Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mary Jane's Mishap (1903)

Laura Bayley, the most prolific British actress of the period and the wife of director G.A. Smith, shows her flare for clowning in this uproarious black comedy. Mary Jane learns that lighting your hearth with a tank full of paraffin may not be the safest of household chores, in a stern tale that could have come from the pages of 'Struwwelpeter'.
As in much of Smith's work, the film delights in its trick effects, including an explosion and the apparition of a ghost. (Alex Davidson)

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