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The Sick Kitten (1903)

A girl gives a spoonful of medicine to a kitten.
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Storyline

A simple scene of two rather flamboyantly-dressed Edwardian children attempting to feed a spoonful of medicine to a sick kitten. The film is important for being one of the earliest films to cut to a close-up, then back again to the same medium shot as before Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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Short | Comedy | Family

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1903 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Doctor and the Sick Kitten  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This early film is mostly known for the fact that within the single scene in which the film takes place, the scene is broken down into 3 shots: a faraway shot, a closeup, and then the faraway shot again. The plot, simple as it is, was a perfect example to demonstrate this idea in order to pave the road for the films of today, and can then be considered an important landmark in film history. It appears to be an exact remake of Smith's earlier 1901 film "The Little Doctors", made because the original negative print was worn out from too many prints being made from it, hence this film was created as a substitute. "The Little Doctors" is now presumably lost. See more »

Goofs

The girl's dress is different during the close-up. See more »

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User Reviews

A Charming & Creative Little Feature
9 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

This short feature combines pleasant, enjoyable material with good craftsmanship and some imagination. It was a remake of the 1901 film "The Little Doctors", which apparently was permanently lost. Remade and given the simpler title "Sick Kitten", it's a charming and creative little movie. The engaging mini-story involves two children and two cats, one of which is unwell. The children's acting is really pretty good. They are lively, and they are naturally presented as being cute, but they are believable as well. A number of G.A. Smith's films show that he seemed to have had the knack for getting believable performances like these from his cast. As simple as the story is, both the tone and the technique are commendable. In many movies today, such scenes are too often presented with some kind of extraneous crudity inserted into the sequence, to keep it palatable to those with short attention spans. Alternatively, such scenes can be marred by labored post-modernist references or other pretentious material, to avoid the appearance of being too innocent or naive. To make this kind of simple, positive family scene believable and effective is really a more worthwhile achievement. The technique is also worth noticing, as it shows one continual scene broken up into multiple segments with different camera viewpoints. While using this kind of technique is perhaps not a monumental creative insight, this seems to be one of the very earliest films to use it, and it certainly shows an appreciation for the material and for how best to communicate it to an audience.


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