Runaway Horses

Le cheval emballé
R: Louis J. Gasnier. P: Pathé. Fr 1907/08

“Hired at Pathé Frères in 1905, Gasnier (1882-1963) specialized in comic films such as Le cheval emballé (1908) and directed several installments in the Boireau series as well as the first films featuring Max Linder. Beginning in 1909, he helped Charles Pathé establish foreign subsidiaries, including Film d’Arte Italiana and, more important, Pathé American, whose new studio was located in Bound Brook (New Jersey). Gasnier served as artist director of the American company and also made films, most notably the famous serial, The Perils of Pauline (1914). Its success enabled him to create his own company, Astra Film, which supplied Pathé with detective serials well into the 1920s. He then settled in the USA permanently.”
Laurent le Forestier, in: Richard Abel: Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. Taylor & Francis 2005, p.265

>>> The Perils of Pauline: The Most Famous Suspense Serial In History

The Curtain Pole
R: David Wark Griffith, Mack Sennett. D: Mack Sennett, Harry Solter, Florence Lawrence. P: Biograph. USA 1908

“Amongst Pathé’s biggest hits of 1907-1908, was Le Cheval emballé. (…)  A delivery man goes up the staircase and into a room and back onto the staircase, while his horse is shown in a cross-cut sequence eating the contents of a bag of oats outside a grain shop on the street level. These scenes inside the house are all shot from the same frontal direction. Le Cheval emballé was so successful a film that it would have been difficult for film people to avoid seeing it in 1908 in New York, but in any case, Griffith made a version of it, at the urging of Mack Sennett and Billy Bitzer, under the title of The Curtain Pole, later in the year. At that point Griffith had not developed the idea of using side-by-side spaces shot from the same frontal direction. Ben Brewster has identified An Awful Moment, made about a month after The Curtain Pole, as the first use of the device, and the next example I know of is A Wreath in Time, made another month later, with Mack Sennett in the lead. After that, this layout became more and more frequent in Griffith’s scenography.”
Barry Salt: d. w. griffith shapes slapstick. In: Tom Paulus, Rob King (ed.): Slapstick Comedy. Routledge 2010, p. 37 ff.

An Awful Moment
R: David W. Griffith. B: David W. Griffith. K: Arthur Marvin. D: George Gebhardt, Marion Leonard, Harry Solter, Florence Lawrence, Gladys Egan, Linda Arvidson. P: Biograph. USA 1908

“Assumed to be public domain. Sourced from a PAL DVDR of unknown provenance, which appears to have been converted from an NTSC DVD of a compilation by the Library of Congress, on 16mm film and dating from the the 1950s, of material deposited in the archives in the form of paper prints for the purposes of copyright registration at the beginning of the 20th century. These paper prints are in many cases (…) the unique surviving elements. Although they’re of inherently limited quality, it’s likely that a modern scan of the material would be a great improvement on the versions here.”