Lewin Fitzhamon

A Seaside Girl
R: Lewin Fitzhamon. D: May Clark, Frank Wilson, Thurston Harris. P: Hepworth. UK 1907

“The film brings life to the type of comic postcards that imply that the seaside holiday is an occasion to flirt with the opposite sex, often due to too much sea air. For example, an elegantly drawn cartoon by Fred Spurgin (posted on 28 February 1910) depicts an Edwardian man with a cane and straw boater pursuing a bustled lady with a parasol along the prom and is captioned ‘when at the seaside don’t forget the wife and kids!’ (…) Each tableau-like scene of the film mediates the Edwardian seaside experience, involving the beach, the pier, the bicycle hire shop, hansom cabs, rowing boats and bathing machines, with the added narrative drive of the woman being pursued. By including these seaside motifs in every shot and using them as a narrative device, the film offers a representation of the holiday, and an implied reading of Bognor Regis as a holiday resort (…).”
M. Kerry: The Holiday and British Film. Springer 2011, p. 69

That Fatal Sneeze
R: Lewin Fitzhamon. D: Thurston Harris, Gertie Potter. P: Hepworth. UK 1907

That Fatal Sneeze (d. Lewin Fitzhamon, 1907) was one of the most popular subjects by the Hepworth Manufacturing Company. (…) The film combines three popular early film forms. The first is the comic staple in which a mischievous child plays a trick upon an old man (in this case involving pepper). The second is the chase: each time the old man sneezes, causing havoc to a shop owner or a passer-by, that person joins the ever-growing crowd pursuing him. The third element is the trick film, in which the capacity of the camera to show the seemingly impossible is exploited for comic or dramatic effect. (…) The two most spectacular tricks are left for the end, after the chase is over. Unusually, the chase sequence does not end with the capture of the old man, or with him fooling the crowd. Instead, two shots before the end the pursuing crowd are dispensed with, to allow for the two final spectacular sneezes. (…)”
Simon Brown
BFI Screenonline

Tilly the Tomboy Visits the Poor
R: Lewin Fitzhamon. D: Hay Plumb, Alma Taylor, Chrissie White. P: Hepworth. UK 1910

Cecil Hepworth‘s production company released nearly twenty in the popular series of anarchic Tilly comedies between 1910 and 1915 (during which period Hepworth himself largely chose not to direct).
This early episode in the series, released in 1910, was directed by Lewin Fitzhamon – who directed at least two other Tilly films – and follows the chaotic exploits of the mischievous Tilly and her sister, Sally, as they upset their elderly neighbour Mrs. Smith, steal a laundry van and cause a flour fight in a bakery. The young actresses Chrissie White and Alma Taylor, who would go on to become the leading Hepworth stars, usually played Tilly and Sally respectively. Here, however, Chrissie White plays Tilly alongside an unidentified actress.”
Mark Duguid
BFI Screenonline

The Flappers and the Nuts
R: Lewin Fitzhamon. D: Constance Somers-Clarke. P: Charles Urban Trading Company. UK 1913
French titles

Lewin Fitzhamon, born in Aldingham, Cumbria in 1869, began as a steeplechase rider and a music hall performer and also producer/writer of sketches in 1889. He first made films with Robert W. Paul‘s Film Company in 1900, in 1904, he joined Cecil Hepworth as an writer, film director and actor specializing in children and animals probably directing around 600 films, his best known film was Rescued By Rover in 1905. He showed himself to be accomplished in a wide range of narrative forms such as fantasies, comedies, westerns, dramas and chase films, he made a number of comic film series, including the Poorlucks and the anarchic Tilly series. Fitzhamon left Hepworth in 1912 and formed his own company ‘Fitz Films’. He was also the author of two novels ‘The Rival Millionaires’ (1904) and ‘The Vixen’ (1915) and wrote comic pieces for magazines. Married actress Constance Somers-Clarke, died in London in 1961 age 92.”

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