Best Comedy Movies of 1908
The Thieving Hand
A one-armed street peddler notices that a well-to-do man has dropped his ring. He returns it to him. The wealthy man is very grateful and, to show his appreciation, takes the peddler to a 'Limb Store', where he buys him a new arm. The recipient soon discovers that this new arm has a will of its own - causing him considerable embarrassment.
The Invisible Fluid
Had the poor melancholy Dane, Hamlet, lived in this, the twentieth century, he would never have given voice to the remark, "Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew!" No indeed! He would have procured some of the mysterious fluid compounded by an erudite scientist by which things animate and inanimate were rendered non est, for ten minutes at least, by simply spraying them with it. In an atomizer, he sends a quantity, accompanied by a letter, to his brother. In the hope of his putting it on the market. The brother regards it as a joke, and, while toying with the atomizer, accidentally sprays himself. Presto! he is gone, to the amazement of the messenger boy who has carried the package thither. The boy reads the letter, and at once sees the amount of fun he can get out of it, so he nips it.
Experimental color film that shows a magician and his assistant making objects and people appear and disappear. Then they stack up some blocks and a moving picture of a little girl appears on them.
Mr. Jones at the Ball
Mr. Jones at the Ball is a 1908 American silent short comedy film, part of the once-popular Biograph series centered around the titular Jones and his long-suffering wife. In this film, Jones rips his suit pants and chaos ensues.
The Taming of the Shrew
Based on Shakespeare's play. Petruchio courts the bad-tempered Katharina, and tries to change her aggressive behavior.
A Smoked Husband
After his wife receives an extravagant dress, a man find himself the victim of an attempted burglary; He hides in his fireplace, which is then fired. The police arrive and pursue the man, now covered in soot. He jumps onto the roof below his, landing two dandies into a trough of paint.
Long Distance Wireless Photography
Into a photography studio full of large fantastic machines steps an elderly couple. The bearded proprietor explains the equipment and gives them a demonstration: he starts machines whirring, and projects a painting of three women onto a large screen; suddenly the women begin to move. The customers are impressed. First the women sits in the special seat: she's projected onto the screen, and her good nature comes out in the laughing image. Then it's the man's turn, but the machine discloses a vastly different nature in him. Will his reaction threaten our proprietor's inventions?
The Sculptor's Nightmare
At a political club, the members debate whose bust will replace that of Theodore Roosevelt. Unable to agree, each goes to a sculptor's studio and bribes him to sculpt a bust of the individual favorite. Instead, the sculptor spends their fees on a dinner with his model during which he becomes so inebriated that he is taken to jail. There he has a nightmare, wherein three busts are created and animated from clay (through stop-motion photography) in the likenesses of Democrat William Jennings Bryan and Republicans Charles W. Fairbanks and William Howard Taft. Finally an animated bust of Roosevelt appears.
The Call of the Wild
George Redfeather, the hero of this subject, returns from Carlisle, where he not only graduated with high honors, but was also the star of the college football team. At a reception given in his honor by Lieut. Penrose, an Indian agent, the civilized brave meets Gladys, the lieutenant's daughter, and falls desperately in love with her.
The Mischance of a Photographer
A family goes to a photographer. The photographer pushes the boy around, and no one seems to care. The boy gets his revenge.
Romance of a Jewess
This early D.W. Griffith short shows the director's interest in Jewish ghetto life, portrayed here with sympathy and sentimentality. The melodramatic plot involves the conflict between generations in an immigrant Jewish family.
Father Gets in the Game
D.W. Griffith film about an elderly father who grows tired of seeing his son bring home beautiful women so he gets a makeover and heads out on the prowl.
Mack Sennett appears as a waiter in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
Les inconvénients du cinématographe
In this picture we see how the artists engaged to pose for the pictures make the scene so realistic that they get themselves into all kinds of trouble in the city where people are not familiar with their mode of doing things. The first picture shows the camera set to take a picture of a tragic hold-up. The manager gets the people in position, and when they are ready, a woman and girl are seen walking along the street, when three men spring out from behind a wall, and, after stabbing them, go through their pockets, relieving them of all their valuables.
