Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hand of the Artist - 1907


Country: United Kingdom
Director: Walter R. Booth
Release Date: March 1907 (USA)
Production Co: Urban Trading Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Animation | Short
First British animated cartoon. An artist draws a coster couple who come to life and dance a cakewalk.

The Extraordinary Waiter - 1902


Country: United Kingdom
Director: Walter R. Booth
Release Date: December 1902 (UK)
Also known as: The Mysterious Heads (UK - alternative title)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
A Swiss tourist knocks the head off a negro waiter. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - 1897


Country: United Kingdom
Stars: Queen Victoria
Also Known As: Viktória királyné hatvanéves évfordulója (Hungary)
Plot Keywords: Queen
Genres: Short | News
-Head of procession including bluejackets
-Head of Colonial Procession
-Royal Carriages Passing Westminster
-Caped Mounted Riflemen Passing St Paul's
-Dragoons Passing St Paul's
-Royal Carriage Arriving at St Paul's
-Royal Princes in St. Paul's Churchyard
-Queen's Carriage and Indian Escort Arriving at St. Paul's
-Life Guards and Princes North of St Paul's

Thursday, December 29, 2011

His Only Pair - 1902


Country: United Kingdom
Language: None
Release Date: 1902 (UK)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Runtime: 2 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
An old woman sews a patch on her grandson's trousers while friends jeer.

Drat that Boy - 1904


Country: United Kingdom
Language: None
Release Date: 1904 (UK)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Runtime: 2 min
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
A boy causes his mother to be upset into a water tub.

Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost - 1901


Country: United Kingdom
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: Walter R. Booth
Writer: Charles Dickens (novel)
Release Date: November 1901 (UK)
Also Known As: Scrooge, or Marley's Ghost (UK - alternative title)
Production Co: Paul's Animatograph Works, Robert W. Paul
Plot Keywords: Compassion | Miser | Christmas | Redemption | Ghost  |  Based On Novel | Character Name In Title
Genres: Short | Drama | Fantasy 
Trivia: Originally 620' in length, only 323' survive at the British Film Institute.
Based on a stage adaptation by J.C. Buckstone.

A Favourite Domestic Scene - 1898


Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: August 1898 (UK)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
A girl tickles her two brothers, hides under the bed and causes a pillow fight.
This film was quite a hit in its day. Back then, as now, cute kids were practically guaranteed to pull in audiences, and this comical little short, filmed in August 1898, has three of them. It opens with a loving mother putting her two boys to bed. No sooner has she left the room than their mischievous older sister sneaks in and tickles their noses with a feather duster. Of course, the boys blame each other and a fight ensues. At one point the pillows that the boys use as weapons burst, creating a visually striking image as the room fills with feathers that Paul would use again and which foreshadowed Jean Vigo's use of the same effect in his Zero de Conduite. 

The Unfortunate Policeman - 1905


Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Release Date: 1905 (UK)
Filming Locations: London, England, UK; Muswell Hill, London, England, UK (studio)
Production Co: Paul's Animatograph Works, Robert W. Paul
Runtime: 4 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: London England | Police Chase | Chase | Jeweler
Genres: Short | Comedy

The '?' Motorist - 1906


Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: Walter R. Booth
Release Date: October 1906 (UK)
Also known as: A sofőr (Hungary); Questionmark Motorist (UK -informal title); The ? Motorist (UK - alternative spelling); The Mad Motorist (UK - informal title)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Runtime: 3 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Outer Space | Flying Car | Saturn The Planet | Reckless Driving | Reattach  | Dismemberment | Police
Genres: Fantasy | Short | Comedy | Sci-Fi
A British trick film in which a motorist ends up driving around the rings of Saturn.
A magical glowing white motorcar dismembers policemen, drives up buildings, flies through outer space and can transform into a horse and carriage. This was a British effort to top Melies at his Sci-Fi/fantasy/comedy trick films.
Goofs: Miscellaneous: In the film's final shot, a woman observing the crew is visible.
A charmingly subversive comedy-fantasy that pays handsome tribute to the cinema's sister invention, the automobile, suggesting both have the power to disrupt conventional society. It uses the kind of trickery perfected by Melies, but is arguably more potent because of its (relative) grounding in real life.
A well-to-do couple speed down a sunny country road, ordered to stop by an approaching pedestrian policeman. They promptly, gloriously, run him over. As he gives chase, the motorists are blocked by a large building, which they drive up with exhilirating ease. While the blundering bobby gazes in bafflement, the drivers zip through space, circling the moon, skating Saturn's rings, before running out of petrol, freefalling, and collapsing on a court-case that was at any rate degenerating into farce.
Although you can obviously see the joins, the inventiveness of this short holds up remarkably well, as it shows that cars are a nuisance off, as well as on the road. The invention of the motor-car brought with it a greater mobility, a shortening of distances, in effect shortening time and space; as it became possible to travel to more places more quickly, the world became a smaller place.
Ditto the cinema, which could do so much more than the mere photographing of things - not only visiting new worlds, but creating them, inviting our imagination to soar above the mundane. Unlike our own fantasy films, however, audiences then were not hypnotised into forgetting real life, the mendacious absurdity of our social institutions, the arbitrary ineptitude of our law enforcers - is it any wonder we might want to escape?
The film is treasurable for that glorious moment when the peeler, with doltish complacency, linked to the immemorial countryside as he attempts to control this new-fangled aberrance, is upended - thud! - against a steaming bonnet, the majesty of the law a sprawling punchline.

