Railways, Subways, Phantom Rides-05

A Kiss in the Tunnel
P and R: George Albert Smith. UK 1899
Print: BFI

“The railway subgenre soon incorporated short scenes for comic relief. G. A. Smith made a one-shot film of a couple kissing in a railway carriage — a gag that had comic strip antecedents. He suggested that showmen insert Kiss in the Tunnel into the middle of a phantom ride, after the train had entered the tunnel. Unlike the structuring strategies suggested by Selig, comedy and scenery were contained within the same fictional world. Ferdinand Zecca’s Flirt en chernin de fer was intended for the same use, but rather than require the entrance of the train into a dark tunnel, Zecca matted in a window view of passing countryside. A Lubin film, Love in a Railroad Train (1902), depicts a male traveler’s unsuccessful attempts to sneak a kiss from a woman passenger. When they emerge from the tunnel, it turns out that he is kissing her baby’s bottom. Porter combined a variation on Lubin’s gag with Zecca’s use of a matte to make What Happened in the Tunnel. A forward young lover (G. M. Anderson) tries to kiss the woman sitting in front of him when the train goes into the tunnel but ends up kissing her black-faced maid instead. The two women, who anticipate his attempt and switch places, have a laugh at his expense. The substitution of a black maid for a baby’s bottom suggests the casual use of demeaning racial stereotypes in this period.”
Charles Musser: Before the Nickelodeon. Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford 1991, p. 262 f.

15 years later:

L’anglais tel que Max le parle
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder, Cécile Guyon. P: Pathé. Fr 1914

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 123 f.