The Whole Dam Family and The Dam Dog is a popular fad which has been widely advertised by lithographs and souvenir mailing cards, and has recently been made the subject of a sketch in a New...
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"In this picture you see Santa Claus enter the room from the fireplace and proceed to trim the tree. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children. ... See full summary »
Tomas is an outcast young teenager trying to pass an exam. His family is constantly pressing him and her mother forces him to take antipsychotic drugs. In his need to escape, Tomas plans an... See full summary »
The Whole Dam Family and The Dam Dog is a popular fad which has been widely advertised by lithographs and souvenir mailing cards, and has recently been made the subject of a sketch in a New York Vaudeville Theatre. The Edison Manufacturing Co., with their usual up-to-date methods, have illustrated this popular subject in a most novel and original way in Motion Pictures. The picture opens with a close view of the individual members of the family. Each goes through a very amusing performance. Mr. I.B. Dam is seized with a severe fit of sneezing. Herself relieves her mind through woman's sole weapon. Jimmy Dam shows how a cigarette should be smoked. Miss U.B. Dam is very proud of the marcel wave in her hair. Annie Dam, in a large picture hat, tries to look very shy and demure. Lizzie Dam chews gum in a most artistic manner. Baby Dam gives a sample of his ability at crying. A family group is seated at dinner, with the Dam Dog seated at the head of the table. Mr. I.B. Dam enters and kicks ... Written by
Although only mildly entertaining in its own right, this comedy feature is interesting as a pop culture curio that preserves the memory of a popular fad of its day. Pop culture icons come and go in every era, and moving pictures have proved to be one of the most enduring ways that the various whims and crazes of public taste are kept from being completely forgotten.
The concept of the 'Dam family' was based on some highly popular postcards of the time. The new Kino collection of Edison films includes a photograph of one of these postcards, which allows you to see how closely the characters in Edwin S. Porter's movie resemble the original conceptions. Indeed, a large part of the film consists simply of a series of close-ups of the characters, each one held much longer than would normally be necessary. These are then followed by a short comic sequence starring the family dog.
The one innovation in the actual film is the animated title cards, which are pretty good for 1905. They also lend the appropriate jaunty tone to the movie.
The whole movie is deliberately silly, and while it's still good for a smile or two, its appeal at first seems a bit mystifying. But then again, the trends and fads of every era often mystify later generations. This little movie may not seem like much in itself, but if nothing else it provides a little interesting food for thought.
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