The Delhi Durbar - 1903


Country: United Kingdom
A scene of barbaric splendor; Indian Princes clothed in gold and precious jewels, on massive elephants, decked from head to foot in draperies of Oriental beauty. One of the most spectacular films ever made, the most gorgeous spectacle the world has ever known. Written by Lubin Catalog  

The Waif and the Wizard - 1901


Country: United Kingdom
Director: Walter R. Booth
Release Date: September 1901 (UK)
Also Known As: The Waif and the Wizard, or The Home Made Happy (UK - alternative title)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short 

The Twins' Tea Party - 1896


Country: United Kingdom
Director: Robert W. Paul
Release Date: August 1896 (United Kingdom); May 1902 (USA)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Comedy | Short
One of the prettiest pictures of child life we have yet offered. Two pretty children are seated in their high chairs playing "Tea Party" with their dishes arranged about them. They become engaged in a dispute over the possession of a piece of cake and one of them cries, giving the most perfect and child-like facial expressions we have yet had the pleasure of seeing. Written by Edison Catalog 

Upside Down; or, The Human Flies - 1899


Country: United States | United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: Walter R. Booth
Release Date: September 1899 (UK)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short
A Spiritualist causes a group of table-turners to walk upside down on the ceiling.
Robert Paul is a largely forgotten name today, but he was a major pioneer of British cinema, and was quick to grasp the commercial potential of cinema in ways that better known pioneers such as William Friese-Greene were not. He was more of a mechanic than a filmmaker making, with Birt Acres, his own camera on which to shoot films in 1895, and also Britain's first projector, the Animatograph, with which to screen them in 1896. Early in the 20th century he had a custom-made studio built in Muswell Hill.
This early trick film is actually quite impressive, and is easily the equal of anything produced by French master Georges Melies. It shows a group of people being 'entertained' in their home by a medium, who is portrayed as little more than a magician. His big trick is to make himself disappear and turn the room upside down so that we can watch his audience standing, walking, rolling around on the ceiling, etc.

Artistic Creation - 1901


Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: Walter R. Booth
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short
Pierrot draws a lady in sections, and the parts come alive.
A sketch artist dressed as a clown does a 'lightning sketch' stage act in which he draws a woman's bust.... and then takes the bust and places into on a table. He then draws arms and adds them, until an entire woman is revealed. It's a Melies film, is it not? Fans of early films have seen various Melies pieces like this..... but did Melies invent this sort of novelty film, or was it created across the Channel, in Robert Paul's studio by ex-stage magician Walter Booth? Who did what first and who stole it from whom? Was it even theft, when there was no such thing as copyright for films for more than decade afterward? It's hard to tell who invented what in this period, but enquiring minds want to know -- and may never find out. Never mind. It's fascinating to watch.

The Deonzo Brothers - 1901


Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: September 1902 (USA)
Also Known As: The Deonzo Brothers in Their Wonderful Barrel Jumping Act (USA)
Production Co: Robert W. Paul
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Documentary | Short
The famous acrobats in the above title appear in a marvellous acrobatic act. There are three barrels arranged on the stage. The boys, blindfolded, stand on opposite sides of the stage, and jump from one barrel into the other until they both land in the same barrel at the same time. They then jump backwards onto the stage over the two barrels. One table is then mounted upon another and the center barrel is placed on top. The brothers still blindfolded jump one each into a barrel and from them to the first to the second table and from the second table into the barrel on top of the second table. They then jump backwards onto the stage. This is pronounced by show people to be the most marvellous acrobatic feat that has ever been introduced. Written by Edison Catalog  

Rome, cortège au mariage du prince de Naples - 1897


Country: France
Release Date: 17 January 1897 (France)
Filming Locations: Rome, Lazio, Italy
Production Co: Lumière
Genres: Documentary | Short 

Summer Saps - 1929


Country: United States | United Kingdom
Director: Lupino Lane
Stars: Lupino Lane and Wallace Lupino
Release Date: 17 March 1929 (USA)
Production Co: Lupino Lane Comedy Corporation
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Two Reeler
Genres: Short | Comedy

