Best Movies of 1901

1.

The Big Swallow

3.5
6.9/10 IMDB

A man, objecting to being filmed, comes closer and closer to the camera lens until his mouth is all we see. Then he opens wide and swallows camera and cinematographer. He steps back, chews, and grins.

Starring: Sam Dalton ..
Directed by: James Williamson
Release date: 1901-10-15
Best Movies of 1901 : Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre
2.

Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre

2.8
6.7/10 IMDB

Time-lapse photography showing the one month-long demolition of the Star Theatre in New York.

Directed by: Frederick S. Armitage
Release date: 1901-04-29
3.

The Waif and the Wizard

2.8
5.7/10 IMDB

The Waif and the Wizard features the same young man who appeared in Undressing Extraordinary (and who might be early filmmaker Walter Booth). It's another early example of a two-shot film along the lines of Paul's earlier film Come Along Do!. The young man plays a magician who, after completing his act, agrees to go home with the young boy from the audience who helped him perform his tricks. At the boy's home he finds a sick sister and a worried mother being threatened with eviction by her landlord.

Directed by: Walter R. Booth
Release date: 1901-09-01
4.

The Magic Sword

2.8
6.3/10 IMDB

On the roof of an ancient palace appear a young Knight and his lady. While they are making love an ugly old witch appears and is rather troublesome. The Knight commands her to leave, and when he is about to force her away she sits on her broom and rises to the moon. After disappearing she causes various hob-goblins to haunt the pair, the last of them stealing away the lady while the Knight's back is turned. The Knight, frantic with grief, is suddenly confronted by a Fairy, who presents him with a magical sword, and tells him that he can use it to regain the young woman.

Directed by: Walter R. Booth
Release date: 1901-01-01
Best Movies of 1901 : Fire!
5.

Fire!

2.6
6.2/10 IMDB

Firefighters ring for help, and here comes the ladder cart; they hitch a horse to it. A second horse-drawn truck joins the first, and they head down the street to a house fire. Inside a man sleeps, he awakes amidst flames and throws himself back on the bed. In comes a firefighter, hosing down the blaze. He carries out the victim, down a ladder to safety. Other firefighters enter the house to save belongings, and out comes one with a baby. The saved man rejoices, but it's not over yet.

Directed by: James Williamson
Release date: 1901-10-15
Best Movies of 1901 : History of a Crime
6.

History of a Crime

2.6
6.2/10 IMDB

A convicted criminal dreams about his past the night before his execution.

Starring: Jean Liézer, Bretteau, Ferdinand Zecca ..
Directed by: Ferdinand Zecca
Release date: 1901-04-30
7.

The Magician's Cavern

2.5
6.2/10 IMDB

A very enthusiastic magician performs several tricks.

Starring: Georges Méliès ..
Directed by: Georges Méliès
Release date: 1901-01-01
Best Movies of 1901 : The Georgetown Loop
8.

The Georgetown Loop

2.5
5.8/10 IMDB

Railroad from Georgetown to Silver Plume, Colorado.

Directed by: Billy Bitzer
Release date: 1901-07-01
Best Movies of 1901 : What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City
9.

What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City

2.5
5.8/10 IMDB

A street level view from the sidewalk, looking along the length of 23rd Street. Following actuality footage of pedestrians and street traffic, the actors, a man in summer attire and a woman in an ankle-length dress, walk toward the camera.

Starring: A.C. Abadie, Florence Georgie ..
Directed by: Edwin S. Porter, George S. Fleming
Release date: 1901-07-31
Best Movies of 1901 : The Haunted Curiosity Shop
10.

The Haunted Curiosity Shop

2.4
5.8/10 IMDB

An old proprietor is startled and haunted by the strange happenings inside his curiosity shop.

Directed by: Walter R. Booth
Release date: 1901-01-01
Best Movies of 1901 : The Countryman and the Cinematograph
11.

The Countryman and the Cinematograph

2.4
5.8/10 IMDB

A satire on the way that audiences unaccustomed to the cinema didn't know how to react to the moving images on a screen - in this film, an unsophisticated (and stereotypical) country yokel is alternately baffled and terrified, in the latter case by the apparent approach of a steam train.

Directed by: Robert W. Paul
Release date: 1901-01-01
12.

