Kid Auto Races at Venice
R: Henry Lehrman. K: Enrique Juan Vallejo, Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin (uncredited), Henry Lehrman. P: Keystone Film Company (Mack Sennett). USA 1914
Chaplins first appearance as tramp
“What’s notable about the film and can be said for precious little that made us laugh a century ago is that it’s still so fresh and funny. It holds great historical value, obviously, but the film also has an off-the-cuff energy that is often lacking in the under-cranked chases and knockabout slapstick that has caused other Keystone shorts (including those Chaplin would follow it with) to age comparatively poorly. Much of this is attributable to the circumstances of the shoot an improvised production (on a stolen location, basically) that Lehrman would later say was knocked out in the space of about an hour. So with no plot, no script, and no time, what we’re witnessing is the purity of comic craft, put across in the specificity of Chaplin’s pantomimes, his interactions with the camera, and (most remarkably) his crackerjack comic timing.”
>>> Chaplin’s debut Making a Living on this site: Charlie’s First Appearance
The Evidence of the Film
R: Lawrence Marston, Edwin Thanhouser. D: William Garwood, Florence La Badie, Marie Eline. P: Edwin Thanhouser. USA 1913
Print: Library of Congress
“The Evidence of the Film is a particularly clever and unusual early example of a fictional dramatic movie with filmmaking as a subject. The portrayal of a movie crew that just happens to be at work on a street corner is accurate. The director is seen consulting a shooting script, something a Thanhouser director would do but probably not another studio’s director. The film laboratory and editing scenes are of enormous interest as historical document as well as ingeniously integrated in the crime tale.”
Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc.
When the Studio Burned
R: Lawrence Marston. B: Lloyd F. Lonergan. D: Marguerite Snow (as herself), Helen Badgley (herself), Marie Eline (herself), James Cruze (himself), Justus D. Barnes, Mrs. Gerald Badgley. P: Edwin Thanhouser. USA 1913
“A dramatization of the January 13, 1913 Thanhouser studio fire, but not utilizing any actual film footage from the day of that event, for the camera crew had arrived too late. The action centers about the fictional depiction of Marguerite Snow’s rescue of ‘The Thanhouser Kidlet’. (In real life, Marguerite Snow was at lunch in her apartment away from the studio when the fire occurred.) The picture was made to capitalize on the nationwide publicity engendered by the fire. Highly fictionalized accounts of the fire were published in various newspapers, the article from ‘The Dayton Journal’, reprinted in the narrative section of the present work, being representative. (…) In the creation of this film, Thanhouser may have taken a leaf from the notebook of P.A. Powers, whose studio was destroyed by fire in 1911. Snatching victory, of a sort, from the jaws of defeat, the Powers Picture Plays Co. created a film from the incident, The Powers Fire, advertised as follows: ‘The peer of motion picture realism – The Powers Fire – in which the entire plant of the Powers Picture Plays Company was consumed by flames, at a net cost to us of $150,000, will be released on Tuesday, July 25 .'”
More about Thanhouser and his films: Thanhouser Company
The Last Volunteer
R: Oscar C. Apfel. D: Eleanor Woodruff, Paul Panzer, Robert Broderick, Irving Cummings. P: Pathéscope Company of America. USA 1914
Kopie: Deutsche Kinemathek – Filmmuseum Berlin
Eine Produktion der Pathé-Niederlassung in den USA, gedreht im Sommer 1914, uraufgeführt am 22. August 1914 in den USA.
In einem Phantasieland des feudalen Europas regiert ein liebestoller Duodezfürst, dessen Geliebte aus Versehen den Botschafter des Nachbarlandes erschießt. Der Krieg ist unvermeidlich. Viel Aufregung und Pulverdampf. Schließlich startet ein Doppeldecker, Bomben kommen zum Einsatz. Die feindlichen Artilleriestellungen werden aus der Luft zerstört.
Im realen Kriegsgeschehen werden von einem deutschen Zeppelin am 6. August 1914 über Lüttich, am 24. August über Antwerpen erstmals Bomben aus der Luft abgeworfen. (KK)
TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 353 f.
“It was still possible in the early months of 1915 for an American film company to turn out a piece of pro-German propaganda like The Last Volunteer. Eleanor Woodruff stars as Katrina, a courageous mittel-European innkeeper’s daughter who doubles as an anarchist. Despite her anti-royalist sentiments, Katrina falls in love with Teutonic prince Paul Panzer. When war breaks out, she firmly casts her lot with the Prince, volunteering to raise signal flags which will alert the army whenever the monarch is in danger. So devoted is she to her beloved prince, that Katrina ends up sacrificing her own life to save his.”
“The Voisin III was a French two-seat bomber and ground attack aircraft of World War I, one of the first of its kind. It is also notable for being the first Allied aircraft in the war to win an aerial fight and shoot down an enemy aircraft.”
World Air War History
German airship over Antwerp, August 24th 1914
>>> The Airship Destroyer on this site: 1909: The Aerial Warfare To Come
Sur la route de Cernay
Actualités Francaises. Fr 1914
Print: Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique
“A short report on the strategic importance of the trenches near the village of Cernay. These started in the outskirts of Reims and ran through houses and gardens to get to the frontlines of the battlefield.”
European Film Gateway
French newsreels about WW I:
Les films militaires français de la première guerre mondiale – catalogue des films muets d’actualité. ECPA 1997
R und B: Willi Zeyn. D: Hanni Weisse, Erwin Fichtner. P: Projektions-AG Union (PAGU). D 1914
Kopie: Deutsche Kinemathek-Filmmuseum Berlin
Sonntag, 2. August 1914 (Zum historischen Hintergrund dieses Films)
– Mobilmachung im Deutschen Reich
– Deutsches Ultimatum an Belgien mit der Forderung nach freiem Durchmarsch.
– Deutscher Einmarsch in Luxemburg
– Französische Truppen überschreiten die Grenze des Oberelsass und besetzen mehrere Dörfer.
TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 362