A Florida Enchantment
R: Sidney Drew. B: Marguerite Bertsch, Archibald Clavering Gunter (novel); Eugene Mullin, Fergus Redmund. K: Robert A. Stuart. D: Sidney Drew, Edith Storey, Charles Kent, Mrs. Sidney Drew, Ada Gifford. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1914
“The same year that Mack Sennett made the landmark feature-length slapstick comedy Tillie’s Punctured Romance, Sidney Drew directed and starred in this genteel, gender-bending farce for the Vitagraph company, about a woman (Edith Storey) who discovers some enchanted seeds that have the effect of turning women into men, and vice versa.
Notable for its bold subversion of sexual stereotypes, the humor is marked by Drew’s clever sophistication and understated style. Drew and company have fun with the premise, and make the most of the farcical situations involving gender confusion and role reversals, which frequently retain their ability to be fresh and surprising (and which seem to have provided a model for later cross-dressing comedies such as Lubitsch‘s I don’t Want to be a Man). The film also boasts some effective photography and a nice use of the Florida locations.”
The Art and Culture of Movies
Read more about this film and its background:
Joel Christian Adams: Falling into the Queer Archive: A Florida Enchantment and the Uses of a History of U.S. Consumer Capitalism
>>> Tillie’s Punctured Romance: The world’s first feature-length comedy