The Vaquero's Vow
Mack Sennett appears as a man in the bar and in the wedding party in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
Boireau a mangé de l'ail
In this comedy we see a fellow giving orders to the cook to put plenty of garlic in his food, and she complies with his wishes by giving everything an extra dose of the unpleasant ingredient. The first victim of the fumes is a dog that is seated beside the table, and when the fellow blows his breath on the animal he falls over unconscious from the effects. Next he prostrates a street cleaner and a painter perched on a ladder, as well as a woman in charge of a newsstand. They all succumb and fall over unconscious on the ground. He enters the subway and meets a man coming up the stairs, and when the latter gets a whiff of the garlic he too, goes down in a heap. Entering the car in the underground road he proceeds to waft the strong odor over the passengers, with the effect that each in turn goes down and out on the floor of the coach. When he reaches the next station he alights, leaving the car looking more like a hospital than anything.
Here is seen an old miser preparing for bed, but before retiring he counts his money and hides it under his mattress. He is just dropping off to sleep when two thieves climb on the roof and come down through the skylight into the attic directly over his room. They proceed to bore a hole in his ceiling, but the noise awakens him, and jumping out of bed does not taken time to dress, but starts off on a bicycle for the police. He has a long way to go and during his absence the thieves succeed in getting into his room and stealing all his valuables. He gets back after some time with a policeman perched on the front of his bicycle, and as they enter the house the thieves jump out of the window, seize the bicycle and ride away.
The Cheekiest Man on Earth
A man is rude to everyone he meets and is thrown into the river.
Cent francs à qui rapportera
A woman gets a dog from the pound. But her husband, jealous that the dog is getting so much attention, pays a man on the street to steal the dog. The women put a reward which attracts the attention of the thief.
Ingomar, the Barbarian
Mack Sennett appears as a barbarian in this film produced by the Biograph Company.
Jim's mother brings him to an architect's office to secure a position for him, and he is accepted. After clinging lovingly to his ma, he is induced to abandon his strangle hold, and he is taken into the drafting room. Here two clerks make merry with him, but he managed to even matters unconsciously by leaning on the heavy end of a table, upsetting it and all on it. Now his employers tell him to carry a set of plans, papers and instruments, with which he is to accompany them to a building. In the course of construction, Jim reaches to the top of a closet for some of the papers, upsets it, breaks some more furniture and finally reaches the street, struggling under a mass of paraphernalia, with which he strews his path as he goes.
Commissionnaire par occasion
A young woman is seen in thin film laughing at a youth, who, having fallen desperately in love with her at first sight, is ardently pressing his suit. Hearing footsteps in the passage, the young woman explains to her suitor that her husband is returning, and, terrified at the news, the timid Romeo jumps out of the window. He rushes down the street, and, seeing a messenger sitting on his stand at the corner, bribes the man to lend him his outfit; this accomplished he takes the boy's place and keeps watch over the residence of his Juliet. The husband returning, informs his wife in high glee that he has been appointed salesman for one of the largest crockery stores in the town, and before long is on his way to his new office, much to the satisfaction of the enamored messenger keeping watch.
Les femmes chauffeuses
Paris has the unique distinction of possessing women cabbies; the scheme of making them chauffeurs (or, more properly, "chauffeuses") meets with rather disastrous results, as is shown in this extremely funny picture. Business is bad and one of the female cabbies reads an "ad" in the newspaper calling for women chauffeurs, so she goes to the garage and gets the job. Getting into the auto, she starts out and makes for the railway station, where there is a good opportunity to do a record business. Her first passengers load into the machine and, after giving directions to the lady in charge, she starts down the street.
J'ai gagné un cochon
A raffle booth at a country fair is shown, at which live stock is being drawn for, in full operation. The good, folk gathered about hold numbers and as the wheel turns a clown distributes among the winners, chickens, rabbits and geese. One portly gentleman wins a pig and becomes so elated on receiving his prize that with some friends he goes to a café to drink. He indulges by far too freely and spills many bottles of liquor into the pig's anatomy, via its mouth, until the animal seems to be intoxicated too.
