Film: 8778

Feature Comedy | 1910 | Silent | B/W

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Synopsis:

Silent British comedy from 1919 featuring an improbable situation: A young man and his girlfriend go to the park but are unable to find an empty park bench to sit on and kiss. The young man decides to rents a mechanical woman to reserve space at the park however the situation quickly gets complicated by the actions of the mechinical woman. Ultimately he is fooled as the mechinical woman turns out to be his girl's father in disguise who is testing his future son-in-law's loyalty. Humurous slapstick acting.

00:00:00 Opening credits: "Bamboozled" etc.

00:00:08 Title: "Old Man Shingles, whose daughter Gladys is the apple of his eye … Fred Rains"

00:00:13 Well dressed woman, Gladys, enters garden scene from left, wearing a hat, followed by an older gentleman wearing a white suit and hat, she turns back to speak with him. Close up of gentleman, Shingles, with cigarette in his mouth, smoking and smiling as he adjusts his eye glass or eye piece.

00:00:17 Title: "The aforementioned 'apple' … Agnes Healey"

00:00:20 Close up of Gladys in hat smiling and talking to gentleman who is off camera.

00:00:23 Title: "But Priceless Percy thinks Gladys "a peach" and would be on his way to see her now if it weren't for that !!!??!! Collar stud! … Stan Paskin"

00:00:29 Dark scene and close up of well dressed man, Percy, in collared shirt with a loose tie brushes or slicks or greases back his hair, facing away from camera and looking into a mirror, he turns facing camera, adjusts collar, and wipes his hands onto his shirt front, and moves his hands on the front of his shirt as if he is missing something or searching for something (the collar stud). Full frame of Percy standing in bedroom, with bed on the left of the frame and dressing table on right of frame, checks for the missing collar stud by looking at the cuffs of his trousers (by lifting up his foot), then bends down and continues searching (the chest he is presumably searching for is out of the frame), he sits back and put his hand to his head in exasperation, then pounces (almost animal-like) under the dressing table whereupon he finds his missing collar stud, hits his head on the dressing table, and stands up and finishes adjusting his collar.

00:00:51 Gladys and Shingles walk from left to right of the scene away from the camera through a garden, and exit scene to left. Percy is in his bedroom getting dressed and is now wearing a suit jacket and tie, adjusts his suit and checks the time on his wristwatch, hurriedly puts on his hat and grabs his cane or walking stick, picks up a framed photograph of Gladys from the dressing table and kisses it, places the photograph onto the table and romantically waves at it (in a "see-you-soon" manner), re-checks his appearance in the mirror and exits room.

00:01:10 (Overexposed shot) Percy, in three piece suit, enters the scene from right, stands on a small road or in a park lane, with a fence and field in background, he checks his watch and leans on his cane while looking around impatiently, then notices someone walking towards him. Gladys and Shingles walk down a park lane together towards the camera, with a large fence to the right of the scene, as they both laugh and chat to each other while the Shingles smokes a cigarette. Percy stands next to a fence with his left hand on his hip and holds his cane in his right hand, and gets visibly angry as the couple approaches them, Gladys introduces Shingles to Percy, who shakes Percy's hand with vigor causing him to pull his hand away in pain, Shingles crosses the scene to the left while Percy questions Gladys about Shingles (by mimicking both Shingles and Gladys' actions) in the centre of the frame, they then say goodbye to Shingles by each shaking his hand, Gladys leaves the scene to the left while Percy shakes Shingles's hand and then turns and smacks into the fence, Shingles smiles and laughs and walks towards the camera and out of the scene.

