In front of a flour mill, two men fight. One is the miller, and he's swinging a bag of flour in the scuffle. The other is a chimney sweep, and he's swinging what may be a bag of flour, but ... See full summary »
In front of a flour mill, two men fight. One is the miller, and he's swinging a bag of flour in the scuffle. The other is a chimney sweep, and he's swinging what may be a bag of flour, but when it breaks open, it's clearly something else. Well into the havoc, spectators gather and give chase to the flour-covered sweep and the "well-sooted" miller. Written by
This is pretty good slapstick - it's a good movie for its time, and even if it were a sequence in a movie a little later on in the silent era, it would still be pretty good. The scenario is based on an idea that at the time was often used in music hall sketches and the like, but as with a lot of such ideas, the film-makers still had to adapt it so as to overcome the limitations of movie-making in the 19th century.
The simple story highlights a confrontation between a miller dressed in white, who is carrying a bag of flour, and a chimney sweep covered in dark soot. The fracas that ensues has some good moments, and it uses the basic idea pretty well.
Although a stage version at the time could have added extra humor by making use of dialogue, the film-makers instead added to the basic setup by using an outdoor setting, and by adding some extra material at the end.
So, besides being funny, it's a resourceful feature and a very early example of good technique in adapting stage material to the different needs of the screen.
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