Dr. Goudron's System (1913)
Adapted from a one-act Grand Guignol play based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story 'The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether', the film portrays a visitor to an insane asylum where it becomes clear that the inmates have taken control. Telling the visitor that a cure for insanity has been found by cutting out an eye of the patient and then slitting his throat, the "director" hurries into another room, reemerges with blood all over his hands and, as blood seeps from beneath the door, incites other inmates who now surround the visitor.
- This film may actually have been released in 1912. It ran 15 minutes and was alternately titled "Le Systeme du Docteur Goudron et du Professeur Plume" (The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather), based upon Edgar Allan Poe's story. Director Maurice Tourneur was assistant to Emile Chautard at Eclair, the company that made this film. It was adapted from the famous Theatre du Grand Guignol, where it had been an effective stage production. You can read Poe's story if you want to know the secrets of this film. Tourneur filmed another piece written by screenwriter Andre de Lorde (FIGURES DE CIRE, 1912) before he moved to America. Eventually, a season of other Grand Guignol plays took place in London (in 1920), that initiated a series of one-reel films that had the general title of "GRAND GUIGNOL".