A Holiday Pageant at Home

2.3
4.7/10 IMDB

A few days before the Christmas holiday, a large family decides to put on a home-made play as part of their holiday together. The mother writes the play, and the children practice it. When they are ready, they enact first a prologue and then the play.

Release date: 1901-10-31
13.

Stop Thief!

2.3
5.6/10 IMDB

A lad from a butcher shop is carrying a tray laden with a roast or a leg of lamb. A hobo grabs it and runs. The boy gives chase, joined by dogs, as neighbors watch the spectacle. The hobo jumps into a large rain barrel, followed by the dogs.

Starring: Sam Dalton ..
Directed by: James Williamson
Release date: 1901-01-01
14.

Preston Egg Rolling

2.3
5.5/10 IMDB

Release date: 1901-04-02
15.

Boys Diving, Honolulu

2.2
4.9/10 IMDB

In the background is a row of three-masted sailing ships, at anchor, their sales furled. In the foreground, a simple pier that's more like a yardarm juts out above the water; about 15 boys of six or seven years of age are on the jutting wood, and they jump off into the water below. The water looks to be about three feet deep. They swim back toward the pier. A small motorized boat passes. It's a stationary camera; one take.

Release date: 1901-01-01
Best Movies of 1901 : Dream and Reality
16.

Dream and Reality

2.2
5.1/10 IMDB

A well-dressed, middle-aged man is enjoying a drink at a table with a pretty young woman. He flirts with her, and she seems not to mind his attentions. But is it all too good to be true?

Directed by: Ferdinand Zecca
Release date: 1901-01-01
17.

President McKinley Inauguration

2.2
5.4/10 IMDB

President McKinley Inauguration

Starring: William McKinley ..
Directed by: Billy Bitzer
Release date: 1901-03-05
18.

The Trick Cyclist

2.2
5.0/10 IMDB

Shows a tramp enter and try to ride a wheel, from which he makes some very ludicrous falls and gives up in despair, after which an artist enters and jumps rope on a wheel. A very laughable subject.

Directed by: Thomas A. Edison
Release date: 1901-09-21
Best Movies of 1901 : President McKinley and Escort Going to the Capitol
19.

President McKinley and Escort Going to the Capitol

2.1
4.6/10 IMDB

Cavalry and foot-soldiers escort President McKinley.

Starring: William McKinley, George Dewey, John Davis Long, Nelson Appleton Miles ..
Release date: 1901-03-16
Best Movies of 1901 : President McKinley Taking the Oath
20.

President McKinley Taking the Oath

2.1
4.4/10 IMDB

President McKinley taking the Oath.

Starring: William McKinley, Melville Fuller, George Dewey, Nelson Appleton Miles, Joseph E. Ransdell, Mark Hanna, John Coit Spooner, James K. Jones, Joseph Gurney Cannon, John Dalzell ..
Directed by: Thomas A. Edison
Release date: 1901-03-16
Best Movies of 1901 : Buffalo Bill's Wild West Parade
21.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Parade

2.1
4.5/10 IMDB

The film shows a parade down Fifth Avenue, New York. In the foreground many children, both black and white, can be seen following alongside the parade. The participants in the parade include cowboys, Indians, and soldiers in the uniform of the United States Cavalry on horseback and riding horse-drawn coaches. Buffalo Bill can be seen on horseback, lifting his hat to the crowd. Filmed on 1 April 1901.

Starring: William F. Cody ..
Release date: 1901-04-01
22.

Panoramic View of Electric Tower from a Balloon

2.1
4.3/10 IMDB

Here we have recorded a very novel scene, the camera having been placed in the basket of the captive balloon at the Pan-American Exposition...

Release date: 1901-08-21
23.

Kansas Saloon Smashers

2.1
5.0/10 IMDB

A gilded saloon, with a fancy bar, forms the background. A nobby bartender with white coat and apron is dispensing drinks to customers. Behind him are polished plate glass mirrors. A comical Irishman enters, sets a huge pail on the bar to be filled, and while he is drinking a glass of foam beer, Mrs. Nation and her followers enter with their hatchets. One of the women jams the Irishman's stiff hat down over his eyes and another one douses him with his own pail of beer. They then wreck the saloon and smash the mirrors, bottles, cash register and bar fixtures. The bartender plays a stream of seltzer water on Mrs. Nation, and as she backs away from behind the counter, a policeman enters and hustles everybody out. Full of comedy from start to finish. (Edison Catalog)

Starring: Carrie Nation ..
Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-03-16
Best Movies of 1901 : The Death of Poor Joe
24.