00:01:40 (Overexposed film) Two park goers (a woman and a gentleman) sit on a park bench in the right of the scene, smiling and laughing together, with their arms wrapped around each other. Percy and Gladys walk through the park away from the camera, stop and face camera (as if they are lost or looking for a place to sit to kiss or snog) then continue out of the scene. Percy and Gladys pass in front of the romantic couple on the park bench and sit on them, not realising the other couple is already sitting on the bench. Underexposed close up of gentleman who is making an annoyed or curious face looking behind him. Percy and Gladys stand up apologetically and talk to the romantic couple on the bench. Percy and Gladys walk through park towards camera, exiting scene to the left. Percy and Gladys walk into same park scene, visibly lost or still searching for a park bench to sit on, as they stop in the centre of the scene and scan the park. Overexposed view of six romantic couples sitting on park benches in a park, kissing and snuggling in a row from foreground to background, with grass and trees surrounding the scene. Percy and Gladys stand in park searching for a place to sit so they can kiss and be romantic together, Gladys hits Percy with her purse and points to something off screen in which Percy excitedly points to. View of a romantic couple standing up and walking away from a park bench. Percy and Gladys race or rush towards the newly empty park bench, Gladys falls on the grass then stands ups, and Percy and Gladys hold hands as they rush to the bench, only to miss their chance by another couple who appears suddenly from behind a hedge and takes the seat. Percy and the man argue, and the parkgoer takes off his coat preparing to brawl or fight with Percy. View of the two couples arguing from afar, Percy and Gladys run out of the scene to the left. Overexposed, humorous view of a new couple sprinting or running across a grassy park towards an empty park bench and towards the camera, arriving just before Percy, and the two men argue. Underexposed close up view of Percy. Percy flips over the park bench with the romantic couple on it. Humorous, comedic view of the man and woman flipped over upside-down with the bench, struggling to get up. Percy runs out of scene, leaving the man and woman on their backs on the ground. Another couple sit and cuddle on a park bench, while Percy runs across the scene in the background, the romantic couple hug or embrace on the park bench, and Percy runs up to them and disturbs them, which makes the man on the park bench angry who stands up to confront Percy, who promptly leaves the couple and runs away from them across the park grass, with his back to the camera.

00:03:03 Overexposed scene of Gladys standing in front of a tree, with trees and a hedge in the background, who is approached by Percy who leans against the tree and chats with Gladys as she is clearly frustrated about not being able to find a park bench to sit on so they can kiss, he unintentionally pushes her back by the shoulder (not violently) which causes her to move back towards the tree and he apologises.

00:03:18 Title "Stay here a minute precious-kins, I'll soon find a seat!" (very dark and difficult to read)

00:03:20 Percy exits scene, leaving Gladys to stand in front of tree alone. Close up montage shots of Gladys standing in front of tree, gasping, fretting, and muttering to herself. Gladys still stands in front of tree with her hand on her hip when Percy returns and they engage in an argument, with Gladys leaving Percy and Percy following. Gladys walks through a wooden fence in the park which she shuts before Percy can follow, he takes off his hat and leans down to kiss her which causes her to move away from him.

00:03:48 Title "If you want me to be nice to you, find a seat next time - I can stand up by myself, thank you!"

00:03:56 Gladys leaves man at gate and walks down path in the park, away from camera while Percy stands resting his left elbow on the fence, turns towards the camera and puts his hand in his pocket, shrugs shoulders, and then exits scene to the left. Back in his bedroom, Percy hastily throws his belongings (hat, cane, etc) onto his bed, sits down in a chair, claps his hands together impatiently, and holds a cigarette, he turns to the dressing table and picks up the picture frame of Gladys and scolds the photo but then smiles while putting the frame back on the dressing table, he then begins to untie or take off his shoe as his smile turns into a look of concern as the camera fades to black screen (moving into a day dream sequence). Scene fades from black, a stout man (possibly Keith Prowse) and a well-dressed woman (possibly Gladys) sit on a park bench, the stout man looks around (as if searching for someone) and turns back to the woman. Scene fades to black. Percy, still in his bedroom, appears forlorn or sad and takes of one shoe and holds it in his hand, a maid or housekeeper enters and offers tea to Percy who gets angry and throws his shoe to the floor, causing the maid to drop the tea, he shouts at the maid who leaves the room, Percy then points to the mess and laughs, and moves to sit on the bed, he attempts to control his nervous foot tapping and picks up a newspaper. Close up of newspaper advertisement showing four illustrations of women. Percy sits on the bed reading the newspaper, he puts it down and makes a thoughtful look on his face as the camera fades to black (moving into a day dream sequence). Shop window scene, with an elegant woman or mannequin sitting on display in the window amongst umbrellas and mannequins. Camera fades Percy sitting on bed in bedroom who gets excited having a "Eureka!" moment (highly overexposed shot).

