Best Movies of 1900
The Enchanted Drawing
A cartoonist defies reality when he draws objects that become three-dimensional after he lifts them off his sketch pad.
Grandma's Reading Glass
A child borrows his grandmother's magnifying glass to look at a newspaper ad for Bovril, at a watch, and then at a bird. The child shows grandma what he is doing. The child looks next at grandma's eye, then at a kitten.
Scene from the Elevator Ascending Eiffel Tower
“A marvelously clear picture taken from the top of the elevator of the Eiffel Tower during going up and coming down of the car. This wonderful tower is 1,000 feet in height, and the picture produces a most sensational effect. As the camera leaves the ground and rises to the top of the tower, the enormous white city opens out to the view of the astonished spectator. Arriving at the top of the tower, a bird's eye view of the Exposition looking toward the Trocadero, and also toward the Palace of Electricity, is made, and the camera begins its descent. The entire trip is shown on a 200-foot film. 30.00. We furnish the ascent in 125 foot film.” (Edison film catalog)
How It Feels to Be Run Over
As the camera looks down an open road, a horse and carriage approaches, and passes by to one side of the field of view. Soon afterwards, an automobile comes up the road, straight towards the camera. As it gets nearer, the occupants start to wave frantically, but can a collision be avoided?
A film in which limbless Nikolai Kobelkoff demonstrates a series of tasks, from aiming a pistol to performing gymnastics. Kobelkoff was born without arms and legs but persevered, becoming an international star in the early 20th century as a "Human Torso".
Around the Flip-Flap Railroad
A splendid picture of the remarkable centrifuge railroad at Coney Island in which the car makes a complete circle in its course around the track, commonly known as "Loop the Loop."
A Storm at Sea
While our photographers were crossing the Atlantic Ocean a most wonderful and sensational picture was secured, showing a storm at sea. The picture was secured by lashing the camera to the after bridge of the Kaiserine Maria Theresa, of the North German Lloyd Line, during one of its roughest voyages. The most wonderful storm picture ever photographed. Taken at great risk. (Edison Films, 1901)
Let Me Dream Again
Possibly the first film to utilize the technique of focus pulling. A man kisses a beautiful and lively woman, then the image blurs and dissolves into a clear image of the man waking up to his nagging wife.
Panorama of Eiffel Tower
“Showing the entire height of this wonderful structure from the base of the dome and return, with the great Paris Exposition in the background, looking down Champs de Mars. A most realistic picture.” According to Edison film historian Charles Musser, this film features the first camera tilt among the company's surviving oeuvre.
As Seen Through a Telescope
An elderly gentleman in a silk hat sits on a stool in front of a store on the main street of town. He has a telescope that focuses on the ankle of a young woman who is a short distance away. Her husband catches the gent looking. What will the two men do now?
Vue prise d'une baleinière en marche
Sailors row a whaling boat in a medium-tight shot.
Palace of Electricity
A panoramic shot, making a full circle, at the 1900 Paris Exposition. It begins and ends looking at the front of the Palace of Electricity. As it pans, first we see a workman hosing down the promenade. Men and women walk past, all wearing hats. We see the base of the Eiffel Tower, which the Palace faces. A couple strolls. A mother and daughter walk passed, father is slightly ahead wearing a boater. Three men in uniform walk toward the camera as it comes to a stop facing the Palace.
Scenes on Mr. Smit's Ostrich Farm
Scenes on an ostrich farm, filmed in Natal during the Boer War.
Nothing new, but an old thing done over again and done well. Some one has attempted to describe a kiss as "something made of nothing," but this is not one of that kind, but one of those old fashioned "home made" kind that sets the whole audience into merriment and motion, and has always proven a popular subject. It is very fine photographically and an exhibit is not complete without it. (Edison film catalog)
How They Rob Men in Chicago
A burlesque on the work of highwaymen in Chicago. An elderly gentleman is sandbagged and robbed by a thug, who inadvertently leaves some money on the victim's prostrate body. A policeman shows up.
Attack on a China Mission
The titles tell us this film is based on an incident in the Boxer Rebellion. A man tries to defend a woman and a large house against Chinese attackers. They attack with swords, guns, and paddles. He's over-matched. What will become of the mission, its defenders, and its occupants?
Sherlock Holmes Baffled
Sherlock Holmes enters his drawing room to find it being burgled, but on confronting the villain is surprised when the latter disappears.
The Biter Bit
A gardener is watering a garden. A prankster stands on his hose halting the flow until he looks at the nozzle and gets a stream of water to the face. He notices the prankster and gives him his comeuppance. Remake of the Lumiere film Arroseur et arrosé.
An Exciting Pillow Fight
The magic of a real solar eclipse filmed on 28 May, 1900 by a famous magician, Nevil Maskelyne, while on an expedition by The British Astronomical Association to North Carolina.
The House That Jack Built
A cleverly conceived picture of a little boy and girl with building blocks. The little girl has erected a pretty structure, which the boy proceeds to demolish with pokes of his fingers. When the demolition of the house is completed, the film is shown in reverse, and the little building comes back to its original form in a most marvellous manner.
An Artist's Dream
The scene opens in the interior of an artist's studio. Mephisto appears mysteriously and signals the pictures to come to life. They step down from the frames and walk forward, admiring their costumes. Mephisto then touches the artist on the shoulder, awakening him, and disappears. The artist, after rubbing his eyes, sees the picture on his right hand side and jumps up to embrace her. After embracing her once, he makes a second attempt and she disappears. The artist now wakes up, jumps to his feet, and runs to see if the picture are still in the frames. He examines them and finding that they are still fast on the wall, realizes that the has been dreaming and seeks consolation in the bottle.
