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Two AM; or, The Husband's Return (1896)

Husband comes home late and wakes the wife.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Clerget ...
Miss Ross-Selwicke ...
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Storyline

This brief comic vignette was described in R.W. Paul's catalog as "Comic scene by Mons. Paul Clerget and Miss Ross Selwicke, representing the husband's return", and the time reference in the title tells us all we need to know. It's a study in often quite risque body language, with the husband clearly the worse for drink, and the wife determined both to remonstrate with him and to get him undressed and into bed as quickly as possible.

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based on play | See All (1) »

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Short | Comedy

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August 1896 (UK)  »

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Paul Clerget (1868-1935) was a French stage actor, and this is the earliest known film of him, predating the second entry in his filmography by over twenty years. He made half a dozen minor films in the US between 1917 and 1920, and then from 1930 on-wards made around twenty films in his native France, of which the best known is probably the Buster Keaton vehicle Le Roi des Champs-Elysées (France, 1934). See more »

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19 November 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

Robert Paul is a largely forgotten name today, but he was a major pioneer of British cinema, and was quick to grasp the commercial potential of cinema in ways that better known pioneers such as William Friese-Greene were not. He was more of a mechanic than a filmmaker making, with Birt Acres, his own camera on which to shoot films in 1895, and also Britain's first projector, the Animatograph, with which to screen them in 1896. Early in the 20th century he had a custom-made studio built in Muswell Hill.

This isn't one of Paul's better efforts: the lighting is very dull and the images rather blurred. It's a comedy of sorts, based on a popular stage play, in which a rather inebriated husband comes home late at night and tries to get fruity with the missus. Of course she's having none of it. If you watch it and don't like it blame the drunk fella because he wrote the play.


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