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Looking for Trouble - 1919


Country: USA
Director: Hal Roach
Stars: 'Snub' Pollard, Marie Mosquini and Sammy Brooks
Release Date: 14 December 1919 (USA)
Production Co: Rolin Films
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White 
Genres: Comedy | Short
Snub plays a rich guy who wants to impress the ladies with his virility. So he pays a tough boxer to take a dive in a staged fight, though the fight definitely does not go anything like expected. Plus, the idea of skinny and weak looking Snub as a boxer is pretty funny as Chaplin or Harold Lloyd looked absolutely macho compared to him! An interesting film that is sure to please silent comedy fans, though others might find it slow going.

Départ de Jérusalem en Chemin de Fer - 1897


Country: France
Director: Louis Lumière
Release Date: 1897 (France)
Also known as: Juna lähtee Jerusalemista (Finland - informal title); Leaving Jerusalem by Railway (International - English title); Tåget avgår från Jerusalem (Finland - informal title) (Swedish title); Vonattal Jeruzsálemböl (Hungary)
Filming Locations: Jerusalem, Israel
Production Co: Lumière 
Runtime: 1 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Documentary | Short
A train, with a camera mounted near the front, pulls out of the Jerusalem station. It passes groups, first of Europeans, then Palestinian Arabs, then Palestinian Jews. Dress, hats, and facial hair are each distinctive group to group. Except for the station itself, the buildings visible in the background are ruins - no more than crumbling walls.

Danseuses des Rues - 1896


Country: France
Stars: Félicien Trewey
Release Date: 1896 (France)
Also Known As: London Street Dancers (United Kingdom)
Filming Locations: London, England, United Kingdom
Production Co: Lumière 
Genres: Short

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lancement d'un Navire - 1896


Country: France
Director: Louis Lumière
Release Date: 20 April 1896 (France)
Also known as: Lancement d'un navire à la Ciotat (France - alternative title)
Filming Locations: La Ciotat, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
Production Co: Lumière
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Documentary 

Jérusalem, porte de Jaffa, côté Est - 1897


Country: France
Release Date: 1897 (France)
Production Co: Lumière
Genres: Short

Southern Pacific Overland Mail - 1897


Country: United States
Release Date: October 1897 (USA)
Filming Locations: Southern Pacific Railroad Tunnel No. 9, California, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Documentary | Short
"Taken on the S.P. Railroad, near tunnel No. 9. The train comes rushing out of the tunnel and passes at full speed. Two engines, a baggage, a mail and nine coaches. Great volumes of black smoke follow the train out of the mouth of the tunnel." Written by Edison Catalog  

Oyster Fishing at Whitstable, England (c.1909)


Country: United Kingdom
Bibs at the ready for this documentary showing the journey of the oyster from seabed to dinner plate. We see the oyster smacks (fishing vessels used for trawling) hauling in their plunder, the shellfish being packed for delivery to London and, inevitably, being shucked with gusto by a restaurant's portly clientele.
The film was shot in Whitstable, a seaside town known as the "Pearl of Kent" for its famous oysters. Beady-eyed viewers may spot prolific early film producer Charles Urban sampling the oysters in the beach footage, squatting on the right. (Alex Davidson)

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Barbershop - 1894


Country: USA
Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise
Also known as: A borbély üzlet (Hungary), The Barber Shop (USA)
Filming Locations: Black Maria Studio, West Orange, New Jersey, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Trivia: Among the first group of motion pictures to be exhibited commercially in the world, when the Holland Bros.' Kinetoscope Parlor opened on Broadway in New York City on 14 April 1894
Genres: Documentary | Short
"Interior of Barber Shop. Man comes in, takes off his coat; sits down, smokes; is handed a paper by attendant, who points out a joke; both laugh. Meantime the man in the chair is shaved and has his hair cut. Very funny." 

Mess Call - 1896


Country: USA
Release Date: 1896 (USA)
Filming Locations: Peekskill, New York, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Runtime: 1 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Militia | Military | Mess Hall | Military Camp
Genres: Documentary | Short
It's meal time at a training camp for the New York state militia at Peekskill, New York. An Edison Company film crew has set up a camera to film the soldiers, and it gradually attracts their attention. As the soldiers eat and drink, many of them come closer to the camera, smiling and gesturing towards it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

International News - ca. 1918 , ca. 1921


Country: United States
Language: English
INTERNATIONAL NEWS, ca. 1918 - ca. 1921 - National Archives and Records Administration - ARC Identifier 88968 / Local Identifier AFI-AFI-442A - American Film Institute. NEWSREEL: (1) Four men boat on Colorado River in the Boulder Canyon area. (2) Zuni braves guide Gov. Schrugham of Nevada on his tour of 5 million dam site in Boulder Canyon. Gov. gets aerial view of site in a gondola, as well as seeing a Zuni village. DVD copied by IASL Master Scanner Katie Filbert.