Uncle Josh in a Spooky Hotel
Uncle Josh returns in this sequel to UNCLE JOSH'S NIGHTMARE. This time he checks into a hotel, presumably to get a better nights rest than he got at home. Of course the way bad luck follows Josh around we know this is a forlorn hope. Sure enough, quicker than you can say "Georges Méliès" a ghost pops up to make sure Uncle Josh is denied yet another good nights rest.
Panorama of the Moving Boardwalk
An early short with a self-explanatory title.
Panoramic View of the Place de la Concorde
Taken from an automobile. This picture was taken during the fashionable driving hour, making a complete circle of the Place de la Concorde, passing hundreds of carriages and busses. The beginning of the picture shows the historical church of the Madeleine in the background, the picture ending by approaching and running under the main entrance to the Paris Exposition.
Panorama of Place de l'Opéra
James White, the Edison Company's main filmmaker at the time, realized a burst of creativity during his visit to the 1900 Paris Exposition. It's uncertain who his cameraman was for this journey, but historian Charles Musser suggests that it might've been Alfred C. Abadie. In their Paris Exposition films, they introduced tilting (see 'Panorama of Eiffel Tower') and, although panning and panoramas had already been around for a while, they introduced some novel functions for them.
The Mystic Swing
The professor shows his power to Mephisto by mysteriously placing a young lady in a swing. Mephisto then shows his power by making the young lady disappear from the swing, to the surprise of the professor. The professor makes another mystic pass and produces a second young lady then in the swing, and also a skeleton.
A combination of the picture entitled "The Ballet of the Ghosts," and a surf scene; the resulting effect being that the ghostly figures rise up out of the surf and come to the shore, cast their draperies aside and dance a few steps of the ballet, after which they again take up their draperies, and having covered themselves, retreat into the waves.
Skating in Central Park
An interesting view of Central Park before there was a skyline of buildings. All along the length of the park on both sides and to the north, with the exception of the Dakota Apartments located at 72nd Street and Central Park West, It was virtually impossible to see anything other than sky above the trees. In the nineteenth century when people went to visit the park, they really were leaving the "city."
Panoramic View of the Champs Elysees
Filmed in July 1900, on the Champs Elysées in Paris, France.
Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Palace
The single camera position is from the top of a building identified as the Trocadero Palace; The camera is pointed toward the Eiffel Tower. The film shows only up to the first arch of the Eiffel Tower.
Uncle Josh's Nightmare
Poor Uncle Josh is trying to get to sleep, but being constantly bedevilled by a fellow in red long underwear with horns. A short early trick editing film using a stationary camera much more valuable for its historical, rather than entertainment value.
With a crowded arena in the background, a stationary camera records a bull charging a picador astride his horse. An attendant on foot throws stones at the rump of the horse to get it to move. Various toreadors run past the bull to try to get him to charge or at least run about.
A Wake in 'Hell's Kitchen'
This scene is laid in the parlor of a New York tenement. Two watchers at the wake are smoking and drinking, while the widow is weeping over the coffin. The attention of the three is attracted for an instant, and the supposed corpse rises up, drinks all the beer in the pitcher which is standing on a table nearby, and lies down in the coffin again. The mourners return, and seeing that the beer is gone, engage in a controversy over it. During the scrap the corpse jumps out of the coffin and takes part in the melee.
Hooligan Assists the Magician
This is a new adventure in which our friend, Mr. Hooligan, appears in an entirely new capacity. On a stage a professor of magic is performing some wonderful experiments, and when he requests some assistance Happy Hooligan immediately volunteers his services and climbs upon the platform.
Spiders on a Web
Consisting of a single shot, Spiders on a Web is one of the earliest British examples of close-up natural history photography. Made by one of the pioneers of the British film industry, G.A. Smith, this short film details spiders trapped in an enclosure, and despite the title, does not actually feature a web.
Exploding a Whitehead Torpedo
The title pretty much tells you all there is to know about this Edison film. It runs a very brief 27-seconds and shows a torpedo hitting its target and going off. I think the most fascinating thing about this is that we get a pretty close shot of the explosion and its aftermath. It was rather funny seeing this large explosion and especially seeing how long it took for everything that flew up in the air to land back down.
A Morning Wash
A man exchanges shoe blacking for his friend's soap.
The Old Maid's Valentine
An old spinster receives an unexpected Valentine's letter.
Soldiers of the Cross
The plot outlines the story of the early Christian martyrs with a compendium of horrors such as maulings at the Colosseum, crucifixions, beheadings, savage hackings and burnings at the stake, burnings in the limepit, the spectacle of human torches in Nero's garden.
A Dull Razor
This picture shows an old gentleman seated at his shaving table. The razor is evidently giving him a great deal of trouble...
Warships, UK and Germany
Warships at Sunset
A single shot of a fleet of warships at sea, with a sunset sky superimposed from another sequence to complete the effect.
The Dull Razor
A man shaves, back to the camera, face reflected in a mirror.
Shelling the Red Cross
A Boer throws a bomb into the British Red Cross tent and wounds a nurse.
Attack on a Mission Station
A couple is attacked by warriors.
Massacre of the Christians by the Chinese
Reenactment of a scene from the Boxer Rebellion.
Queen Victoria's Visit to Dublin
Queen Victoria's Last Visit to Ireland
"This is the last ceremonious public appearance of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria. The picture was taken in Phoenix Park, Dublin, April 4th, 1900, and shows the Queen in an open carriage, being cheered by thousands of people, as she passes through an arch of welcome."