Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chimmie Hicks at the Races - 1902

Filming of a character sketch by the well-known vaudevillian Charles E. Grapewin. On a bare stage backed by a dark curtain, a man dressed in a three-piece suit and overcoat holds a racing program and excitedly watches a race supposedly taking place offstage. With enthusiastic jumping and other delighted pantomime, he makes it clear his horse has won the race. A second man in a suit and hat enters from stage right and pays Chimmie his winnings, a portion of which the gambler returns to the man for another bet. With the start of the second race, he again watches with rising excitement, but suddenly his face falls and he angrily throws his hat on the ground, having evidently lost this time. The other man returns and collects all of Chimmie's money plus his pocketwatch. The repentant gambler then kneels, shakes his arms to the heavens, rips up his program, and scatters the pieces on the ground, apparently swearing off betting. He rises, pulls on his hat, and dejectedly begins to walk offstage.

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