Rempailleur de chaises
Rempailleur is the French word for the person who repairs the wicker seat in chairs, and that's the central joke in this short comedy. A rubber-legged clown carries around more chairs than he can hold, has them stolen and steal other chairs.
Too Much Champagne
A drunk dreams that he is carried off to Hell.
What One Small Boy Can Do
In this screaming comic is shown the amount of mischief that can be accomplished by one small boy. (Moving Picture World synopsis.)
Turning the Tables; or, Waiting on the Waiter
1908 Vitagraph Company one-reel short film.
King of the Cannibal Islands
Believed to be the first film to feature cannibals.
His First Visit to Warsaw
A comedic short film.
Le bon gendarme
In this picture we see a man who is vested with authority to enforce the law, but, unlike the usual sort of men occupying the same position, he is so kind-hearted that ofttimes he is governed by his sentiments, and is very indiscreet in meting out just punishment to offenders, He is patrolling in the country, where lawbreakers are not numerous, but once in a while it will happen that somebody is guilty of an act that is not just in keeping with propriety. His first duty is to arrest a pair of lovers whom he catches kissing, but when he comes upon the love-sick couple, and threatens to arrest them, his heart is softened by their tears, so he allows them to go their way with some good advice.
Hulda is a maiden fair to look upon. Her artless rustic simplicity, rivaling Hebe's gorgeous radiance, phlogisticates the susceptible hearts of the village swains. But alas, Hulda was a fickle maid, and seemed to have as many phases as the moon, with a smile for all and a frown for none. Her capriciousness was the cause of much unrest, both for herself and her lovers, for when her parents had departed for a visit, leaving her in charge of the kitchen, she received most effusively Jocular Jake, the village cut-up, only to hide him above stairs at the entrance of Previous-Hearted Pat, the hostler, who in turn is hidden in the Dutch oven at the approach of Handy Hank, the chore boy.
Monkeyland, a Jungle Romance
A jungle travelogue looking for monkeys.
The Professor's Secret
Acting on the Darwin theory, that man descended from a monkey, a scientist experiments towards turning man back to the monkey stage. He inoculates a number of persons with the preparation and after the subjects reach their homes the reversing process begins, and they become monkified. Their antics are uproariously funny. The scientist is unable to turn them back to human beings again, so they are collected in a large cage and places on exhibition. Here they are visited by an ape dressed in human attire. (Moving Picture World)
L'institut de beauté
A masher approaches a lady on the street who is elegantly dressed, but when he gets near enough to see her face he changes his mind so suddenly that he is glad to get away. The ugly woman passes on, however, and on reaching the store of a beauty doctor, decides to step in. The M.D. promises her complete satisfaction and gets busy promptly. First he subjects her mud-colored marcelled hair to a treatment, and in a little while she has beautiful raven-black hair. He massages her face and removes all dermatological defects, and finally gets to work on her teeth; in a few more seconds the woman emerges from the place a fine specimen of natural brunette beauty, with teeth like so many pearls. This time when she meets a gentleman on the street he promptly offers his arm.
La bonne farce
A quartet are making merry at a feast, and one of them is so full of liquor that he falls from his chair. At this his companions conceive, a clever plan for some fun. Taking a white fur suit from a wardrobe, they put him into it, and finishing the outfit with heavy white gloves and fitting a hollow bear head tightly over his own, they turn him out of the house resembling an intoxicated Polar Bruin.
Mais dépêchez-vous donc!
A very wise inventor has perfected an electric device whereby he can control the velocity of everything in sight when he turns the crank attached to the box in which the wonderful apparatus is encased. The first picture Hire shows him in the laboratory after completing the machine, and when he turns the crank the girls who have been assisting him start to work with lightning rapidity and disappear from the room like a shot out of a gun.
A Disastrous Flirtation
The hero, who fancies himself a ladies' man, cannot resist winking at every comely lass who passes his way. Unfortunately, he winks once too often, and soon the would-be Romeo is running for his life, pursued by an angry boyfriend. Disaster does indeed plague our hero for the rest of the picture.
Jeannot veut épouser une danseuse
Jeannot sees a lithograph of a ballet dancer and decides he wants one of them and heads to the big city. Jeanette decides she can be one and likewise heads to the big city.