The Death of Poor Joe

2.0
4.9/10 IMDB

A scene from Charles Dickens Bleak House.

Starring: Laura Bayley, Tom Green ..
Directed by: George Albert Smith
Release date: 1901-03-01
25.

Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front

2.0
6.3/10 IMDB

One long traveling shot through a sea front lined with tourists, workers, and sundry others.

Release date: 1901-01-01
26.

Esquimaux Leap-Frog

2.0
3.9/10 IMDB

Another Edison short filmed at the Pan-American Exposition is pretty much the same film as ESQUIMAUX GAME OF SNAP-THE-WHIP with the only difference being the sport. Here we see a group of kids playing leap-frog.

Release date: 1901-08-21
27.

Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison

2.0
5.3/10 IMDB

This early docudrama shows Auburn Prison and recreates the electrocution of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley of the United States.

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-11-16
Best Movies of 1901 : A Sneaky Boer
28.

A Sneaky Boer

1.9
4.9/10 IMDB

Two Boers shoot and rob a sentry.

Release date: 1901-09-21
29.

Esquimaux Game of Snap-the-Whip

1.9
3.4/10 IMDB

“The picture [shows] a number of Esquimaux picking nickels from cracks in a board with their dog whips, in which sport they are very expert. In the background will be seen one of their "Topeks," a sealskin tent in which they live during their short summer.” (Edison catalog)

Release date: 1901-08-08
30.

Two Rubes at the Theatre

1.8
5.2/10 IMDB

This picture shows the interior of a well-known theatre. Two hayseeds occupy the front seats and an idea can be gained of the merits of the play by their facial expressions. They indulge in peanuts and apples during the performance, to the amusement of the occupants of the seats surrounding them. Excruciatingly funny.

Release date: 1901-03-23
Best Movies of 1901 : Anna Held
31.

Anna Held

1.6
5.7/10 IMDB

Stage star Anna Held (1872-1918) riffs on her once-famous scene from the comedy Papa's Wife (1899-1901) featuring a naif getting tipsy on her first champagne, in this "photographic interview", filmed in 68mm by Frederick S. Armitage. AM&B's Picture Catalogue of 1902 pitched it as "A stunning picture of the well-known actress in the drinking scene which made such a hit in Papa's Wife. The figure is shown in bust view, making the head very large and giving a clear view of the facial expressions of the beautiful artiste." The company said that both "make hits either in the Biograph [35mm projection service] or Mutoscope" [hand-cranked peep-show viewer].

Starring: Anna Held ..
Directed by: Frederick S. Armitage
Release date: 1901-05-23
32.

The Martyred Presidents

1.5
3.8/10 IMDB

This film is difficult to classify. It opens on a scene showing a mourner with bowed head sitting in front of what appears to be a tombstone. Shortly afterwards, the face of Abraham Lincoln and then of two other presidents, Garfield and McKinley, can be seen on the monument and then they disappear. There is a figure huddled at the foot of a statue of Justice, as if asking forgiveness.

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-10-19
Best Movies of 1901 : Japanese Schoolchildren
33.

Japanese Schoolchildren

1.4
6.2/10 IMDB

Film produced by the Warwick Trading Company.

Release date: 1901-01-01
34.

Deaf Mute Recitation

1.3
4.8/10 IMDB

A young girl reciting "The Star Spangled Banner" in sign language as taught at Gallaudet Institute.

Release date: 1901-04-25
35.

Jeffries Exercising in His Gymnasium

1.3
4.8/10 IMDB

Jeffries walks into his gymnasium at Oakland, Cal., accompanied by Billy Delaney, and begins exercising with the heavy weights. The view was taken with the champion close to the camera, and during the exercises his back is turned to the audience, when his great muscles stand out in bold relief, and, as he strains and tugs at the weights, they give one the impression of huge bands of knotted cords.

Starring: Billy Delaney, James J. Jeffries ..
Release date: 1901-12-14
36.

