Robert Paul is a largely forgotten name today, but he was a major pioneer of British cinema, and was quick to grasp the commercial potential of cinema in ways that better known pioneers such as William Friese-Greene were not. He was more of a mechanic than a filmmaker making, with Birt Acres, his own camera on which to shoot films in 1895, and also Britain's first projector, the Animatograph, with which to screen them in 1896. Early in the 20th century he had a custom-made studio built in Muswell Hill.
The Sirdar, for those of you that don't know, was the Commander of the Egyptian army, which was under British rule when this film was shot, and the Sirdar when this film was made was none other than doughty old Lord Kitchener, the man who led her army into the Great War and pointed his finger at those lingerers back home. We see the great man's carriage pull up at the Guild Hall but little more.
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