00:05:19 Title "Golly what a brain wave! I'll show 'em how to reserve seats Keith Prowse won't be in it!" (Extremely dark and difficult to read, underexposed)

00:05:17 Percy, in his bedroom, stands up, places his hat on the headboard of the bed (after missing on several attempts), unbuttons jacket, and proceeds to undress and put on his pajamas and the camera fades to black (highly overexposed)

00:05:33 Title "In the bright day"

00:05:36 Scene of Percy in bed dressed in pajamas, waking up and sitting in bed scratching his head, he get an idea and writes it down on a piece of paper in bed which turns out to be a love letter inviting Gladys to meet him in the park in the evening. Close up of love letter which reads, "Dear little Popsy-topsy, Meet me near the entrance to the park at eight thirty sharp tomorrow evening. I promise to have a seat all to ourselves. Your darling, Percy". Percy sits in bed and smiles as he folds the letter and seals envelope while holding a cigarette in his left hand, addresses the letter, gets out of bed, and begins to put on his shoes.

00:06:07 Exterior of shop called "J. Lebel Model Maker", Percy walks towards (and almost past) the shop entrance before stopping and deciding to enter the shop. J. Lebel, the model maker, stands behind a table with two heads or wigs on it, with a two mannequins in the scene as Percy approaches the table and begins talking with the model maker.

00:06:21 Title: "Yes sir - I have the very latest thing in models, walks, sits - does everything but talk!"

00:06:28 Model maker leaves Percy and brings over his latest model or mechanical woman, who is dressed in an overcoat with a netted hat covering most of her face, Percy asks the model maker questions about the mechanical woman, in response the model maker turns the mechanical woman around so her back is facing the camera and so her buttons are in view from under her fur collar. Close up buttons on the model's back, the model maker pushes one button which causes the model to look left at Percy, who in response lifts his hat and smiles. The model maker turns the mechanical woman back to the camera and the mechanical woman malfunctions by nearly falling over, raising her arm, hitting Percy in the face with her hand, jerking her knee up, the model maker gets a remote control for Percy while Percy scolds the mechanical woman. Close up of the leg joints of the automatic doll or mechanical woman. The model maker continues to show the features of the mechanical woman as the mechanical woman falls backwards into the arms of Percy who catches her, she then falls forwards and backwards humorously while Percy pays the model maker then leaves the shop (without the mechanical woman), the model maker brings the mechanical woman behind the table and guides her to lay her down face forward on the table.

00:07:31 Gladys in the park, frolicking toward the wooden gate, a postman approaches her and gives her the love letter from Percy which she opens. Close up of love letter. Gladys smiles and puts her hand to her face, and happily turns away from the camera and leaves the park through the wooden gate, dancing and skipping in the park.

