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What Happened in the Tunnel (1903)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Short | 6 November 1903 (USA)
A woman riding a train must contend with the unwelcome advances of a male passenger.


Edwin S. Porter


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Credited cast:
Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson ... (as G.M. Anderson)
Bertha Regustus Bertha Regustus


A well-dressed woman and her maid are riding together in a railway car. When the woman accidentally drops her handkerchief, a man sitting behind her picks it up for her. Though at first she appreciates his helpfulness, she soon becomes annoyed when he persists in making unwelcome advances. When the train enters a tunnel, the man thinks his opportunity has come - but the two women are ready for him. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


Not Rated




Release Date:

6 November 1903 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Что случилось в туннеле See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A Combination of the Progressive & the Dated
22 August 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This short comedy is a mildly interesting combination of the progressive and the dated, not extremely so in either case, but enough so that these aspects are noticeable just in watching the movie casually. The technical side of it makes mildly resourceful use of methods that were relatively new at the time.

The story features a well-dressed woman traveling by train with her African-American maid. G.M. Anderson (the same Anderson later known as 'Broncho Billy') plays a male passenger who repeatedly makes unwanted romantic advances towards the well-dressed woman. The use of the characters' races come across today as rather stereotyped, but on the other hand, the two women are portrayed as the resourceful (and superior) heroines, while the harassing male is ridiculed for his behavior.

On the technical side, it creates an illusion of motion by the window technique that was then becoming standard. The 'tunnel' sequence, while probably not a particular challenge for an experienced film-maker like Edwin S. Porter, is also done believably. Overall, it's an average one-joke film that is really of note only for the rather contrasting social attitudes that it combines.

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