Best Movies of 1906
San Francisco: Aftermath of Earthquake
Footage shot not long after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco is edited together so that more than one scene and more than one vantage are included. We see fire raging. We see burned-out buildings, piles of rubble, and buildings with only one wall standing. People stand and watch; others walk purposely through the debris. A carriage passes; the camera pans the desolation. A horse-drawn cart is laden with a family's remaining possessions. A sign hangs outside one building: "A little disfigured but still in business. Men Wanted."
The Impossible Convicts
Four prisoners, in convicts' stripes, march backwards down stairs and, under the watchful eyes of guards, hop backwards into their cells. Later, one overpowers a guard and springs his three pals. But, will they be able to pull off an escape? Other guards come to the aid of their fallen comrade before all four felons can flee. Guards and convicts spring forward and backward out of cells, up and down stairs, and into and out of freedom.
The Story of the Kelly Gang
Just as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) is testimony to German silent film art, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) symbolises both the birth of the Australian film industry and the emergence of an Australian identity. Even more significantly it heralds the emergence of the feature film format. The Story of the Kelly Gang, directed by Charles Tait in 1906, is the first full-length narrative feature film produced anywhere in the world. Only fragments of the original production of more than one hour are known to exist and are preserved at the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra. (unesco.org)
The Black Hand
Two gang members send a threatening letter to a butcher, demanding money if he did not want his shop to be destroyed and his daughter Maria kidnapped. When he is unable to meet their request, they take Maria away. The Black Hand is the earliest surviving gangster film.
A new skyscraper is being built in New York City, and numerous workmen are busy at hazardous jobs high above the ground. When one of the workers, Dago Pete, deliberately starts a fight, he is immediately fired. But the discharged worker soon comes up with a plan to commit a robbery and get even. His scheme could affect the lives of several others.
How the Office Boy Saw the Ball Game
An office boy plays hooky from work so he can watch a ballgame perched high atop a telephone pole. Includes footage of an actual baseball game as if seen through a telescope.
A Visit to Peek Frean and Co.'s Biscuit Works
A look at typical activities taking place in the Peek Frean factory: First, the workers get up steam, as supplies of milk and flour arrive. Sheets of dough are rolled, then cut, shaped, and readied for baking. The camera then continues to show further events throughout the work day.
The Automobile Thieves
A young couple conducts a series of robberies, followed by a chase, in which they are shot and killed.
A man kills a wealthy miser - frugal fellow, I like to think - and buries his corpse under a haystack. The murderer is haunted by the ghost of his victim....or is it his own conscience?
A man dancing at a party finds one of his socks has fallen down. Retreating where no one can see him, he removes the offending item. the consequences are not long in coming in this very short -- two minutes -- comedy from Alice Guy.