London - 1903


Country: United States
Thomas Edison Film Footage
Thomas Edison was (among many other things) travelling and filming in various parts of the world round the turn of last century. He was in Paris for the Universal Exposition of 1900, catching a myriad of angles on the city, such as the carriages, buses and pedestrians at the Place de L'Opera and in London in 1903 - again catching the life of the streets, though now in much clearer film footage due to the technological advances in film stock over the three years. Though - curiously - the camera is much more static. Both these productions are (for me at least) like serious time traveling - you get up close and personal with ordinary people going about their daily business, like taking a taxi at one of the entrances to Hyde Park and catching boats at the Embankment on the Thames - perhaps to work. There's the general bustle of the traffic, with individuals occasionally moving into the middle or into the foreground to make a more human connection. There are familiar landmarks, such as the Law Courts, Sir Christopher Wren's St Mary-Le-Strand and Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Familiar brand names flash up every so often, like old friends - just to bring this world a little closer to our own - such as Nestles and Lipton's Tea. And there's the (perhaps unexpected) chaos of the traffic in often dust-clogged streets.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to Make a Bra from Two Handkerchiefs - 1921


Country: United Kingdom
How to Make a Bra from Two Handkerchiefs, 1921 [HD]. Shot in the Pathe studio back in 1921, this silent clip, features a woman cutting and sewing two handkerchiefs together. She then proudly models her creation.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Airships: "The Call of the Air" - Part 2 (around 1922)


Country: United States
Lighter-than-air aircraft, ground and air shots illustrating activities and educational opportunities of students in this branch of the U.S. Air Service. The schools are located at Ross Field, California, Port Omaha, Nebraska, Brooks Field, Texas and Langley Field, Virginia.
Shows observation balloon, the giant zeppelin, ZDUS-1, the C-2 airship, and the German dirigible Bodensee. Shows also aerial down shots of Washington and environs.
At Port Omaha, Nebraska, the students, in addition to their other activities, learn how to fill balloons. There are a number recently built undergoing trials.
Reel 1:
1) P5 several balloons being inflated.
2) PS same area showing balloons being inflated.
3) AS several balloons completely inflated hanging suspended over crowd.
4) PS eight balloons about to be launched in flight.
5) LS one of the balloons rising.
6) Next he proceeds to Ross Field, Arcadia, California. Here he studies the intricate problem of building and maneuvering the observation balloon.
6) MS interior storage shed showing observation balloon being moved out of same by students.
The film was made after the Bodensee was transferred from Germany to the US in 1921, and before the C-2 burned in 1922

Airships: "The Call of the Air" - Part 1 (around 1922)


Country: United States
Lighter-than-air aircraft, ground and air shots illustrating activities and educational opportunities of students in this branch of the U.S. Air Service. The schools are located at Ross Field, California, Port Omaha, Nebraska, Brooks Field, Texas and Langley Field, Virginia.
Shows observation balloon, the giant zeppelin, ZDUS-1, the C-2 airship, and the German dirigible Bodensee. Shows also aerial down shots of Washington and environs.
At Port Omaha, Nebraska, the students, in addition to their other activities, learn how to fill balloons. There are a number recently built undergoing trials.
Reel 1:
1) P5 several balloons being inflated.
2) PS same area showing balloons being inflated.
3) AS several balloons completely inflated hanging suspended over crowd.
4) PS eight balloons about to be launched in flight.
5) LS one of the balloons rising.
6) Next he proceeds to Ross Field, Arcadia, California. Here he studies the intricate problem of building and maneuvering the observation balloon.
6) MS interior storage shed showing observation balloon being moved out of same by students.
The film was made after the Bodensee was transferred from Germany to the US in 1921, and before the C-2 burned in 1922

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Heroes of the Coast Guard Film - Surfmen - 1915


Country: United States
Language: English
"Heroes of the Coast Guard" film, 1915. Used as primary research for the novel of historical fiction - "Fire Island

The Mechanical Man - 1921


Country: Italy
Director: André Deed
Writer: André Deed
Stars: Giulia Costa, André Deed and Valentina Frascaroli
Giulia Costa                
André Deed ... Saltarello
Valentina Frascaroli ... The adventuress
Mathilde Lambert ... Elena D'Ara
Gabriel Moreau ... Professor D'Ara
Ferdinando Vivas-May ... Ramberti
Release Date: November 1921 (Italy)
Also known as: L'uomo meccanico (Italy-original title)
O homem mechanico (Brazil)
The Mechanical Man (USA)
Production Co: Milano Film
Runtime: 80 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White 
Plot Keywords: Robot
Genres: Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
Trivia: For many years this early science fiction film from Italy was regarded as lost. Some reels of the Portuguese release version were discovered in Brazil. The discovered film amounted to 740 meters which is believed to be approximately 40% of the complete film. Luckily, the discovered footage came from the later part of the film and included some of the special effects and the battle of the two robots in the Opera House. By mid-2006, this is the only footage known to survive.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Smithy - 1924


