6.0/10
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4 user 1 critic

Off to Bloomingdale Asylum (1901)

L'omnibus des toqués blancs et noirs (original title)
| Short, Comedy
Clowns ride in on a wagon drawn by a skeletal horse. The clowns proceed to transform from blackface performers to white costumed clowns, and back again, as they perform zany antics.

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Clowns ride in on a wagon drawn by a skeletal horse. The clowns proceed to transform from blackface performers to white costumed clowns, and back again, as they perform zany antics.

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Short | Comedy

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Minstrel Show from Melies
25 August 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

L'omnibus des toqués ou Blancs et Noirs (1901)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

aka Off to Bloomingdale Asylum

This French film from Georges Melies has to be one of the earliest examples of a minstrel show. Four white men get out of a carriage and when they kick each other they then turn to black men. This little "trick" happens for about a minute and then the film is over. The subject matter is certainly going to offend many people today but there's certainly no question that the overall tone wasn't meant to be harmful as this certainly isn't in the same league as something like THE WATERMELON CONTEST. The special effect of seeing the men transform from black to white and then back again really doesn't look all that great and especially when you compare it to the other types of tricks that Melies was doing at this point in his career. The edits are all obviously done but then again you might not have noticed as much had the story been a bit better.


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