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Rum vs. Cherries (1904)

Buy Your Own Cherries (original title)

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A barmaid plies a swell with smiles and with cherries from a box that's just been delivered. When she refuses a cherry to a roughly-dressed tradesman who runs a tab at the bar, he pays off ... See full summary »

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A barmaid plies a swell with smiles and with cherries from a box that's just been delivered. When she refuses a cherry to a roughly-dressed tradesman who runs a tab at the bar, he pays off his debt in a huff, using all his week's pay. He then storms penniless and without provisions into his ill-furnished house where his wife and two children, ill-clad and ill-fed, cower. Is there any hope for him and for his family? If he does realize how low he's sunk, what help is there to lift him up? Will the family ever know the taste of cherries? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Drama

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June 1904 (USA)  »

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Rum vs. Cherries  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Technically good but the material ensures it is a so-so film only of interest to see for Paul branching out
2 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

I watched this film on a DVD that was rammed with short films from the period. I didn't watch all of them as the main problem with these type of things that their value is more in their historical novelty value rather than entertainment. So to watch them you do need to be put in the correct context so that you can keep this in mind and not watch it with modern eyes. With the Primitives & Pioneers DVD collection though you get nothing to help you out, literally the films are played one after the other (the main menu option is "play all") for several hours. With this it is hard to understand their relevance and as an educational tool it falls down as it leaves the viewer to fend for themselves, which I'm sure is fine for some viewers but certainly not the majority. What it means is that the DVD saves you searching the web for the films individually by putting them all in one place – but that's about it.

The other reviewer here (Cineanalyst) wrote an interesting review for this film but he nailed it with the opening sentence "R.W. Paul was better at humour" because here Paul tries his hand at a longer melodrama and the result is so-so. This is the man who gave u special effects and satire with some of his other films (Cab Accident, Countryman) but here seems happy with quite an ordinary and moralising story. That said it is a clean and tidy narrative that fills the time well. Regardless of the period the material is blunt and obvious, with a clear message about religion that toes the line without anything of interest or value being said.

However it is very well shot with a really good flow between the scenes and some clear photography. Technically interesting then but the material is nothing more than par for the course.


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