Country: USA
Language: English (intertitles)
Directors: George Jeske, Hal Roach
Writer: H.M. Walker (titles)
Stars: Stan Laurel, James Finlayson and William Gillespie
Release Date: 20 January 1924 (USA)
Also known as: The Home Wrecker (United Kingdom)
Filming Locations: Hal Roach Studios - 8822 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Runtime: USA: 20 min  | UK: 15 min (short version)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Memorable quotes for: Foreman: Do you know anything about building?
Smithy: No.
Foreman: Jus' the man we're lookin' for.
Plot keywords: Construction, Mix Up, Sergeant, Army, Hal Roach, Discharge, Receptionist
Genres: Comedy | Short
After being discharged from the 372nd infantry, on account of a bean shortage, smithy seeks employment. He finds employment at a construction site, where he helps to build a house, and soon causes havoc amoungst other workers. The constuction company owner leaves for a week, and tells his secretary to send a letter to Mr. Smith telling him to complete the construction of the house while he (the owner) is away. The letter is accidently sent to Smithy who manages to complete the house. When the owner returns the house is complete, and Smithy is commended until the last support beam is removed...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Lowell, Mass. - 1905


Country: USA
Language: English
Filming Locations: Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Plot Keywords: Parade | St. Patrick's Day | Non Fiction
Genres: Short | News
Lowell, Massachusetts: a stationary camera records the St. Patrick's Day parade on a muddy street. With formidable buildings in the background, lots of male dignitaries pass on horseback, wearing silk top hats and sashes, some carrying bouquets of flowers. Interspersed is the occasional marching band - a bugle corps, a fife and drum band, and a brass band. There's a carriage or two, and several platoons of soldiers, marching in lines, their rifles over their shoulders. After the parade ends, we cut to a solitary older man in black leaving a church and walking past our vantage. He tips his hat.

The Sultan's Wife - 1917


Country: USA
Director: Clarence G. Badger
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Bobby Vernon and Joseph Callahan
Release Date: 30 September 1917 (USA)
Production Co: Keystone Film Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Dog
Genres: Comedy | Short
On a sailing trip, sweethearts Bobby and Gloria arrive in a very sinister-looking India, where an evil rajah attempts to force Gloria into his harem.

Wales' Wonderful Rugby Win - 1922


This short newsreel of the Wales v. England rugby match during the 1922 Five Nations Championships shows us the huge cheering masses looking, somehow, much larger than present day rugby crowds. After both teams run out onto the ground at Cardiff Arms Park, we see a couple of passages of play.
Although Wales won easily and put away 8 tries, we only see an English player making a break (perhaps C.N. Lowe, the sole scorer for England?). Wales triumphed with 28 points to 6 and went on to win the tournament. (Annabelle Shaw)

Colleen Moore in Ella Cinders - 1926


An extract of the movie Ella Cinders showing the famous "Eye Exercises" scenes

La presa di Roma - 1905


Country: Italy
Language: Italian
Director: Filoteo Alberini
Stars: Ubaldo Maria Del Colle and Carlo Rosaspina
Release Date: 16 September 1905 (Italy)
Also known as: Bandiera bianca (Italy - alternative title),  La breccia di Porta Pia (Italy - alternative title), The Capture of Rome (International - English title)
Genres: Short
Trivia: The first fiction film to have come out of Italy.
Rome 1870: A blindfolded General Carchidio is escorted under blindfold from Ponte Milvio to General Ermanno Kanzler of the Papal Army. Carchidio issues an ultimatum to surrender to Kanzler which is refused, and a breach in the city walls is stormed by troops.
The original film was comprised of seven scenes lasting approximately fifteen minutes in total, and was the first film with a complex plot. The film recorded a crucial moment in the country's recent history: the capture of Rome by the newly-formed Italian army and the election of the city as the country's capital. It was produced with the co-operation of the country's Ministry of War.

Building a Harbor at San Pedro - 1901


Country: USA
Release Date: December 1901 (USA)
Filming Locations: San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Genres: Documentary | Short
This picture was secured from a launch furnished by Mr. Eager, President of the California Construction Co., who are fulfilling this $5,000,000 contract. Here is seen the largest derrick in the world at work, showing the huge arms straining and swaying. The spray effects are very fine, as the huge rocks strike the water, sending beautiful masses of foam hundreds of feet in the air and drenching the men at work on the cars. The derrick is at work on a long pier which extends out in the sea for a distance of about two miles, and for this reason we are obliged to secure our pictures from a launch.