00:07:47 Title "And by the light of the silvery moon"

00:07:50 Percy and a worker carry a mechanical woman out of the model making shop. Percy and the worker put the female model into a wheelbarrow but accidentally tip the wheelbarrow up which knocks the woman onto the ground. Humorous scene of Percy and the worker attempting to put the model mechanical woman onto the wheelbarrow but she continues to fall out, until they finally succeed and wheel the wheelbarrow out of the scene to the left. Percy and the worker wheel the mechanical woman along a path near the park and slide her off the wheelbarrow so that she sits on the ground, Percy adjusts her hat and lifts her up so that she stands against the fence, he then pays the worker who takes away the wheelbarrow as Percy carries the mechanical woman out of the scene to left. Percy carries the mechanical woman into the park and they both fall onto the grass, whereupon he sits on the back of the mechanical woman while she lies face down in the grass, he then picks her up (along with a blanket) and continues carrying her on his back. Close up of a tree, Percy and the mechanical woman enter the scene and Percy adjusts the mechanical woman to lean against the tree, Percy looks around scanning the park while holding the mechanical woman upright, he then picks her up and carries her into a large opening or hole in the tree, all the while looking around to make sure no one sees him as he places her into the tree and covers her with a wool blanket, he then leaves her in the tree and exits the scene.

00:09:42 Title "The next evening - sit back, hold tight and WATCH - there's dirty work ahead!"

00:09:47 Percy approaches tree (where the mechanical woman is hidden) and pulls her out of it, throwing the blanket covering her to the side, they fall to the grass with the mechanical woman on top of Percy, and he struggles to pick her up, once he picks her up he then pushes a button on her back which causes her to come alive and begin walking, and Percy and the mechanical woman walk out of the scene to the right, with the mechanical woman walking in a jerky, sudden, over-the-top manner. Park scene, with Percy and the mechanical woman walking from left to right across the grass, the mechanical woman abruptly stops and Percy shows the mechanical woman how to walk by picking up his leg, but instead the mechanical woman turns its head to wards Percy, who then attempts to move the mechanical woman's head forward again, which causes the mechanical woman's leg to rise and they commence walking again. Percy and the mechanical woman approach a park bench and he turns the mechanical woman to face the camera, the mechanical woman begins to lean but is caught by Percy before it can fall over, the mechanical woman again falls backwards but is caught by Percy who then pulls the mechanical woman back to sit on a park bench in the background, but the mechanical woman sits down slightly on top of Percy and malfunctions, so is stuck on top of Percy, in response Percy pulls out the directions for the mechanical woman. Close up of directions for the mechanical woman to sit, walk, bend, move arm, and turn head. Percy finds the button to make the mechanical woman sit in which the mechanical woman beds at waist and sits on the bench next to Percy, albeit with her legs outstretched, Percy attempts to bend her legs at the knee but to no avail so he reads his directions and presses a button on her back which causes her to hit him in the face with her arm, he then attempts to push down her arm which causes it instead to raise above her head, he finally gets her to sit properly and releases a sigh of relief and wipes his forehead, then leaves the mechanical woman sitting on the bench. An older man in a top hat and suit approaches the mechanical woman sitting alone on the park bench, walks in front of the bench and gives a "thumbs up" sign to the camera and smiles. View of Percy standing in front of the park fence waiting for Gladys to arrive. The mechanical woman sits on the park bench alone as the older gentleman approaches and eagerly sits down next to her with a smile towards the camera, pokes her in the stomach with his walking stick (since she doesn't respond), and tries to get closer to her by putting his arm around her back which causes her to hit the man in the face, he jumps and tries again to get closer by kissing her to which she responds with a kick, the older gentleman tries again to kiss her but Percy returns and shoos the man away, who runs out of the scene. Percy laughs and sits down on the park bench next to the mechanical woman and scans the scene for Gladys. Gladys leaves her house, which is surrounded by leaves and hedges and checks the time on her wristwatch. Close up of wristwatch showing eight thirty (20:30). Evidently late, Gladys runs on path away from house. Percy sits on park bench next to the mechanical woman as large group of Percy's friends approach, they shake his hands and gesture towards the mechanical woman, whom Percy gets to nod at them with the push of a button on her back.

00:12:13 Title: "Excuse me, but - er my lady friend is er - hum - duff and dem!"

