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Battle of Mafeking (1900)

Reenactment of a South African battle.

Director:

James H. White
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Storyline

In the opening of this picture we see in the foreground a company of Highlanders preparing for a charge on the Boer entrenchments seen in the distance. Just in advance of the Highlanders, two pieces of artillery have just been placed in position, and these immediately open fire upon the enemy. After several volleys from the battery, the Highlanders charge. They only reach a point just in advance of the battery, when they are attacked on the flank by a troop of Boer Cavalry, who come on the scene riding like madmen. All the Artillerymen fall about their guns except one, who runs to join the Highlanders but is brought to earth by a shot from one of the Cavalrymen. The Boers close with the Highlanders and a hand to hand fight is waged, in which the smoke becomes so thick that it is difficult to distinguish Boer from Briton. A Cavalryman is seen to fall mortally wounded from his horse, who walks off the field with an empty saddle. This is a very exciting picture. Written by Edison Films (1901)

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Genres:

Short | War

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Country:

USA

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Sound Mix:

Silent
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Trivia

Two of the actors were injured, one of them badly lacerated and burned. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Reenactment of a famous battle
2 August 2006 | by rbverhoefSee all my reviews

This single shot film is a reenactment of a famous South African battle. We see one party with two cannons on one side of the hill and a second party on the other side. After a while the first party attacks and we witness a battle where all but a few find their death. Although the action is hard to follow the position of the camera is nicely chosen.

From its first film the Edison Manufacturing Company has produced over a thousand of short films. The most famous is probably 'The Great Train Robbery', considered to be the first western, even though it was shot in New Jersey. The Brothers Lumière and Georges Méliès did their part in developing the cinema in France, Edison and later D.W. Griffith were their American counterparts.

As for the single shot films from the Edison Manufacturing Company, they are all historically interesting. For some reason those from Lumière have a higher entertainment value, if that's what you should call it, but that does not mean they are more important. The Edison Manufacturing Company's short films existing out of multiple scenes belong to the highpoint of American cinema.


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