Wrestling at the New York Athletic Club - 1905


Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: November 1905 (USA)
Also known as: Sparring at the New York Athletic Club (USA - alternative title)
Production Co: American Mutoscope & Biograph
Runtime: 4 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Wrestling | Silent Film
Genres: Short | Sport
Several chairs rest against a blank wall; three men, then a fourth and soon seven in all, divide into various pairs and wrestle for the camera. No more than two pairs wrestle at any one time. Some have robes and remove them to wrestle, shirtless. One keeps on a singlet. An older, beefy man seems to be the leader, offering instruction once, and out wrestling a younger, smaller man near the end of the reel. Everyone keeps their good humor

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blackpool - 1896


Country: United Kingdom
Scenes of the Central Promenade in Blackpool, filmed some time during 1896.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Kiss - 1914



Country: USA
Language: English
Director: Ulysses Davis
Writer: Marc Edmund Jones (story)
Stars: Patricia Palmer, George Holt and William Desmond Taylor
Patricia Palmer ... Alice, a shop girl (as Margaret Gibson)
George Holt ... Fred, her sweetheart
William Desmond Taylor ... George Dale, society man
Myrtle Gonzalez ... Helen, George's fiancée
Loyola O'Connor ... Landlady
Jane Novak ... Mazie, a saleslady
Release Date: 15 April 1914 (USA)
Production Co: Vitagraph Company of America
Genres: Short | Drama
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Trivia: A print of this film still exists in the Library of Congress
1914 silent film starring William Desmond Taylor and Margaret Gibson (aka Patricia Palmer). In 1922, Taylor was murdered, and many years later Gibson reportedly confessed to having murdered him.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The cheese mites or Liliputians in a London restaurant - 1901


Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: August 1901 (UK)
Director: Walter R. Booth
Also known as: Cheesemites (UK - alternative title)
Genres: Short | Comedy
jovial looking man is seated nearest the window of a restaurant. He has just finished his meal and the waiter brings a glass of beer, and when he places the glass upon the table, lo, a little sailor boy about six inches high appears from the foam, and climbing down the side of the glass, proceeds to dance a sailor's hornpipe on the table. The sailor then walks toward a large cake of cheese, which is really higher than himself, and from the wedge shaped opening which has been cut, produces a little lady of his own height, with whom he holds a very animated conversation to the great delight of the diner. Another little man appears on the scene, and everything goes smoothly until a quarrel arises among the little people. The picture finishes in an exciting manner, by the sailor and the lady's escort having a lively mix-up. This is one of the most comical effects ever produced in animated photography.

Washington DC Streetcar Mail Delivery - 1903


This scene shows postal worker awaiting mail to be delivered by streetcar on Pennsylvania Ave NW in Washington DC in 1903. The streetcar pulls up, the postal worker picks up the mail and loads into wagon. Williard Hotel can be seen in background. The postal worker then delivers mail to a railcar. Library of Congress

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blind Husbands - 1919

 

Country: USA
Language: English (intertitles)
Director:  Erich von Stroheim
Writers: Erich von Stroheim (screenplay), Erich von Stroheim (story), and Lillian Ducey  (titles)
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Francelia Billington and Erich von Stroheim
Release Date: 21 October 1919 (USA)
Also known as:  A Lei das Montanhas (Portugal);  Asszonybecsület (Hungary); Blinde Ehemänner (Austria); Corazón olvidado (Spain);  Die Rache der Berge (Áustria) La loi des montagnes (France); Mariti ciechi (Italy); Slepi mezowie (Poland); The Pinnacle (USA - working title)
Budget: $42,000 (estimated)
Production company: Universal Film Manufacturing Company (as Universal-Jewel Production de Luxe)
Runtime: 92 min (18 fps)  | Germany: 99 min (18 fps) (Berlin International Film Festival)  | Austria: 99 min (18 fps)  | UK: 99 min (DVD release)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Trivia: 422 different titles were considered for the adaptation of "The Pinacle". The eventual choice was made by New York exhibitors from a shortlist of eight.
Erich von Stroheim had to agree to wave fees as writer and director in order to make this first film as writer director. However, he still got $200 a week to star.
Goofs: Revealing mistakes: In one shot, when the wife walks across her bedroom, a spotlight beam is visible on the ground following her.
Plot keywords: Alps; Dog; Mountain; Rescue; Husband Wife Relationship; Mountain Climbing; Doctor; Philanderer
Genres: Drama | Romance
An Austrian military officer and roue' attempts to seduce the wife of a surgeon. The two men confront each other in a test of abilities that ends surprisingly.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Les Vampires - Episode 10 - The Terrible Wedding - 1915



