IMDb > Electrocuting an Elephant (1903)

Electrocuting an Elephant (1903) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
12 January 1903 (USA) See more »
The execution of Topsy, a female elephant, in a publicity stunt advertising the opening of Luna Park on Coney Island... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Not too beautiful See more (31 total) »


Topsy ... Herself

Produced by
Thomas A. Edison .... producer
Cinematography by
Edwin S. Porter 
Jacob Blair Smith 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Electrocution of an Elephant" - USA (informal alternative title)
See more »
USA:1 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This may have been the first death ever captured on film.See more »
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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Not too beautiful, 15 February 2005
Author: dkp-3 from United Kingdom

I saw this film recently and it was fairly disturbing. My previous reviewer has reacted a little violently to the anti-cruelty issue and for no good reason, this is a factual piece of documentary footage shot a long time before Cannibal Holocaust and should not bear any comparison. I'm pretty sure that given the conditions of Coney Island in those days, over packed, rowdy and boisterous, that the elephant was probably provoked. I believe it was fed a lit cigarette, so there you go. This is a fascinating piece however that reveals a time when it was not unusual to inflict such cruelty on animals for spectacle (diving horses and pig chutes).

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I was horrified by this film Localfreak
It wasn't Edison's idea to kill Topsy.... stokepogue2001
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