Film: 2259

Feature Comedy | 1900 | Silent | B/W


5 short comedy features from early days of cinema.
1. Couple (he in boater and blazer, she in frills and hat) have a picnic. A fat man in elaborate costume sits next to them, Fat man steals food from the others' plates. fat man instructs man in boater to change places so that the fat man sits between the man and woman. Woman arranges a blanket on the ground and the fat man lays his head on it. He sleeps with a napkin over his face. The couple sneak off behind some bushes. Fat man wakes. The couple, in a nearby field, laugh and point.
2. A woman in a white dress and black hat strolls through a field carrying a parasol. She is joined by a man in a suit who shakes her hand. He takes off his hat and kneels before her, imploringly. She begins to walk away. He drinks from a bottle, presumably poison and falls to the ground. Woman cradles him in her arms.
3, "The French Duel" Plush and opulent French drawing room (of a men's club?) of the 18th century (?). Men in breeches and Cromwellian moustaches sit on chaises longues and large chairs reading and smoking. Two men in top hats bow to each other. Two more men in top hats and large moustaches arrive and bow to the seated gentleman. A lively discussion ensues. A waiter brings drinks. The men stand. Man in top hat throws down his glass. Smaller man throws his drink at man in top hat. Man in top hat spanks his companion's hand. They light cigarettes and blow smoke at each other. Man in top hat storms out. Cut to outside an old stone building. Horses and traps approach. Lots of men in top hats alight and mill around. A nurse can be seen in the background. Man in top hat and his friend appear. Undertakers in top hats secretly measure him. Small man appears and seems confident. He too is surreptitiously measured. A man appears carrying swords. These are rejected. Second man appears with shotguns. The duellists take on each. Man in top hat accidentally fires his gun and the whole party jump. Man takes his rifles and leaves. Man brings back swords. Man in top hat selects a large sword and hands his opponent a dagger. Eventually, both men carry equal sized rapiers. Top hat man conceals a metal tray in his coat. They fence. A member of the crowd is accidentally stabbed. The crowd cheer. The "dead" man stands up and hugs the duellers.
4. A country squire-type pats a tethered horse outside its stable. He calls to the stable hand and gives him an instruction. Stable hand waggles his fist as the squire walks away. Stable hand punches the horse several times in the neck and face and kicks it in the stomach. (Looks as if this was acted - the blows didn't actually hit but even so, it's not very nice). he beats the horse with a stick. Squire returns and drags the stable hand away. Squire picks up another stick and sets about the boy. Other men dressed like the stable hand charge at him and they all fight. They chase the stable lad up a ladder. Meanwhile, the squire unties the horse and leads it to safety. The stable boy jumps out of a low window, followed by his attackers who continue to beat him. Stable boy is thrown in the trough and splashed.
5. Man in bowler hat climbs telegraph pole to meet woman hanging out of the window. She blows kisses. She holds out a broom and he leans on it and lowers himself towards her. They hug and kiss. he falls and lands in a cart full of water. He walks away a bit funny.

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