Country: France
Language: French
Director: Louis Feuillade
Writer: Louis Feuillade
Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé and Marcel Lévesque
Credited cast: Musidora ... Irma Vep; Édouard Mathé ... Philippe Guérande; Marcel Lévesque ... Oscar Mazamette; Jean Aymé ... Le Grand Vampire; Fernand Herrmann ... Juan-José Moréno / Brichonnet; Stacia Napierkowska ... Marfa Koutiloff
Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Renée Carl ... L'Andalouse; Suzanne Delvé ... Fleur-de-Lys; Georgette Faraboni .. Danseuse vampire; Jacques Feyder ... (episode V: L'évasion du mort); Fridolin; Rita Herlor ... Mrs Simpson; Émile Keppens ... Géo Baldwin; Louise Lagrange ... Jeanne Guérande; Suzanne Le Bret ... Hortense - servante d'Irma
Release Date: 13 November 1915 (France)
Also known as: Die Vampire (Germany); Los vampiros (Spain); Los vampiros o los archicriminales de París (Mexico); Os Vampiros (Portugal);. The Vampires (USA- literal English title); Vámpírok (Hungary); Wampiry (Poland).
Official sites: Gaumont [France]
Filming Locations: Paris, France
Production Co: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont
Runtime: USA: 399 min (DVD)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Trivia: Musidora was an acrobat who did all her own stunts for this film.
Including among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider.
Goofs: Character error: In episode 8, when it is announced that the champagne is poisoned, Phillipe can be seen drinking the champagne well after the warning.
Continuity: The same furniture appears in the different houses throughout the film.
Revealing mistakes: Throughout various episodes, the same flats were clearly reused for interiors. Many of the same buildings will have the exact same wall paper and wainscoting.
Quotes: Le Grand Vampire: At midnight, the prisoner will be interrogated by the Grand Inquisitor of the Vampires. At dawn he will be executed in the presence of the Black Committee.
Le Grand Vampire: The Grand Vampire
Plot keywords: Criminal; Repórter; Secret; Ladder; Manhole; Dead Man; Photograph; Being Followed; Film Fan; Expelled From School; Captive; Going Straight; Signature; Following Someone; Doctor; Rooftop; Jewelry; Hypnotist; Poisoned Drink; Pursuit On Top Of Train; Scientist; Surveillance; Hypnosis; Movie Theatre; Fake Suicide; Pen; Poison; Ballet; Safe; Apache Dance; Servant; Ballerina; Noose; Cigarette Smoking; Gang; Railroad Track; Bloody Nose; Asphyxiation; Rock; Apartment; Cigarette Case; Maid; Gendarme; Presumed Dead; Poison Ink; Singing; Hiding Behind Curtains; Eating Non Food; Disguised As Undertaker; New Job; Chemist; Eavesdropping; Corpse; Cross Dressing; Criminal Gang; Ink Pen; Millionaire; Bicycle; Posing As Count; Mother Son Relationship; Telegram; Singer; Woman In Trunk; Playing Card; Bomb In Hat; Impersonating A Police Officer; Dancing; Code; Panic; Ear To The Ground; Morgue; Secret Code; Sinking Ship; Lie; Knockout Gas; Policeman; Door Bell; Wine; Bomb; Thrown From Train; Key; Suicide By Poison; Bat Costume; Champagne; Disguised As Maid; Secret Passageway; Bust; Stage; Superstition; Heiress; Stabbed In The Hand; Celebration; Concealing Something In One's Ear; Dead Bull; Headless Corpse; Dead Body; Paralysis; Escape; Split Screen; Car; Cannon; Prisoner; Sleeping; Time Bomb; Horse Riding; Single Parent; Stolen Jewelry; 10 Chapters; Sabotage; Thief; Marriage Proposal; Bandaged Nose; Costumer; Deaf Mute; Theft; Father Son Relationship; Lady's Fan; Dancing On Table; Exercise; Night Time; Little Boy; American; Paris France; Fiancé; Anagram; Engagement Ring; Wedding; Ink; Pretending To Be Sick; Gag; Caught In The Act; Letter; Killer; Episodic Structure; Missing Husband; Car Chase; Wicker Basket; Infamy; Escape From Prison; Dead Body In Safe; Disaster; Fame; Calling Card; Trapped; Binoculars; Ship; Climbing; Pretending To Be Dead; Nightclub; Trap; Engagement Party; Dancer; Shot To Death; Bull; Telephone; Curse; Poison Ring; Suicide; Spaniard; Organized Crime; Castle; Wagging One's Finger; Signal; Evil Scientist; Fake Beard; Held At Gunpoint; Entering Through Chimney; Waking Up; Bound