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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"At a Seaside Resort, Almost Any Lady Can Draw the 'Mashers'"

6/10
Author: ackstasis from Australia
24 March 2009

D.W. Griffith is certainly not a name associated with comedy, but he did direct a few of them early in his career {including his debut, 'Those Awful Hats (1909)'}, before briefly returning to the genre with 'The Battle of the Sexes (1928).' This comedy short from 1909 – 'The Gibson Goddess' – might also be considered a "battle of the sexes." On a trip to the sea-shore to enjoy some peaceful reading time, a beautiful woman (Marion Leonard) is harassed by group of male admirers, who follow her along the beach like a pack of hungry hounds. After several unsuccessful attempts to evade her followers, the woman strikes upon the perfect solution to dispel their interest in her: she gets changed into a leg-revealing beach costume. I'd have thought that revealing her body would only fuel the men's lust, but apparently not – each man apologetically excuses himself from her company, some unable to disguise their revulsion.

Most of the comedy shorts I've seen from the early 1900s have based their humour around special effects – Blackton's 'The Thieving Hand (1908)' and Melies' "magic acts" are the first that come to mind. 'The Gibson Goddess' is more of a "sophisticated" comedy, if you will, concerned primarily with human behaviour and social stereotypes. Leonard's "Gibson Goddess" is a perfectly respectable and innocent woman, but also resourceful when required to be. Her male admirers are shamelessly superficial, abandoning one woman to bestow their affection upon a prettier other, and they bicker pettily among themselves as to who shall have claim over each lady. If the film wasn't so lighthearted, the men's "stalker" antics might have seemed rather disturbing, though the actors dilute any worries by behaving, for the most part, as flamboyantly as possible. The jokes are predictable, but I must admit I got a few laughs out of this. Look out for Mary Pickford in a cameo role.

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Wow! 100 Year Old Comedy

7/10
Author: jtyroler from United States
31 March 2008

OK, technically it's 99 years old when I saw this on YouTube. It's interesting for several reasons: D.W. Griffith directed and wrote this "short". What is on YouTube is just over 8 minutes in length - many movies of the time were often very short compared to films in the next decade - Griffith a few years later will direct the epics "Birth of a Nation" and "Intolerance".

Mary Pickford has a minor role. Mack Sennett is one of the admirers of the Gibson Goddess (Marion Leonard) Nanette Ranfrea. I have no idea if the last name has any meaning - it's not exactly a common last name. The "Gibson Girl" was held up as an ideal image of beauty in America in the early 1900's, based on the drawings of Charles Gibson in various magazines including Harper's and Collier's.

Miss Ranfrea attracts a group of admirers as she's walking to a beach house, one of the admirers is the effeminate Billy Quirk ("Algie the Miner"). The group of admirers grows, until a maid comes up with an idea that will get these admirers to leave her alone.

This is an interesting window on life on the New Jersey shore almost 100 years ago. It's definitely worth a look if you are into history or early films.

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Marion Leonard is Decked Out

2/10
Author: wes-connors from Earth
12 November 2007

At a seaside resort, almost any lady can draw the "mashers". Marion Leonard is "The Gibson Girl", an extraordinarily beautiful woman; so much so, she draws a crowd of admiring followers wherever she goes. The fact that Ms. Leonard's feminine frame is always complimented by figure hugging frocks doesn't help the men stay away. Tired of the manly attention, Leonard endeavors to pretend she has fat legs; finally, will the men leave her alone?

Marion Leonard is, indeed, a very beautiful woman. That's about it for this film. Some ambiguity among her masculine admirers adds some comic relief to D.W. Griffith's "The Gibson Goddess".

** The Gibson Goddess (11/1/09) D.W. Griffith ~ Marion Leonard, Anthony O'Sullivan, Arthur V. Johnson

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Griffith 1909

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
26 February 2008

Gibson Goddess, The (1909)

** (out of 4)

D.W. Griffith comedy about a beautiful woman walking the streets and being harassed by several men who can't control themselves due to her beauty. I guess this was Griffith's attempt to call men pigs but there simply aren't any laughs to be found here. The film runs just under ten minutes and only Mack Sennett comes off with a couple good moments. Mary Pickford has a cameo.

This film can be viewed via Grapevine's D.W. Griffith: The Director series.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Overdone but more watchable than most films of its time.

6/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
5 January 2012

The humor is very broad in "The Gibson Goddess", that's for sure. However, despite having a lot of cheese, the film is still pretty watchable today--something that can't be said of many films from this time.

The film starts off with a pretty woman who looks like a Charles Dana Gibson girl come to life arriving at the beach. She is quite pretty and EVERY lecher that sees her starts to follow her until she practically has a small army of pervs following her. Everywhere she goes, she is bothered by these goggle-eyed idiots. So, she devises a plan and in the end she outsmarts them.

I liked this film mildly. I also really liked seeing the seaside and the way the lady looked (with her highly corseted Edwardian figure) from a historical point of view--giving us a nice insight into the way things looked in this bygone age. Overall, it's a film that those who love VERY old films might like, but I must admit that it is not exactly going to thrill the average viewer.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Truly Interesting Director

Author: Single-Black-Male from London, England
22 January 2004

Although this film is not entertaining, it's fascinating to see the unfolding of cinematic language in his short films, especially the subjective camera. It simulates the viewer into a particular viewpoint. A significant director, but poor film.

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