00:12:17 The ground of friends leave, and Percy wipes his forehead with a handkerchief in relief and sits down on the park bench, scolding the mechanical woman. Gladys runs to the fence outside the park, then continues running away from the camera. The mechanical woman leans onto Percy, Percy pushes the mechanical woman upright, and the mechanical woman hits Percy in the face, Percy puts his arm around the mechanical woman. Gladys runs along park path and stops in the centre of the frame, putting one hand to her face in disbelief. Percy smiling with his arm around the mechanical woman and comically pulls the mechanical woman towards him. Furious, Gladys turns around and runs away from the camera. Percy stands up and runs after Gladys as the mechanical woman falls over on the park bench. Gladys runs past the park fence and out of the scene, Percy runs into scene, stops and looks in either direction, frustrated he runs back to the park. Close up of a gentleman with eye glass or eyepiece and a top hat. Close up of the mechanical woman woman lying on a park bench. Close up of man in top hat. Man in top hat approaches park bench with the mechanical woman lying on it, he uses a white handkerchief to try to fan the woman. Percy smiles and observes the scene from peeking out of a hedge. Man continues to fan the woman mechanical woman with white handkerchief, places handkerchief in front pocket of his jacket, and reaches over to move the woman, she then hits the man and knocks his hat off, he then attempts to pull her up by the arm and then by her shoulder, which causes her to kick him. Percy laughs and smiles from the hedge. Man attempts again to pull the mechanical woman upright, Percy intervenes which causes the man to let go of the mechanical woman who then falls back onto the park bench, Percy argues with the man and kicks him out of the scene then hastily attempts to pull the mechanical woman upright but she instead lies on her back with her feet and arm up, Percy humorously puts the model upright, checks the directions, pushes a button on the mechanical woman, the mechanical woman stands up, and they walk out of the scene. Percy and the mechanical woman walk along the park, across the scene from right to left. Percy and the mechanical woman attempt to walk along a park path but are stopped when the mechanical woman malfunctions, Percy props the mechanical woman against a fence, picks her up again, and proceeds to humorously march on the path with the mechanical woman. Percy and the mechanical woman enter scene from right, walk down the pavement away from camera as two men pass who greet the couple, the mechanical woman then falls into the men who catch her multiple times before she finally falls to the pavement, almost exposing herself (which Percy quickly covers up).

00:14:38 Title: "Must get my lady friend home - she suffers with violent hydrostatics".

00:14:43 Percy supports the woman mechanical woman as the two men look on and guides her away from the camera down the path, exiting the scene while the two men point and laugh at Percy and the mechanical woman. Percy and the mechanical woman walk down pavement with hedge in background, from right to left of the scene, the mechanical woman crumples to the ground and Percy hoists the mechanical woman upright and leans her against a tree. Close up of Percy who, based on his actions, appears thirsty. Percy hoists the mechanical woman on his arm, points and gestures towards something off camera, and they hastily and humorously march off camera. Bar or pub scene, with three men at the bar and one woman bartender. Percy and the woman mechanical woman walk towards the entrance to the bar, with him struggling to hold her up as she leans severely from left to right and front to back, she falls backwards and he puts her upright, then pushes a button on her back to raise her leg and march into the bar. Three men sit or stand on left of bar scene, with Percy in the middle and the mechanical woman standing to the right, Percy orders and drinks a beer while one of the men hits Percy on his back causing Percy to drop his beer, Percy turns to the man and shakes his hand while wiping the beer from his face with a handkerchief, then makes the mechanical woman gesture towards the man, who continues chatting with Percy.