And Gagged; Bank; Pulled From Height; Caterer; Secret Passage; Hypnotic Trance; Gas Pumped Through Keyhole; Newspaper; Giving A Toast; Costume; Movie Fan; Engagement Dinner; Split Screen; Telephone Call; Disguise; Chase; Climbing Up Wall; Card Playing; Fiancé Fiancée Relationship; Party; Framed Picture; Gunfire; Banker; Boy; Shot With A Gun; Dead Woman; Keyhole; Fanning Oneself; Killing A Bull; Looking Through Keyhole; Shot In The Nose; Exiting Through Chimney; Cult Favorite; Telephone Call; Address Book; Caricature; Trail Of Oil; Train; Horse; Film Within A Film; Assaulting An Officer; Sword; Pair Of Gloves; Automobile; Exploding Ship; Trapdoor; Secret Panel; Written Confession; Secret Panel Behind Picture; Code Book; Pretending To Be Poisoned; Secret Identity; Bank Note; Revenge; Husband Wife Relationship; Death Of Husband; Clairvoyant; Gun; Rope Ladder; Sleeping Gas; Jewel Robbery; Sudden Wealth; Medium; Jumping Onto Train; Flashback; Deaf; Murderer; Cryptography; Newspaper Reporter; Disguised As A Boy; Driver; Peep Hole; Theatre; Kidnapping; Mourning One's Husband; Serial; Sound Recording; Ambush; Comic Relief; Identity Theft; Dance; Confession; Mass Murder; Police Officer; Hiding Behind Tree; Murder; Restaurant; Mansion; Rag Picker; Prison; Kidnapper; Pulled By The Ear; Trapped In Room; Death By Poison; Taxi; Mistaken Identity; Mask; Saving Someone's Life; Poisoned Wine; Widow; Curtain; Drawing; Glove; Easel; Threat; Car Horn; Traitor; Interview; Judge; Secret Organization; Stage Performance; Stealing; Secretly Observing; Killing; Ring; Jewel; Count; Morning; Map; Severed Head; Fugitive.
Genres: Action | Adventure | Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Chapters: # Title Released Runtime Events
1 The Severed Head
La tête coupée 13 November 1915 33 mins. Journalist Phillipe Guèrande and his friend Mazamette investigate a mysterious criminal organisation calling themselves Les Vampires. A police inspector is beheaded, and Phillipe spend the night in Dr. Nox's mysterious castle, full of secret passageways. The leader of the gang, the "Great Vampire", is unmasked, but manages to escape.
2 The Killer Ring / The Ring That Kills
La bague qui tue 13 November 1915 15 mins. Marta Koutiloff performs on stage as a vampire bat and tells Phillipe that she will reveal the Vampires' secrets, but is killed by a poisoned ring.
3 The Red Codebook
Le cryptogramme rouge 4 December 1915 42 mins. Phillipe learns to decode the Vampires' messages, while cabaret singer and Vampire strategist Irma Vep enters the Guèrande house disguised as a maid, and Phillipe's mother is kidnapped.
4 The Spectre
Le spectre 7 January 1916 32 mins. The Vampires fight another criminal, Moreno, who tries to steal their loot, but Guerande engineers Moreno's arrest.
5 Dead Man's Escape
L'évasion du mort 28 January 1916 37 mins. Moreno fakes his death and escapes from prison. Phillipe is taken prisoner by the "Vampires", but escapes as well. The Great Vampire organizes a ball to steal his guest's valuables, but is outwitted by Moreno.
6 Hypnotic Eyes / The Hypnotic Gaze
Les yeux qui fascinent 24 March 1916 58 mins. The Vampires seek a treasure in the Forest of Fontainebleau. Moreno hypnotizes Irma Vep into murdering the "Great Vampire", and takes over the gang.
7 Satanas
Satanas 15 April 1916 46 mins. The Lord of the Vampires, Satanas, reveals his existence. He kills Moreno by bombarding the restaurant where he was eating and tries to steal the fortune of American millionaire George Baldwin, but is thwarted by Phillipe and Mazamette.
8 The Thunder Master
Le maître de la foudre 12 May 1916 55 mins. Irma Vep is captured by the police, but Satanas arranges her escape; however he, too, is caught. He commits suicide in his cell.
9 The Poisoner
L'homme des poisons 2 June 1916 53 mins. The new "Lord of the Vampires," Venomous, is introduced. He tries to poison Guérande, but his plot fails.
10 The Terrible Wedding
Les noces sanglantes 30 June 1916 60 mins. Guerande finally marries Jeanne. The Vampires plot against the couple, but are thwarted by Mazamette. All of the Vampires are killed or captured.