Best Comedy Movies of 1899
Will Evans, the Musical Eccentric
Ladies' Skirts Nailed to a Fence
A century before Little Britain's Emily and Florence first assaulted our screens, a pair of equally unconvincing transvestites could be spotted in this short comedy. Our cross-dressing housewives are enjoying a gossip before they're abused by a couple of men. The film doesn't make clear why they deserve this attack, but an accompanying set of cards produced by the production company indicates that the ladies were engaged in a discussion about the then-pressing political issue of women's suffrage.
Charlie Wanted the Earth
A couple are making love beneath the window of a cranky old gentleman. There is a handsome window garden above them filled with plants and flowers. The old gentleman throws out a rope upon the lovers to annoy them. They, not knowing what it is, seize it and pull the window garden down upon themselves.
The Inexhaustible Cab
A cab is hailed in front of a palatial mansion by a gentleman who wishes a score of people driven to another part of the city. A clown jumps out and a satisfactory agreement is made between the clown and the gentleman, and a score or so of persons are hustled in one at a time until the clown succeeds in piling in the whole lot except Bridget, who is carrying a child. The persistent clown, in order to assist the nurse, who tips the scale at 400 pounds, takes the child from her. After caressing it he tosses it on top of the cab. He then picks up a board and uses it with good effect on the extremities of the fat woman, until she is forced into the cab, which drives away with its load of humanity.
The Corset Model
The scene opens with a salesman displaying corsets to the buyer of a country store. He calls in a female model and tries a corset on her. While the buyer is looking at the figure, the salesman removes the head and arms and finally shows that instead of legs, she has a wire frame. This is one of the most effective trick pictures in our list.
The Maniac Barber
This scene is laid in a barber shop. A customer enters and takes his seat in the chair. The barber places the cloth about his neck, sharpens his razor, and then goes mad. He seizes a huge knife, cuts the man's head off, and takes it to a table some distance away. There he lathers and shaves the face; then taking the head back to the chair, he places it in his proper position on the trunk. The customer thereupon rises, none the worse for his experience, pays his bill, and leaves the shop.
The American Biograph in Circus O. Carré
Short film of the audience leaving the afternoon show at Circus Carré in Amsterdam. Produced by William K. Dickson’s British Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
The Tramp's Dream
A tramp dreams he is welcomed in a high-society parlor for tea, only to wake up and be disappointed.
Stealing a Dinner
“Another exhibition by Prof. Leonidas' troop of cats and dogs. One of the dogs is shown stealing his dinner from the table in his master's absence. In order to cover his own crime, the dog places a cat on the table, where she is found when the master comes in.” (AMB Picture Catalogue, 1902)
The Kiss in the Tunnel
A humorous subject intended to be run as a part of a railroad scene during the period in which the train is passing through a tunnel.