"One of the best known and one of the most sensational moving pictures ever made. Our camera was stationed at the side of an English run-way filled with obstructions, which is used for ... See full summary »
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"One of the best known and one of the most sensational moving pictures ever made. Our camera was stationed at the side of an English run-way filled with obstructions, which is used for cavalry exercises, at Aldershot. Picture to be taken was a number of hussars jumping one of the stiffest of the obstructions. The horses come over in fine form, one after another, until almost at the end of the picture when one of the horses slips throwing the cavalryman over his head and falling heavily on top of him. The other horsemen immediately following barely escape falling on the prostrate horse and man. The latter was severely injured. At the end of the picture several soldiers are seen running up, picking him up and carrying him away. This incident was, of course, entirely unexpected, but the unerring camera recorded every feature of it. The photographic quality of this film is very fine." Written by AMB Picture Catalogue (1902)

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Details

Country:

UK

Release Date:

April 1898 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

English Lancers Jumping Hurdles at Aldershot See more »

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Sound Mix:

Silent
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8 November 2008 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

At first this appears to be simply another of the rather boring actualities of the last decade of the 19th Century, one of those very short films in which the real interest is seeing something that happened far away in a theater, the mere illusion of immediacy, perhaps, enough for a 19th century rube, but surely a sophisticated inhabitant of the 21st Century would not be affected by these images.

Think again! This shot of horse troopers on practice -- in this case, moving through an obstacle course a good deal like a steeplechase -- seems to be just a series of flowing images, everything perfect. Until someone misses his jump, falls --- and you know he can be killed.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this year's MAX PAYNE and yawned through the gun battles, as dozens of highly-trained snipers with machine guns were taken out by a guy with a pistol. This is far more believable -- and not, I fear, just because it is real. Have we become so caught up in the web of our cultural and storytelling assumptions that we cannot tell reality from illusion? Who, then is the bumpkin and who the sophisticate?


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