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A Chess Dispute (1903)

A stationary camera looks on as two dapper gents play a game of chess. One drinks and smokes, and when he looks away, his opponent moves two pieces. A fight ensues, first with the squirting... See full summary »

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A stationary camera looks on as two dapper gents play a game of chess. One drinks and smokes, and when he looks away, his opponent moves two pieces. A fight ensues, first with the squirting of a seltzer bottle, then with fisticuffs. The combatants wrestle each other to the floor and continue the fight out of the camera's view, hidden by the table. The waiter arrives to haul both of them out. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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chess | See All (1) »

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Short | Comedy

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August 1903 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Шахматные дебаты  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Funny Slapstick
25 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

Given its ultra-short running time, this slapstick comedy is pretty good. At a time when cinema was still in its infancy and the camera enjoyed less movement than the audience that watched its output, British pioneer R. W. Paul fashions a highly comical short that uses the limitations of the new technology to his advantage. The premise is simple. Two men playing chess argue over whether one of the men has cheated by covertly moving one of his pieces and the argument quickly escalates into blows. As the camera remains static, however, we don't see any of the action once the men are fighting on the floor other than the occasional flailing fist or piece of dislodged clothing being hurled into the air. It's a minute long, so what have you got to lose?


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