Best Movies of 1901
The Big Swallow
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.
Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre
Time-lapse photography showing the one month-long demolition of the Star Theatre in New York.
The Waif and the Wizard
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.
The Magic Sword
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.
An artist draws the head of a pretty girl, takes the drawing off the paper and places it on a small table, turning the image into the head of a real woman. He then continuous drawing the lady, one body part after the other.
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.
History of a Crime
A convicted criminal dreams about his past the night before his execution.
The Magician's Cavern
A very enthusiastic magician performs several tricks.
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].
The Georgetown Loop
Railroad from Georgetown to Silver Plume, Colorado.
What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City
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.
The Haunted Curiosity Shop
An old proprietor is startled and haunted by the strange happenings inside his curiosity shop.
The Countryman and the Cinematograph
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.
A Holiday Pageant at Home
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.
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.
Preston Egg Rolling
Boys Diving, Honolulu
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.
Dream and Reality
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?
President McKinley Inauguration
President McKinley Inauguration
The Trick Cyclist
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.
President McKinley and Escort Going to the Capitol
Cavalry and foot-soldiers escort President McKinley.
President McKinley Taking the Oath
President McKinley taking the Oath.
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Parade
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.
Panoramic View of Electric Tower from a Balloon
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...
Kansas Saloon Smashers
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)
The Death of Poor Joe
A scene from Charles Dickens Bleak House.
Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front
One long traveling shot through a sea front lined with tourists, workers, and sundry others.
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.
Execution of Czolgosz with Panorama of Auburn Prison
This early docudrama shows Auburn Prison and recreates the electrocution of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley of the United States.
A Sneaky Boer
Two Boers shoot and rob a sentry.
Esquimaux Game of Snap-the-Whip
“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)
Two Rubes at the Theatre
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.
The Martyred Presidents
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.
Film produced by the Warwick Trading Company.
Likely a popular routine from Percy Honri's musical theatre show. His face is seen poking through a blackout curtain, made up as the man in the moon. A hat and puppet body appears, strumming a ukulele.
Deaf Mute Recitation
A young girl reciting "The Star Spangled Banner" in sign language as taught at Gallaudet Institute.
Jeffries Exercising in His Gymnasium
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.
Jeffries Sparring with His Brother
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.
Jeffries Throwing the Medicine Ball
James J. Jeffries throwing the medicine ball. An absolutely perfect picture of the champion heavyweight of the world.
Jeffries Side Stepping and Wrestling
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.
The Old Maid in the Horsecar
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.
Jeffries Skipping the Rope
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.
Une nuit terrible
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.
Inauguration of the Commonwealth
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.
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.
Visit to Pompeii
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.
Parade on West End Pier, Morecambe
Mitchell & Kenyon.
West End Pier, Morecambe
Mitchell & Kenyon.
Morecambe Promenade & Winter Gardens
Mitchell & Kenyon.
Scenes by the Stone Jetty, Morecambe
Mitchell & Kenyon.