Canine Cinema

The Detective’s Dog
R: Alice Guy. D: Darwin Karr, Blanche Cornwall, Magda Foy, Lee Beggs. P: Solax Film Company. USA 1912
Print: Library of Congress / National Audio-Visual Conservation Center

“The idea of the detective and dog duo – with the animal as the human’s partner or (…) essentially taking over the role of the main investigator – had already been seen several times, as in Pathé’s Les chiens policiers by Lucien Nonguet (1907) or The Detective’s Dog by Alice Guy-Blaché (1912) from her own Solax Studios which she had founded herself. These films were part of a wider trend of ‘canine cinema’, in which the animal hero usually turned out to be smarter and more effective than people. This trend had its own stars, including a collie named Rover, known from the pictures by Cecil M. Hepworth, or Jean, another collie, from the Vitagraph studio. Spot – the only member of the cast of A Canine Sherlock Holmes (Charles Urban Trading Company, UK 1912) to be credited by name – was another such star, being the mascot of the studio and featuring in commercials.”

Les chiens policiers
R: Lucien Nonguet. P: Pathé frères. Fr 1907
Engl. subtitles

>>> Lassie’s Predecessor on this website