United States: Biograph Co. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Camera, et al. The Slave. dir by Griffith, D. W. , Ection United States: Biograph Co, 1909. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.