MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 9,984 this week

Life of an American Fireman (1903)

 -  Short | Action  -  January 1903 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 982 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »

Directors:

(uncredited) , (uncredited)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 10 Mar 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 24 Dec 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 17 Sep 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Life of an American Fireman (1903)

Life of an American Fireman (1903) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Life of an American Fireman.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A woman being fitted for shoes exposes her ankle to the shoe clerk, who is intrigued. He kisses her, but her chaperone hits him with her umbrella.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Edward Boulden
Fire! (1901)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Firefighters ring for help, and here comes the ladder cart; they hitch a horse to it. A second horse-drawn truck joins the first, and they head down the street to a house fire. Inside a man... See full summary »

Director: James Williamson
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Annabelle (Whitford) Moore performs one of her popular dance routines. She uses her dance steps and her long, flowing skirts to create a variety of visual patterns.

Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise
Stars: Annabelle Moore
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A humorous subject intended to be run as a part of a railroad scene during the period in which the train is passing through a tunnel.

Director: George Albert Smith
Stars: Laura Bayley, George Albert Smith
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Smith casts his wife as a sluttish housewife who is mutilated by lighting her oven with paraffin.

Director: George Albert Smith
Stars: Laura Bayley
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man, objecting to being filmed, comes closer and closer to the camera lens until his mouth is all we see. Then he opens wide and swallows camera and cinematographer. He steps back, chews, and grins.

Director: James Williamson
Stars: Sam Dalton
Baby's Dinner (1895)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A baby is seated at a table between its cheerful parents, Auguste and Marguerite Lumière. While the father is feeding the baby with a spoon, the mother is pouring coffee into her cup. The ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: Auguste Lumière, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Andrée Lumière
Short | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The leader of a marching band demonstrates an unusual way of writing music.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A chemist in his laboratory places upon a table his own head, alive; then fixing upon his head a rubber tube with a pair of bellows, he begins to blow with all his might. Immediately the ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A gang of thieves lure a man out of his home so that they can rob it and threaten his wife and children. The family barricade themselves in an interior room, but the criminals are ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: David Miles, Marion Leonard, Mary Pickford
Short | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

James J. Corbett and Peter Courtney meet in a boxing exhibition.

Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise
Stars: James J. Corbett, Peter Courtney
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Vivian Vaughan ...
The Girl (uncredited)
Arthur White ...
The Fireman (uncredited)
James H. White ...
Fire Chief (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the scene, and effect the safe rescue of a woman from the burning house. But wait, she tells them of her child yet asleep in the burning bedroom . . . Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Action

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life of an American Fireman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The music in the DVD release is "Fireman's Quick March" by John C. Andrews and the sung portion is "The Fireman's Call" sung by William Cutter, MIT's choral director. See more »

Connections

Featured in A Century of Cinema (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Depicts a fireman's thrilling and dangerous calling and emphasizes the perils he encounters when human life is at stake.
27 June 2007 | by (Chinatown, California) – See all my reviews

At Edison's Company, he experimented with longer films, and was responsible for directing the first American documentary or realistic narrative film, The Life of an American Fireman (1903). Though it's among the earliest story films (but by no means the first as often alleged), The six-minute narrative film combined re-enacted scenes and documentary footage, and was dramatically edited with inter-cutting between the exterior and interior of a burning house. Edison was actually uncomfortable with Porter's editing techniques, including his use of close-ups to tell an entertaining story. For action, excitement, & suspense, Life of an American Fireman rates awfully high, improving on all that went before, borrowing from what came before wherever it was already thrilling.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Life of an American Fireman (1903) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page