Jeffries Sparring with His Brother

1.3
4.7/10 IMDB

A fine picture of the champion and his brother in a very lively one-round sparring bout. The muscles of the champion are shown to excellent advantage, and aside from being a very lively and interesting sparring exhibition the film presents an absolutely perfect photograph of the champion and his brother.

Starring: Jack Jeffries, James J. Jeffries ..
Release date: 1901-12-14
37.

Jeffries Throwing the Medicine Ball

1.3
4.7/10 IMDB

James J. Jeffries throwing the medicine ball. An absolutely perfect picture of the champion heavyweight of the world.

Starring: James J. Jeffries, Tommy Ryan, Jim Daly ..
Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith
Release date: 1901-12-14
38.

Jeffries Side Stepping and Wrestling

1.2
4.7/10 IMDB

Another fine picture of the champion going through his side-stepping tactics which have made him famous. The picture ends with a wrestling bout with his brother, Jack Jeffries.

Starring: Jack Jeffries, James J. Jeffries ..
Release date: 1901-12-14
39.

The Old Maid in the Horsecar

1.2
5.2/10 IMDB

A female impersonator giggles and flirts. By the following decade, many female impersonators would be shown doing their acts on the stage and in the movies; the Eltinge Theater on 42nd Street in New York is named for Julian Eltinge, the most famous of them. This was probably the earliest "name" example for the movies. Gilbert Saroni plays an exceedingly ugly woman who coyly flirts with her fan.

Starring: Gilbert Saroni ..
Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-01-01
Best Movies of 1901 : Jeffries Skipping the Rope
40.

Jeffries Skipping the Rope

1.2
5.1/10 IMDB

A splendid subject, showing the champion heavyweight of the world, exercising in his training headquarters. After showing his skill in side-stepping, and fancy steps while skipping the rope at a phenomenal speed, the champion's trainers peel off his sweater and give him a rubdown, during which the mighty muscles on the champion's chest and back are seen to perfection.

Starring: James J. Jeffries ..
Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton
Release date: 1901-12-14
41.

Une nuit terrible

1.2
4.8/10 IMDB

A man tries to climb ito bed to get a night's sleep. Every time he does, the bed suddenly is someplace else and he falls on the floor.

Release date: 1901-12-13
42.

Inauguration of the Commonwealth

1.2
4.9/10 IMDB

This clip shows part of the official parade for the Inauguration of the Commonwealth on 1 January 1901 as it passes through the temporary gate built especially for the occasion in Hyde Park, Sydney.

Directed by: Joseph Perry
Release date: 1901-04-25
43.

Children Bathing

1.0
3.9/10 IMDB

A pretty and natural picture in which the principal actors are two tiny tots who are evidently not a bit afraid of the briny deep as they splash around in the waves in very evident delight and enjoyment. The water effects are splendid and this is a beautiful subject of "Child-life." We recommend this to make a hit with any audience.

Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith
Release date: 1901-12-16
Best Movies of 1901 : Visit to Pompeii
44.

Visit to Pompeii

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

George Albert Smith and Charles Urban snaffled the plum job of travelling to Italy to take a series of views of Italy for the Warwick Trading Company, including this one. The long panning shots of Pompeii linger respectfully, as a tourist would, before the camera finally raises its eye to the mighty volcano looming in the distance beyond.

Directed by: George Albert Smith
Release date: 1901-01-01
45.

Parade on West End Pier, Morecambe

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
46.

West End Pier, Morecambe

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
47.

Morecambe Promenade & Winter Gardens

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
48.

Scenes by the Stone Jetty, Morecambe

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

Mitchell & Kenyon.

Release date: 1901-01-02
49.

Circular Panorama of Electric Tower

0.0
5.4/10 IMDB

A most interesting picture at the Pan-American Exposition. The picture was taken from the north side of the Electric Tower. It presents the most perfect and diversified views of the Transportation Building, Mexican Plaza, the Stadium and the north side of the Electric Tower. (Edison Catalog, 1902)

Directed by: Edwin S. Porter
Release date: 1901-08-31
50.

Panorama of Ealing from a Moving Tram

0.0
5.1/10 IMDB

A camera sits on top of a moving train, providing a panoramic view of Ealing as the train moves.

Directed by: William K.L. Dickson
Release date: 1901-06-03

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