Shows a bedroom in a hotel. On the wall of the room is a conspicuous sign "Don't blow out the gas." A hayseed enters the room, accompanied by a bellboy. The boy deposits the Rube's bag and ...
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Shows a bedroom in a hotel. On the wall of the room is a conspicuous sign "Don't blow out the gas." A hayseed enters the room, accompanied by a bellboy. The boy deposits the Rube's bag and umbrella, turns a somersault, and vanishes through the door. The Rube then removes his hat and coat and places them upon the table. They immediately vanish. He then blows out the gas. The scene then instantly changes to a funeral procession, headed by Reuben's hearse, and followed by the carriages of his country friends. Strictly up-to-date picture.Written by
Edison Catalog (1901)
Pretty Interesting As An Example of Editing & Other Techniques At the Time
This Edison short comedy is mildly amusing to watch for its own sake, but it is particularly interesting as a historical example, because of the way that it was filmed and edited together. Although the effect is uncomplicated, it tried to do at least a couple of things that were relatively new and ambitious for its time. The story blends together a comic fantasy sequence with a climactic gag of a more macabre nature, and both hold some interest, in different ways.
The main story is quite similar to a number of other features of the era (particularly those of Georges Méliès, as well as some other Edison movies), in showing a man spending the night in an unfamiliar place, where he encounters some bizarre behavior on the part of various inanimate objects. This was one of the stock story-lines that some movie pioneers used to set up special camera effects, using stop-motion photography, and this is one of the earlier examples. A couple of the visual tricks are quite good, and would have been creditable even if they had been done some years later. Others do not come off so well, either because the intended effect was too ambitious or because the editing does not quite work.
The closing gag is of interest in another way, in that the way that it is constructed requires the viewer to supply what happens in between the final two camera shots. It shows cause and result, but with a gap in between that the viewer has to 'catch' in order for it to make sense. This is very common now, and present-day film-makers often use it to very good effect, but it's a relatively rare example from its own era. It comes off pretty well, although the next-to-last shot does not quite take in the important details as clearly as it should have, probably because it was limited by the vantage point of the camera equipment of the era. The gag itself, though a morbid one, is also clever enough, if somewhat snide and elitist - perhaps even at the expense of some of its own viewers. Overall, the movie offers a number of points of interest.
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