The Sealed Room

The Sealed Room is an eleven-minute film released in 1909. Directed by D.W. Griffith, the film's cast included Arthur V. Johnson, Marion Leonard, Henry B. Walthall, Mary Pickford, and Mack Sennett. The film was also known as The Sealed Door.[1]

The Sealed Room
Directed byD.W. Griffith
Written byHonoré de Balzac
Edgar Allan Poe
Frank E. Woods
StarringArthur V. Johnson
Marion Leonard
Henry B. Walthall
Mary Pickford
Mack Sennett
Music byRobert Israel
CinematographyG.W. Bitzer
Distributed byBiograph Company
Release date
  • September 2, 1909 (1909-09-02)
Running time
11 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film

Released in split-reel with The Little Darling.


The film's theme of immurement draws inspiration from Balzac's "La Grande Bretêche",[2] and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado". The king constructs a cozy, windowless love-nest for himself and his concubine. However, she is not faithful to her sovereign, but consorts with the court troubadour. In fact, they use the king's new play chamber for their trysts. When the king discovers this, he sends for his masons. With the faithless duo still inside, the masons use stone and mortar to quietly seal the only door to the vault. The two lovers suffocate and the film ends.




  1. Langman, 1998, p. 34
  2. Gunning, 1994, pp. 177-178


  • Gunning, Tom (1994). D.W. Griffith and the origins of American narrative film: the early years at Biograph. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06366-X.
  • Langman, Larry (1998). American Film Cycles: The Silent Era. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-30657-5.
  • The Sealed Room at

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