A Chase Comedy from Australia

The Bashful Mr Brown (incomplete)
R and P: Leonard Corrick. AUS 1907
Print: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA)

“Over 100 years before the modern ‘mashup’, the Australian-based Corrick Family Entertainers were showing repackaged and complete versions of the latest special effects, comedy and actuality (non-fiction) films in black-and-white and dazzling colour. Screened with live musical accompaniment provided by the family, ‘Leonard’s Beautiful Pictures’ formed part of a variety act which toured Australasia, South-East Asia and Europe from 1897 to 1914.”

“Soon after they acquired their first motion picture camera, the Corrick Family Entertainers filmed The Bashful Mr Brown, a chase-comedy starring various members of the troupe.
Probably the first dramatic narrative film produced in Western Australia. The film follows the adventures of Mr Brown, an awkward young bachelor who causes mayhem when he attempts to help his hostess dispense afternoon tea. After many accidents, Mr Brown escapes with the afternoon teacloth attached to his coat-tails and with a group of small boys in hot pursuit.
Mr Brown is believed to have been played by a comedian who was performing with Harry Rickards variety show in Perth. In typical self-promoting fashion, a poster advertising the family act is seen pasted on a street hoarding during the chase sequence.”
Silent Beauties

Also screened by the Corrick Family Entertainers:

The Hand of the Artist
R: Walter R. Booth. P: Charles Urban Trading Company. UK 1906

“Photographic images are composed and brought to life on a whim, and then just as quickly transformed or reduced to immobility by the hand of the artist. (…) This silent English short was screened as part of the vaudeville-style performances of the Corrick family entertainers who toured Australia and the world between 1901 and 1914.”
Australian Screen

“This is one of several films in the Corrick Collection that make use of the stop-motion technique, including titles such as How Jones Lost His Roll (Edison, 1905), Comedy Cartoons (Urban, 1907) and The Arrested Tricar (FAN, c1907). The Corrick family entertainers toured Australia and the world in the early 1900s with a live variety show incorporating silent films, including The Hand of the Artist. This film runs for 191 feet 8 inches and was originally projected at 16 frames-per-second. There are no intertitles. The Hand of the Artist also features in ‘My Bicycle Loves You’, a show by physical theatre troupe Legs on the Wall for the 2011 Sydney and Perth Festivals.”
Leslie Lewis
Australian Screen

>>>  Walter Booth’s Proto-SF Fables on this site
>>> also on this site: The First Australian Cartoonist, Early Cinema in Australia