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Dragoons Crossing the Sâone (1896)
"Dragons traversant la Saône à la nage" (original title)

 -  Short | Documentary
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 401 users  
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A stationary camera looks across Burgundy's River Sâone toward a small military encampment. Four horsemen enter the water in the foreground, each riding his horse as it swims across toward ... See full summary »

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Title: Dragoons Crossing the Sâone (1896)

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A stationary camera looks across Burgundy's River Sâone toward a small military encampment. Four horsemen enter the water in the foreground, each riding his horse as it swims across toward camp or leading it by the bridle as they swim. The men are shirtless. When they reach the middle of the river, seven more shirtless young men, each with a horse, start the crossing. Most begin astride their mount, but end up swimming alongside. Across the river, men stand in front of a large tent to watch and talk. Three officers on a makeshift pier talk to each other and ignore the young men's crossing. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Edited into Landmarks of Early Film (1997) See more »

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Historically interesting
16 December 2005 | by (The Hague, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Like all the first short films made for the Lumière Company 'Dragons Traversant la Saône à la Nage' is interesting to watch simply because it belongs to the first real films ever made. Films like these should be seen for their historical value. May be they are not entertaining but they are part of what started it all, leading to 'The Birth of a Nation', 'Citizen Kane', 'À Bout de Soufflé', 'The Godfather' and 'The Lord of the Rings'-trilogy. For just 45 seconds of film, these pieces of cinema might even surprise you.

Here we get a stationary camera watching over the Saône river in France while a couple of dragoons cross it. It seems that people on the other shore are waiting for them to arrive because they are not doing all that much. Things like that just don't happen anymore, another aspect that makes these shorts made over a hundred years ago so interesting. This may not be the best of all those Lumière shorts out there, but it has enough value to appreciate it very much.


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