Best Drama Movies of 1904
The Hero of Liao-Yang
Several Japanese youths are playing various games and enjoying some refreshments outdoors when a military courier arrives. The messenger asks for one of the young men, and gives him his orders. The young man puts on his uniform, leaves home, and reports to a unit in the field, where preparations are being made for a battle against the Russians. The young soldier is then sent on a dangerous but important mission.
A Fire in a Burlesque Theatre
This short, otherwise unremarkable feature is of some interest because of the way that it unabashedly caters to the tastes that it perceived in its audiences. Besides combining the elements of the risqué 'blue' movies of the era with the popularity of movies about fires, it also attempted to use the combination to get extra mileage out of it. The movie's title summarises the setup, and most of the footage shows firefighters using ladders to rescue stage girls, clad in portions of their costumes, from an upper level. Although it all seems pretty tame by today's standards, it no doubt provided its male viewers with some brief moments of excitement as the various women hurried down the ladders with their costumes in disarray. (IMDb)
The Child Stealers
As a mother enters a store, she leaves her child outside in a carriage. Another woman standing nearby quickly snatches the child out of the carriage. Soon afterwards, another mother is playing with two children in the park, and when she leaves one of them unattended, her child is also seized by the same woman. These are only two of a number of children that an unscrupulous couple has captured for their own purposes.
The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teachers
A couple of Sunday school teachers invite Chinese laundry workers to their session. In return the Chinese invite them to an opium den, where the devout schoolmarms quickly abandon their morals!
During a strike, several workers are killed in a confrontation. The wife of one of them kills the factory owner. At her trial, the owner's son asks for mercy, knowing that his father was wrong. Because of that the wife is freed.
The Mistletoe Bough
During a game of hide and seek, a new bride hides in a chest and remains undiscovered until a strange visitation thirty years later.
The Sign of the Cross
A prefect is converted to Christianity and dies in the arena with his lover.
Skirmish between Russian and Japanese advance guards
Renactment of a skirmish that was likely to have occurred in the Russo-Japanese War. Opens with an establishing scene entitled "A Japanese outpost on the Yalu River," which shows the Japanese soldiers of the infantry outpost doing rifle drills and raising the flag. Following scenes are entitled "The Attack," "The Capture," and "The Retreat". In them, the Japanese fire their cannon; the Russian infantry demolish the camp, replace the Japanese flag with their own, and then fire their rifles at the enemy; and the Japanese recapture the outpost and once again run up their flag. Photographed from a single camera position.
Photographing a Female Crook
Directed by Edwin S. Porter.
The Capture and Execution as Spies of Two Japanese Officers
Japanese pose as coolies, blow up a train, are caught and shot.