The Biggest English Comedy Hit of the Year

Diving Lucy
R & P: Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon. UK 1903

“The film was the most successful Mitchell & Kenyon film. A reviewer in ‘The Talking Machine News’ described it as a ‘decided novelty”‘, concluding ‘we do not remember seeing anything similar before’. It was also released in America in February 1904, where the Biograph Company advertised it as ‘the biggest English comedy hit of the year’. Alongside Biograph, the film was also distributed by the Edison Manufacturing Company.”

“Two men are at a pond in a park exclaiming, the camera moves so you can see two shapely legs in striped stockings sticking up in the middle of the pond. The two men get a bench and a plank in order to crawl out to the legs. One man gestures “come here” to someone off camera, and a third man appears. A policeman also arrives and he indicates he will crawl along the plank. He does so with the three men holding down the plank. He pulls the legs up and we see they are wooden with the word ‘Rats’ where the thighs would be. The men jump up and the policeman falls into the water.”

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