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The Gibson Goddess (1909)

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A pack of admirers won't leave a beautiful woman alone at a seaside resort, so she devises a plan. She appears in a leg-revealing swimsuit, but the stockings have been stuffed with cotton ... See full summary »

Director:

D.W. Griffith

Writer:

D.W. Griffith
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Cast

Credited cast:
Marion Leonard ... Nanette Ranfrea
Anthony O'Sullivan Anthony O'Sullivan ... Commodore FItzmaurice
George Nichols ... Manager of Beach House
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ... Woman on Sidewalk
Frank Evans Frank Evans ... Man on Pier
Arthur V. Johnson ... An Admirer
James Kirkwood ... An Admirer
Mary Pickford ... Woman on Sidewalk
Billy Quirk ... An Admirer
Gertrude Robinson ... Woman on Sidewalk
Mack Sennett ... An Admirer
J. Waltham J. Waltham ... An Admirer
Dorothy West ... A Maid
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Storyline

A pack of admirers won't leave a beautiful woman alone at a seaside resort, so she devises a plan. She appears in a leg-revealing swimsuit, but the stockings have been stuffed with cotton to make her limbs appear misshapen. All but one of the men is driven off, and regret it when she removes the misleading leggings. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1909 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gibson Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

Highlands, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released as a split reel along with What's Your Hurry? (1909). See more »

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User Reviews

 
"At a Seaside Resort, Almost Any Lady Can Draw the 'Mashers'"
24 March 2009 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

D.W. Griffith is certainly not a name associated with comedy, but he did direct a few of them early in his career {including his debut, 'Those Awful Hats (1909)'}, before briefly returning to the genre with 'The Battle of the Sexes (1928).' This comedy short from 1909 – 'The Gibson Goddess' – might also be considered a "battle of the sexes." On a trip to the sea-shore to enjoy some peaceful reading time, a beautiful woman (Marion Leonard) is harassed by group of male admirers, who follow her along the beach like a pack of hungry hounds. After several unsuccessful attempts to evade her followers, the woman strikes upon the perfect solution to dispel their interest in her: she gets changed into a leg-revealing beach costume. I'd have thought that revealing her body would only fuel the men's lust, but apparently not – each man apologetically excuses himself from her company, some unable to disguise their revulsion.

Most of the comedy shorts I've seen from the early 1900s have based their humour around special effects – Blackton's 'The Thieving Hand (1908)' and Melies' "magic acts" are the first that come to mind. 'The Gibson Goddess' is more of a "sophisticated" comedy, if you will, concerned primarily with human behaviour and social stereotypes. Leonard's "Gibson Goddess" is a perfectly respectable and innocent woman, but also resourceful when required to be. Her male admirers are shamelessly superficial, abandoning one woman to bestow their affection upon a prettier other, and they bicker pettily among themselves as to who shall have claim over each lady. If the film wasn't so lighthearted, the men's "stalker" antics might have seemed rather disturbing, though the actors dilute any worries by behaving, for the most part, as flamboyantly as possible. The jokes are predictable, but I must admit I got a few laughs out of this. Look out for Mary Pickford in a cameo role.


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