A winner and sure to please. In front of one of the largest newspaper offices is a hot air shaft through which immense volumes of air are forced by a blower. Ladies in crossing this shaft ... See full summary »
A winner and sure to please. In front of one of the largest newspaper offices is a hot air shaft through which immense volumes of air are forced by a blower. Ladies in crossing this shaft often have their clothes slightly disarranged. A young man is escorting a young lady and talking very earnestly. They walk slowly along until they stand directly over the air shaft. The young lady's skirts are suddenly raised to an almost unreasonable height, greatly to her horror and much to the amusement of the newsboys, bootblacks, and passersby. Written by
One of the films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives (2004)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. This film is preserved by the Library of Congress, has a running time of 74 seconds and an added piano music score. See more »
This miniature feature works well enough in carrying off a rather amusing premise, and it also would have been worth seeing just for the photography. Besides successfully executing a simple but effective visual punch-line, it also provides some interesting footage of the New York City of over a century ago.
The film starts out as if it were one of the actualities, or footage of real life shot for its own sake, that were common in the earliest years of cinema. And even as such it would be worth seeing. The camera field is set up effectively, so as to catch a view of a rather lengthy stretch of 23rd Street, with some of the street traffic, a lot of action on the sidewalk, and a good view of many of the surrounding buildings. Like many of the features that survive from this era, it is invaluable in conveying the atmosphere of the times, in a way that no recreation today can match.
The actual highlight of "What Happened on 23rd Street", while hardly requiring great imagination or sophistication, is funny enough, and the two performers who carry it off seem to have enjoyed doing so. The commentary on the National Film Preservation Foundation video also gives some background to the simple but no doubt popular gag.
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