00:15:39 Title "A small port for my friend's lady friend, please"

00:15:41 Bar tender prepares a drink and puts it on the bar counter, Percy reaches around the mechanical woman and pushes a button on her back to move her arm, she reaches for the glass of port. Close up of the mechanical woman sipping small glass of port. Close up of Percy looking to the right, looking shocked. Close up of mechanical woman putting down empty glass onto bar counter. Close up of Percy looking to the right, looking shocked. View of entire bar scene, Percy puts hat back on his head and talks with the men in the bar while watching the mechanical woman, Percy catches the mechanical woman who falls forward onto Percy, Percy turns the mechanical woman towards the door and says goodbye to the men in the bar, feigning that the woman (the mechanical woman) had too much to drink so they needed to leave. Exterior view of Percy and the mechanical woman marching out of the bar, Percy turns the mechanical woman to face towards the camera and they march past the camera. Percy and the mechanical woman walk away from the camera down the pavement, the mechanical woman falls to the pavement which causes Percy to fall to the pavement, Percy humorously picks up the mechanical woman and carries her down the pavement. Percy drags the mechanical woman along the pavement in front of a brick wall, hoists her up and makes her lean against the wall, Percy angrily scolds the mechanical woman, who then leans and almost falls over. Close up of Percy yelling at the mechanical woman.

00:16:48 Title: "You pie-faced, slab-sided daughter of Satan, if Gladys turns me down, I'll jump on you!"

00:16:54 Close up of Percy yelling at the mechanical woman. Percy struggles to drag the mechanical woman along the pavement in front of a brick wall, walking her towards and off the camera. Percy struggles to walk with the mechanical woman along the pavement, Percy trips and his face into fence while the mechanical woman runs into and hangs suspended on the fence. Percy struggles to walk with the mechanical woman along the pavement, manages to get her upright, and walk her towards and off the camera. Percy carries the mechanical woman horizontally through the park fence, walking with his back to the camera, and leans her against the hedge while he opens the gate.

00:17:24 Title: "When you get home my dear, when you get home!"

00:17:29 Percy lifts the mechanical woman and carries her through the park gate, closing the gate behind them and marching with the mechanical woman down the path and away from the camera. Percy and the mechanical woman walk along a garden path towards the camera, the mechanical woman leans several times and is unable to negotiate steps, Percy picks the mechanical woman up the steps. View of Gladys sitting on a garden chair, with grass and trees in foreground. Percy and the mechanical woman march on park path, from left of the scene to the right. Percy and the mechanical woman walk towards Gladys sitting in the background on a garden chair, with grass and trees in foreground, the mechanical woman falls onto the grass, Percy drags the mechanical woman on the grass towards Gladys and hides the mechanical woman under the garden chair behind her. Percy stands behind Gladys, who is knitting, and puts his hands on her eyes, she stands up and walks away from him, they argue. Close up of mechanical woman sitting up and laughing, facing camera, takes off hat to reveal that the mechanical woman is in fact Old Man Shingles, Shingles ducks behind garden chair as to not be seen by Percy and Gladys. Gladys sits down in the garden chair as she and Percy continue to argue. Close up of Shingles talking and smiling. Percy and Gladys turn to see Shingles and, after their shock, learn that he was in fact the mechanical woman. Close up of Gladys. Percy, Gladys, and Shingles sitting on the grass.

00:18:37 Title "I met Mason, the shopman, and he told me you were fixing up some dirty business with a dummy so … "

00:18:43 Percy, Gladys, and Shingles talking and sitting on the grass, camera fades to black. A well-dressed man talking and making a deal with Shingles in front of a fence, the man shakes Shingles's hand and walks on pavement at right of scene with back to camera, Shingles laughs and gestures knowingly towards the camera as camera fades to black. Percy, Gladys, and Shingles talking and sitting on the grass.

00:18:57 Title: "As I wanted to be sure what sort of man my son-in-law was to be, I arranged to be the 'dummy,' and well, one never knows, y'know!"

00:19:05 Percy and Gladys hug and smile, facing camera, while Shingles laughs in the background. Close up of Shingles placing his mechanical woman wig and hat on Percy's head, and after some initial confusion, Percy joins in laughing with Gladys and Shingles.

00:19:18 End of film.


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